Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of residential colleges on student learning and development. Residential colleges are living-learning programs that have a few common characteristics: a commitment to multidisciplinarity; multigenerational organization (an assumption that students from all classifications—first-year through graduate students—strengthen the learning environment); live-in faculty leadership; and mission-centric spaces that speak to the holistic nature of the learning philosophy” (Penven, Stephens, Shushok, & Keith, 2013, p. 116). Two research questions guided this study:
- What is the impact of residential colleges on student learning?
- What is the impact of residential colleges on student development?
This study utilized a phenomenological design. The researcher interviewed 15 students at a large public university on the central East Coast of the United States. Three themes emerged: impact of structure, belonging and identity, and the impact of multigenerational and interdisciplinary living. These three themes connected to one meta-theme, community. Implications of this study include students’ desire to belong, positive outcomes of student-faculty interactions, and the importance of self-governance.
Oldham, Seth, "A Different Kind of Home: The Impact of Residential Colleges on Student Learning and Development" (2015). Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses. 30.