Residential Colleges: Bucknell`s Living/ Learning Communities

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Residential Colleges:
Bucknell’s Living/ Learning
Communities
and the Issue of Diversity
Slava I. Yastremski, Bucknell University
January 20, 2011
Residential Colleges
Mission Statement
 Bucknell University’s Residential College program promotes
a distinctive living-learning environment dedicated to
enriching first-year student learning. By bridging curricular,
co-curricular and residential experiences, the Program
enhances and combines students’ academic engagement
and social interaction during their first year at Bucknell and
beyond.
 Approved by the Residential College Advisory Board
September 29, 2010

Vision
Gradual expansion of student enrollment in
the Living/ Learning Communities for Fall
2012
Expansion of curricular offerings across the
university
Development of curricular and extracurricular
opportunities for student involvement in the
Living/Learning Communities throughout their
Bucknell career
Living/Learning Communities fully integrated
into the Plan for Bucknell
Living/Learning Communities fully integrated
into the new Arts and Sciences Core
Curriculum
What have the Residential CollegesLiving/Learning Communities been?
Living/Learning
communities
Students in RC FNs live together
(current enrollment 225 approx.)
Common hours—1 ½ hours a week
Extra- and co-curricular programming
through RC office—Kelly Finley and
Courtney Firman
Field trips
Overnight trips to NYC. DC, Philadelphia
JFs and RFs are alumni of the RC
Upper class housing
Summary of NSSE Results
 LLC Participants Are Different Coming Into Bucknell
 Program is providing a valuable service to students with more
investment in their academic careers
 Program is serving many of the institutions goals regarding many
types of diversity
 Program could be marketed as one of key to change type of
student attracted overall
 LLC Has an Independent, Positive Effect on Engagement
Beyond the “Self-Selection” Issue
 Program effects are manifested in a myriad of measures
 Program effects remain positive, significant both statistically and in
relative importance even after controlling for
 Other student characteristics (major, gender, Greek affiliation etc..)
 Incoming engagement/achievement measures
*From report by Prof. Amy Wolver, economics
 Faculty voices:
 “I think it is an excellent program, and I really enjoyed the
student-teacher interaction that the residential college
engenders. I also appreciate its emphasis on integrating
various kinds of learning and experience into one course.”
 - From 2009 survey of Faculty perceptions of Res. college
 The program attracts students from both Arts & Sciences
and Engineering
This year we enrolled:
 164 Arts & Sciences students
 61 Engineering students
Seven Residential Colleges
 Arts College
 The Arts College affirms a
vital connection between life
and art. We study living
artists as well as those who
have come before us.
 We believe that by making
art we cross the boundary
between sense and mystery,
the individual and the other.
Seven Residential Colleges
 Environmental College
 Studies the interaction of
human communities and the
environment in a spectrum of
issues - from the scientific to
the cultural – engaged by
scholars and “green sector”
professionals.
Global College
Seeks to educate students about the evolution of the modern world system and
about contemporary global issues.
Languages and Cultures College
Introduces students to the cultures of non-English speaking countries and also to
the phenomenon of cross-cultural communication. Through discussion of topics
such as daily life, the arts, society, politics, religion, pop culture and commerce,
you will develop a greater appreciation for the differences and commonalities that
make up our world.
Seven Residential Colleges
 Humanities College
 Provides a hospitable and
nurturing environment to
students interested in literary
and philosophical questions
and who are looking for a
place to meet like-minded
people. Students study and
discuss classical epic,
tragedy, and philosophy.
They also study the Hebrew
and Christian scriptures, and
the transformation of the
classical world to the
Christian West.
Seven Residential Colleges
 Social Justice College
 Focuses on selected historic
and contemporary themes of
social justice in the United
States. Students are
challenged to take the
perspective of those who are
marginalized in our society
and to critically and
compassionately examine
issues of social justice from
today’s headlines. Recent
courses studied poverty,
inequality in education and
health care, immigration, and
gay and lesbian civil rights.
Society and Technology College
What is the future of the planet and what role will technology play in creating that future? In
SocTech, we focus on a few key future technologies that present both challenges and
opportunities: genetic engineering, food production, and the internet. We ask the following
questions: how and why are these technologies chosen? Do we act—indeed, can we act—
ethically and rationally as individuals to control our destinies when technological change seems
to threaten other human values? In a modern technological world, how much can we control our
fates, either as individuals or as a society?
