ERIC Number: EJ1078358
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 75
Magnets and Seekers: A Network Perspective on Academic Integration inside Two Residential Communities
Smith, Rachel A.
Journal of Higher Education, v86 n6 p893-922 Nov-Dec 2015
Residential learning communities aim to foster increased academic and social integration, ideally leading to greater student success. However, the concept of academic integration is often conceptualized and measured at the individual level, rather than the theoretically more consistent community level. Network analysis provides a paradigm and measures that are more appropriate for conceptualizing and measuring the academic integration that learning communities purport to foster. This mixed methods study focuses on two individual residential communities to examine student structural embeddedness as measured by their peer academic networks and described by participants. Results show that the learning community allows for some students to become academic "magnets" who attract others to work with them, which is related to higher GPA. The study has theoretical and practical implications for how institutions measure community-based results and design subsequent community-level programs.
Descriptors: Residential Institutions, Social Integration, Accessibility (for Disabled), Network Analysis, Mixed Methods Research, Social Networks, Peer Relationship, Communities of Practice, Student Surveys, Interviews, Participant Observation, Regression (Statistics), College Students, Academic Achievement, Student Attitudes, Grade Point Average
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A