ERIC Number: ED374728
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Aug-15
Reference Count: N/A
Beyond Involvement: Creating Validating Academic and Social Communities in the Community College.
Rendon, Laura I.
A study of nearly 100 freshman community college students' perceptions of their educational experiences and motivations through focus group interviews found that, despite high dropout rates, community college students can become successful students. The study concluded that students will be more likely to persist if institutions help them to be successful at negotiating the transition to college, becoming involved in campus academic and social life, and developing positive attitudes about their learning ability. In efforts to involve students in campus life the campus community must know that nontraditional students will not become involved on their own, that simply offering opportunities for involvement is not enough, and that the key to involving students is to create validating academic and social communities in and out of class. What successful students remember are incidents when they experience validation and when faculty, staff, friends or family members actively reached out to them and affirmed them as capable. Colleges can create in-class validating communities by personalizing the atmosphere, by offering one-on-one feedback, and fostering diverse curricula and positive classroom environments. Out-of-class validating environments require a hospitable campus climate, and an institutional climate that connects the cognitive and social dimensions of the college. (Contains 10 references.) (JB)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Persistence, College Freshmen, Community Colleges, Educational Environment, Focus Groups, Interpersonal Relationship, Nontraditional Students, School Holding Power, Social Environment, Student Attitudes, Student College Relationship, Student Development, Student Participation, Success, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, University Park, PA.