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ERIC Number: ED521940
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 178
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-8528-6
The Impact of Organizational Features and Student Experiences on Spiritual Development during the First Year of College
Lovik, Eric G.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of organizational features and student experiences on spiritual development among first-year students attending four-year institutions in the United States. The sample included over 7,000 first-year students from nearly 450 postsecondary institutions who participated in the spring 2004 National Survey of Student Engagement. One survey question which asked students to rate how much their institution contributed to developing a deepened sense of spirituality served as the dependent variable. The researcher employed a multi-level analysis in six stages to account for the varying effects of student precollege traits, institutional characteristics, organizational features, and first-year experiences both inside and outside the classroom. First-year students who attend Baptist, Roman Catholic, Nondenominational, and selected group of Protestant institutions gained more in their spirituality than their peers at other denominational institutions. Student perceptions of institutional support for their social and nonacademic needs relate the strongest to spiritual development. Denominational institutions that require students to attend chapel or a similar religious observance, only hire faculty who agree with their statement of faith, or promote their religious and spiritual values in their mission statements make a significant impact on spiritual development during the first year of college. Several precollege traits associate with higher gains in spiritual growth: international, Asian, and first generation students at any kind of institution reported that their first-year experience made a positive impact. The individual student experience that matters the most is participation in spiritually enhancing activities such as prayer, meditation, and worship. Students at religious institutions engage in spiritual activities more frequently than their peers at secular institutions; however, the rates of participation vary widely across the nine denominational groups. Participating in service learning and including diverse perspectives in class discussions and assignments relate positively to spiritual development. Students who report that attending their institution contributed to developing a deepened sense of spirituality also perceive that their relationships with other students are friendly, supportive and convey a sense of belonging. Controlling for academic program, majoring in biology exerts a negative effect while majoring in business positively associates with spiritual gains. [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