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ERIC Number: ED518364
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 213
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-6987-6
College Student Activism: An Exploration of Learning Outcomes
Rosas, Marisela
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Iowa
Researchers, politicians, and the public have criticized colleges and universities for not effectively preparing college students to be active participants in their communities and within a democratic society. Institutional initiatives on civic engagement have focused on community service and service-learning initiatives to meet this demand. The existing literature, therefore, focuses on these civic engagement involvements and the outcomes associated with involvement. Little research is conducted on another form of civic engagement, activism. This study address the gap in the literature related to activism. Specifically, the purpose of this study was to identify the learning outcomes associated with student participation in activism. Data from the Higher Education Research Institute's surveys, the 1999 Student Information Form (SIF) and the 2003 College Student Survey (CSS), were used in this study. The theoretical framework for this study was Astin's Theory of Student Involvement and the conceptual framework for this study was influenced by Pascarella's General Model for Assessing Change and Astin's Input-Environment-Output Model. The statistical analyses conducted in order to answer the research questions were multiple regression and logistic regression. The results of this study provide some noteworthy findings that improve our understanding of activism and its effect on the learning outcomes of undergraduate students. First, students involved in activism or not involved in activism were no different when comparing demographic descriptive data (gender, modal age, college grades, etc.). Students differed in their academic course selection and out-of-class involvements. Secondly, characteristics positively predicting involvement in activism were male, African-American or Latino, involved in leadership training and racial/ethnic student organizations, who experienced high faculty support, and who enrolled in ethnic and women's studies' courses. Thirdly, student with high socio-political influence scores were associated with positive growth in all four of the learning outcomes, while student involvement in demonstrations was associated with positive growth in only two of the learning outcomes: humanitarianism and knowledge acquisition and application. Finally, the conditional analysis conducted to determine if different students (e.g., female and male, and White and Latino, African American, etc.) experience differently the effects of involvement in activism on the learning outcomes found: (a) conditional effects existed for males and females for the learning outcome humanitarianism and (b) no conditional effects existed for students of different racial/ethnic groups. This examination of specific learning outcomes associated with activism offers student affairs professionals and higher education scholars and policy-makers a better understanding of what students gain from their activism. In addition, the results of this study contribute to the body of knowledge on the role of college involvements in developing an action-oriented citizen. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A