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ERIC Number: EJ1112489
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2375-804X
Against the Odds: The Impact of the Key Communities at Colorado State University on Retention and Graduation for Historically Underrepresented Students
Nosaka, Taé; Novak, Heather
Learning Communities: Research & Practice, v2 n2 Article 3 2014
Learning communities are a high impact activity that can influence students' likelihood for success. Colorado State University (CSU) created the Key Communities (Key) program, which is open to all students but targets students that have persistently lower graduation and retention rates. The majority of Key students are under-represented (ethnically diverse, low-income, and/or first generation to college) and/or students with lower levels of academic preparation. This paper describes the structure and purpose of Key and shares the results of an institutional level assessment of Key's impact on graduation and retention. Since participation in Key is not randomly assigned, this analysis utilizes propensity score matching to estimate Key's treatment effect. Results show that Key has a positive impact on graduation and retention for all students, but Key is incredibly effective for students who come to CSU with characteristics that have historically put them at risk for attrition.
Evergreen State College's Washington Center, the National Resource for Learning Communities. 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW, SEM II E2115, Olympia, WA 98505. Tel: 360-864-6606; Fax: 360-867-6662; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations