Research in Higher Education

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 178–193 | Cite as

The Impact of Learning Communities on First Year Students’ Growth and Development in College

  • Louis M. Rocconi


This study investigated the direct and indirect relationships between participating in a learning community, student engagement, and self-reported learning outcomes. Using a sample of 241 freshmen at a single urban research university who took the College Student Experiences Questionnaire, the results indicate that after controlling for demographic characteristics and entering composite ACT score, the relationship between learning community participation and learning outcomes are mediated by students’ levels of engagement. Learning community participation was not directly related to educational gains but was indirectly related to educational gains through student engagement. Student engagement in turn was strongly related to educational gains.


Learning communities Student engagement Student development Quality of effort College Student Experiences Questionnaire Educational gains Learning outcomes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of MemphisMemphisUSA

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