Residence halls and the community life experience of traditional college freshmen

Margery-Ann Covello, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the community life experience of traditional freshmen in two different residential environments at Jesuit universities. The residential environments are corridor-style and suite-style residence halls. In addition, the study explored the community development experience of the resident assistants (RAs) who live and work with the freshmen residents in these environments. The review of the literature included three major areas: University Life, Personal and Community Life, and Creating Environments for Academic Excellence. ^ This study is divided into two parts. In the first phase of the study, the community life experience of freshmen was compared quantitatively by administering the Community Life Assessment Scale for Students (CLASS). This study further explored qualitatively the community development experience of resident assistants (RAs) in the two distinct residential environments. ^ The findings of the first part of this study indicate that there is a significant difference between the community life experience of freshmen living in corridor-style and suite-style residence halls in a variety of community life areas. In addition, there is a positive, statistically significant correlation between several of the community life areas and persistence in the institution and in housing for freshmen living in both residential environments. Finally, for freshmen living in both residential environments satisfaction with residential living in positively correlated with a variety of community life areas. ^ The findings in the second part of this study indicate that RAs define community in terms of residents, interactions with each other, RAs view programming as the main conduit for community development, and RAs do not integrate the university mission into their community development efforts. ^ Overall the results of this study indicate that for freshmen, satisfaction with residential life is more closely connected to opportunities to develop close relationships with fellow students and staff than to the physical residence hall environment. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Education, Administration|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Margery-Ann Covello, "Residence halls and the community life experience of traditional college freshmen" (January 1, 1999). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9938900.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9938900

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