Research in Higher Education

, Volume 48, Issue 8, pp 941–966 | Cite as

The Impact of On-campus Student Growth on First-year Student Engagement and Success

  • Steven M. LaNasa
  • Elizabeth Olson
  • Natalie Alleman

During the past two decades institutions of all types have sought to expand and enhance residential facilities. Institutional focus on scale, configuration, amenities, and academic integration has sought to leverage prior research documenting the multiple and often positive impacts of on-campus residence. Although institutional size has been documented to differentially impact student engagement [Kezar, A. J. (2006). NASPA Journal 43(1): 87–114], few studies, however, have directly explored the effect of residential expansion on student engagement. This study, based on a sample of 731 first-time freshmen explores NSSE results before and after the opening of a residential facility that doubled on-campus living at a single, metropolitan institution. Results indicate limited positive differences after opening, and suggest that structure, in the form of size, does not, in and of itself, contribute significantly to shifting engagement. Additionally, these results suggest an alternative method for using NSSE data in institutional analyses.


student engagement campus size first-year students NSSE campus residence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven M. LaNasa
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Olson
    • 1
  • Natalie Alleman
    • 2
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of Missouri—Kansas CityKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Institutional ResearchUniversity of Missouri—Kansas CityKansas CityUSA

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