Living–Learning Programs and First-Generation College Students’ Academic and Social Transition to College

Inkelas, Karen Kurotsuchi; Daver, Zaneeta E.; Vogt, Kristen E.; Leonard, Jeannie Brown
Publication Year:
Research in Higher Education

This study examines the role of living–learning (L/L) programs in facilitating first-generation students’ perceived academic and social transition to college. Using a sample of 1,335 first-generation students from 33 4-year institutions who participated in the National Study of Living–Learning Programs during Spring 2004, the results of the study show that first-generation students in L/L programs reported a more successful academic and social transition to college than their first-generation counterparts living in a traditional residence hall setting. In addition, interactions with faculty members and using residence hall resources facilitated an easier academic transition for first-generation students in L/L programs, and supportive residence hall climates were related to an easier social transition. A preliminary interpretation of this study’s results is that structured activities, such as faculty interaction and residence hall programming, are more influential for this population than informal peer groups.

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