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ERIC Number: EJ782160
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Access without Support Is Not Opportunity
Engstrom, Cathy; Tinto, Vincent
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v40 n1 p46-50 Jan-Feb 2008
Unfortunately, too many low-income students enter college academically under-prepared, and too few find the support they need to succeed in college. As a result, their rates of completing four-year degrees continue to lag behind those of more-affluent students. The gap has not diminished in recent years--indeed it may have increased somewhat over the past decade. For too many low-income students, the open door of American higher education and the opportunity it provides has become a revolving door. Why is this the case? The answer to this important question is not simple; there are many complex forces shaping the success of low-income students. But perhaps none is as important as academic preparation. One particularly promising effort is the adaptation of learning communities to the needs of these students. With a grant from the Lumina Foundation for Education and additional support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the authors carried out a systematic, multi-institutional, longitudinal four-year study of the impact of learning communities, and the collaborative pedagogy that underlies them, on the success of academically under-prepared, predominantly low-income students. The results show that academically under-prepared students in the learning communities were significantly more engaged in a variety of activities than similar students on their campuses, including in classroom work and in activities involving their faculty and classmates in and outside of class. The results also show that students in the learning-community programs were more apt to persist to the following academic year than their institutional peers. What might explain these results? In this article, the participants described a number of aspects of learning communities that they believed accounted for their success. (Contains 7 resources.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A