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Keywords

Living Learning Communities, Social, Qualitative

Abstract

Living Learning Communities (LLCs) have been shown to increase student retention rates and academic performance (Hotchkiss, Moore, & Pitts, 2006), as well as increase overall satisfaction with college (Baker & Pomerantz, 2000) and increase cognitive skills (Walker, 2003). These benefits have been demonstrated in a variety of institutions with diverse students (Andrade, 2007). However, these studies have relied on quantitative measures of assessment. As suggested by Taylor, Moore, MacGregor, and Lindblad (2003) and Ward and Commander (2011), more qualitative data is needed to really understand why LLCs are linked to positive outcomes. This qualitative study collected focus group data from both LLC students and non-LLC students to determine what possible social and psychological benefits students reported about their LLC or university experiences. Themes emerged from the qualitative data to reveal that LLC students do experience some of the same university life experiences that non-LLC students experience. However, LLC students reported richer connections to faculty and students, as well as additional social and academic opportunities.

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