worldview, learning communities, outcomes, residuality


In this essay, we conceptualize first-year learning communities as worldviews that, during the first year and residually in subsequent years, allow students to recognize and engage difference and acknowledge and articulate their biases. Students who take part in a learning community have an opportunity to develop the biases and presuppositions of the community, as well as a position that is present throughout life. Using the first-year learning communities at Duquesne University as an example, we contend that inclusion in a learning community upholds a given worldview – as narrative, philosophical or theological system, or shaper of individuals. This, in turn, fosters the biases and presuppositions of the community’s members, a residual outcome that stays with students for the rest of their lives.

Christina L. McDowell Marinchak is an Assistant Professor of Business Communication at University of Alaska, Anchorage.

David DeIuliis is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.