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Abstract

Students at Iowa State University had the opportunity to enroll in a two-year National Science Foundation (NFS) Scholarship for Service (SFS) leadership development program, in addition to their work within their majors. This interdisciplinary program included faculty and students in computer engineering, computer science, mathematics, political science, management information systems, and education. The expected learning outcomes for this interdisciplinary effort were focused on “learning in community,” specifically to develop professionals and citizens who will continue learning for life while consistently supporting and encouraging the growth of others. The purpose of this phenomenological research study was to examine students’ experiences of learning in community in the SFS program. Participants identified a definable developmental process where students’ experiences moved from resistance to the interactive and participatory nature of the class, to reluctance to step outside comfort zones, to reliance on others within the community, to assuming responsibility for self and others in the community.

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