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ERIC Number: EJ815689
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Making the Grade: How a Semester in Washington May Influence Future Academic Performance
Lowenthal, Diane J.; Sosland, Jeffrey K.
Journal of Political Science Education, v3 n2 p143-160 May 2007
By examining American University's Washington Semester Program (AUWSP), this project analyzes the impact of intensive undergraduate experiential and active learning on subsequent student academic performance. In this article, we discuss the differences between traditional, active, and experiential learning methods to better understand the potential impact of a nontraditional learning environment in Washington. We used grade-point average (GPA) and other data from 188 students including some who had recently attended AUWSP and some who had not left their home school campus even though they met the minimum GPA requirement for off-campus study. We found that AUWSP has a positive impact on subsequent academic performance, especially for females and government majors. To better explore why AUWSP had an impact we conducted a focus group and a written survey for AUWSP alumni. The alumni emphasized increased class participation and more confidence in the value of classroom interaction. Alumni also reported a strengthened focus on their majors, more defined career plans, and an improved likelihood of attending graduate school, along with excellent professional networking opportunities. Finally, results showed virtually no change in class attendance, some improvement in writing skills, and greater involvement in service-learning, campus and community activities. (Contains 6 tables, 2 figures, and 11 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington