A program evaluation of a living-learning housing option at a large midwestern university

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2002-01-01
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Thompson, Sharon
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Douglas L. Epperson
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Psychology
The Department of Psychology may prepare students with a liberal study, or for work in academia or professional education for law or health-services. Graduates will be able to apply the scientific method to human behavior and mental processes, as well as have ample knowledge of psychological theory and method.
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The present study examined the impact of a living-learning housing option on residents' academic behavior, cognitions (i.e., academic self-efficacy and attributions for academic outcomes), achievement, retention at the university, and level of satisfaction with their living environment. Residents of Maple, the program hall, were compared to residents of Larch, a non-program hall that was similar to Maple in size and location. Background and outcome data were obtained through official university records, as well as through questionnaires completed by residents of both halls at the beginning of the fall semester and toward the end of the spring semester.;The results indicated that the Maple Hall program had a generally positive impact on residents, with the main benefit being the higher retention rate for Maple residents compared to residents of Larch Hall. Other significant findings included higher basic, math, and overall academic self-efficacy, greater satisfaction with hall facilities, and increased time spent attending classes and labs, studying, performing community service, and participating in recreational and social activities (an indicator of involvement in the university community). Although the absence of a consistently significant impact on residents' academic performance is surprising, the overall results of the investigation support the continuation of the Maple Hall program and provide potential directions for future research on this and similar living-learning programs.

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2002