Our project examined the impact of a Living-Learning Community on first-year students’ well-being and college adjustment throughout their first year of college. The project had both a quantitative and qualitative component. For the quantitative component, we compared first-year students who participated in the Living-Learning Community (LLC) with first-year students who did not participate in the LLC (non-LLC) but who were enrolled in the required first-year Writing Seminar course (INTD105) in Fall 201 4. All LLC students completed INTD105 during their first-year (either in Fall 2014 or Spring 2015). The incoming first-year students selected for the project completed surveys at three different times, at the beginning of their first year (Time 1: August 2014), after the first semester (Time 2: January 2015) and at the end of the academic year (Time 3: May 2015). The surveys contained the following measures: demographic information, two measures of psychological well-being, a measure of college adjustment, and measures assessing factors that have been found to predict students' well-being, college adjustment, and success in past research. LLC students also completed a survey assessing their perceptions of and satisfaction with the LLC. For the qualitative component, the main goal was to determine if and how living in the LLC improves students’ first year experience, focusing on both their academic and social well-being. Two focus groups were conducted in November 2014 on students who were in the LLC for the 2013-2014 academic year, and three focus groups were conducted in Spring 2015 on students who were in the LLC during the 2014-2015 academic year. Results from this project were presented to the campus community and have been used to modify the LLC (now called Tesla House). In addition, the project has provided valuable information regarding the role that baseline psychological measures play in students’ adjustment across their first year of college. Lastly, this project has been used to implement changes in other initiatives on campus.
Primary Investigators: Monica E. Schneider, Associate Professor of Psychology: firstname.lastname@example.org