• Living Learning Communities: Relationship Builders?

      Caldwell, Corrinne A.; Cucchiara, Maia Bloomfield; Davis, James Earl, 1960-; Schifter, Catherine; Ives, Stephanie (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      This qualitative case study describes how first year students perceived the impact of living within a living learning community by giving voice to students who wished to not only describe their living experience, but also have this description heard. While living learning communities are not new to Residential Life departments on college campuses, the studies of such programs have predominantly been large scale quantitative studies conducted to assess the overall satisfaction that students feel with living in such a program or to ask one very specific question, typically related to drinking patterns or academic successes. Through the studying of one particular academic living learning community at a specific mid-Atlantic, urban university, I was able to delve deeper into the lives of students and develop a detailed holistic picture of the student experience specifically through the use of student interviews. My small sample, and immersion in the field, permitted an in depth understanding of all aspects of their residential and academic life related to their living learning community experience. The residents took advantage of the research as an opportunity to speak freely about issues that more macro researchers had not considered as potential impacts of student life within a living learning community. The research took place in one residential hall over an entire year. The data was gathered from a series of in-depth interviews and almost daily observations. Studying a select number of students within the community for a full academic year provided the opportunity to ask the same questions on numerous occasions and study how the students' responses changed or remained the same over time. This year long endeavor also permitted my immersion into the community and attendance at programs and events held within the living learning community allowing me to discover five themes relating to the student perspective of living learning communities: The Importance of Family, Social Activities as Opportunities to Bond, Accountability with Regards to Academics, Sense of Exclusivity, and the Importance of Personality on Perception of LLC Success. Through these themes, this study provides one of the few rigorous insights into life in a living learning community from the student perspective directly through the use of student voice, allowing for higher educational leaders and planners to take this individualized perspective into account in the organization, implementation, funding, and assessment of future living learning community endeavors.
    • ROOMMATE MATCHING FOR HOUSING SELECTION AND THE IMPACT ON FIRST-YEAR STUDENT SUCCESS

      DuCette, Joseph P.; Davis, James Earl, 1960-; Shapiro, Joan Poliner; Gross, Steven Jay; Powell, Theresa A. (Temple University. Libraries, 2015)
      The college roommate experience can be one of the most important aspects of a students' undergraduate experience. As colleges and universities across the country have seen a steady increase in enrollment over the past three decades, so has the demand for living on-campus. In recent years, concerns have arisen as to the benefit and value of these experiences especially considering the significant costs of higher education. As such, it becomes increasingly necessary for institutions of higher education to ensure that the on-campus living experience is positive and beneficial. One aspect of this experience is a student's relationship with his or her roommate. In the past, roommate selection was a largely random process controlled by the institution's office of housing. In recent years, new processes have been created that place more of the control in the hands of the student. The purpose of the present dissertation is to investigate one of these roommate matching programs, the RoomSync Roommate Matching Program.