Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Thriving on Campus: The Role of Residency Type in First-Year College Students’ Intent to Persist
by Derrico, Cindy Marie Hatch, Ph.D./HE, Azusa Pacific University, 2020, 338; 28028990
Abstract (Summary)

Living on campus has long been heralded as a contributor to student persistence (Astin, 1973; Astin & Oseguera, 2012). An increasing number and diversity of students attending public universities (de Brey et al., 2019) create complex challenges for higher education leaders, yielding pressure to improve retention, eliminate equity gaps, and improve educational outcomes (CSU, 2019b; UCOP, 2019b) with limited resources. Students are challenged to cover college costs, including student housing, that have outpaced increases in family income (Ma et al., 2018). Thriving, defined as academic, social, and psychological well-being (Schreiner, 2016b), was the framework used to explore the contribution of on-campus residency to intent to re-enroll as mediated by thriving for first-year students in public institutions. This study also examined the unique pathways to intent to re-enroll for students living off-campus, in open assignment housing, theme, and living-learning communities (LLC). Participants in this study (N = 1,623) were from 14 western U.S. public institutions of varying selectivity. Participants were 75% female, 67% students of color, and 37% first-generation, with 42% reporting annual family income less than $60,000. Data were collected using the Thriving Quotient (Schreiner, 2016a), a valid and reliable instrument measuring academic, interpersonal, and psychological thriving across 5 factors (Schreiner et al., 2013). Structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted to measure unique pathways across the 4 residency types. For commuters and for theme community residents, thriving predicted intent to re-enroll; for students living in open assignment housing or living-learning communities (LLCs), intent to re-enroll was predicted by psychological sense of community. Thriving and intent to re-enroll levels were higher for theme community residents, with the most variation in intent to re-enroll explained by the model in the LLC students. For all students, thriving was strongly predicted by psychological sense of community, mediated in large measure by perceptions of institutional integrity. Student-faculty interaction and campus involvement provided additional direct and indirect effects on thriving and intent to re-enroll. These findings indicate the wisdom of designing educationally integrated residency types, particularly LLCs, as well as the use of non-residential learning communities for commuter students to increase the capacities that help students thrive.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schreiner, Laurie A.
Commitee: Kim, Young K., Stange, Von
School: Azusa Pacific University
Department: Higher Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational psychology, Educational sociology
Keywords: College student housing, First-year students, Living-learning community, Persistence, Retention, Thriving
Publication Number: 28028990
ISBN: 9798662568976
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