Title page for ETD etd-11102010-160752

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Hammett, Jody Allen
Author's Email Address jhammet@lsu.edu
URN etd-11102010-160752
Title Does Choosing to Live in a Discipline-Based Residential College Make a Difference in the Engagement of University Freshmen?
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Machtmes, Krisanna Committee Chair
Beck, Melissa Committee Member
Burnett, Michael Committee Member
Garrison, Mary Committee Member
Johnson, Earl Committee Member
  • living-learning community
Date of Defense 2010-10-29
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of housing arrangement and selected personal and academic characteristics on the engagement of full-time university freshmen. A sample of 1,119 full-time freshmen was used in the study. A 14-item Likert-type scale, the Student Academic/Social Interaction Questionnaire, was used to measure the engagement level of the students. Housing information was also self-reported, but all ther demographic and academic information was obtained from the institution’s registrar’s office. When compared to the overall mean engagement score, there were five significant findings. Significant differences were found between living off-campus, living off-campus with family, living on-campus in discipline-based residential colleges, and first-generation college attendance status and the overall mean. No significant differences were found between respondent’s gender or race when compared to the overall mean engagement score. Multiple regression analysis revealed an overall model of five predictors of engagement of freshmen students: ACT score, living off-campus, living off-campus with family, first-generation college attendance status, and living on-campus in discipline-based residential colleges. This model accounted for 6.6% of the variance in the level of engagement. Findings suggested that, overall, students are only “mildly engaged,” and mean scores from items on the Student Academic/Social Interaction Questionnaire revealed that students are engaged with their peers, but not with faculty and staff. There was no difference in the engagement level among the various on-campus housing arrangements. Whether or not students lived on-campus or off-campus was what made the difference in students’ engagement level.
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