Student Voices:
“Academically it helped me greatly because I spent more time with my
advisor than I would otherwise so I felt more comfortable with the
faculty. Socially, it was easier to make friends because of the shared
interests. Personally, it was a crux that I needed for the transition. I had
a niche.”
-From 2009 student survey
Faculty voices:
“I did not realize how teaching with faculty members [from different
departments] would broaden my perspective on both my teaching
pedagogy and my own discipline. It was a significant professional
growth experience.”
- From 2009 survey of Faculty perceptions of Res. college
Student Voices:
I really liked the sort of person that my Residential College attracted and
found myself engaging in deeper conversation with my hall-mates.”
-From 2009 student survey
Student voices:
“… even though you all share a passion for a particular res college,
everyone also has a lot of other interests and perspectives, so there is also
a lot of diversity.”
- From 2009 student survey
Enriching Educational Experiences
 Following data shows before college experiences with
diversity compared to after first year at Bucknell
 Compares LLC participants and non-participants
This and the following data comes from Prof Amy Wollaver’s studies of the
student engagement at Bucknell, 2009-10
% Reporting “Had Serious Conversation with someone
from a different race/ethnicity” often/very often
52.6
60
50
59.9
48
42.4
40
30
20
LLC and Non-participants
statistically significantly different
after first year at BU
Are not different as incoming first
year students.
The change in frequency before and
after the first year is statistically
significant for only LLC participants.
10
0
LLC participants
High
School
End of First
Year at
Bucknell
Source: Author’s analysis of 2007 BCSSE & 2008 NSSE.
Non Participants
% Reporting Had Serious Conversation with someone of a
different background” often/very often
66.9
70
59.1
60
51.1
55.4
50
40
30
20
10
All changes/differences
statistically significant.
Overall frequency increases
after first year at Bucknell
LLC participants have more
frequent conversations on
average relative to nonparticipants both
As incoming students &
At end of first year at BU
LLC participants
0
High School
End of First Year at Bucknell
Source: Author’s analysis of 2007 BCSSE & 2008 NSSE.
Non-participants
Summary
 Living Learning Community at Bucknell is serving an
important role at enhancing & maintaining diversity along a
number of measures
 Race and Ethnicity
 International Students
 First Generation College Students
 Different views/beliefs
 Furthermore, students in this living and learning community
are more likely to report achieving educational goals
associated with having a diverse student body
Living Learning Community (LLC) Pedagogy
Effects on First Year Students
70
% Often/Very
Often
Non-Participants
60
50
37.6
40
30
26.4
35
24.5
20
10
0
1
2
LLC participants
Residential
College Students
1 Talked about
career plans with
61.1
faculty
53.5
2 Discussed ideas
from class with
faculty
3 Worked with
faculty members
30.1
on activities other
than coursework
17.3
(from faculty
committees, etc.)
4 Received
Frequent Feedback
from faculty
3
4
Source: Calculations from Bucknell University Sample, 2008 National Survey on Student Engagement
All differences are statistically signficantly different from zero.
LLC Pedagogy Effects, Full Sample
(Seniors & First Years Combined)
Non-Participants
87.2
81.8
Fraction of Subsample responding Often/Very Often
90
80
70
76.1
70.5
60
70.5
64.9
69
66.5
58.5
53.2
62.5
56
50
40
30
20
10
0
1
2
3
4
1 Ask Questions in
Class
2 Made Class
Presentations
3 Paper integrated
various Sources
65.6 4 Used Diverse
Perspectives for
Class
55.7
5 Use Electronic
Medium to do an
assignment
6 Learned
something that
changed the way
you understand an
issue or concept
7 Discussed ideas
from your readings
or classes with
others outside of
class
Residential
College Students
LLC Participants
5
6
Source: Author’s analysis of 2008 NSSE. All displayed differneces statstically significant, 5% level
7
Summary of Results
 LLC Participants Are Different Coming Into Bucknell
 Program is providing a valuable service to students with more
investment in their academic careers
 Program is serving many of the institutions goals regarding many
types of diversity
 Program could be marketed as one of key to change type of student
attracted overall
 LLC Has an Independent, Positive Effect on Engagement
Beyond the “Self-Selection” Issue
 Program effects are manifested in a myriad of measures
 Program effects remain positive, significant both statistically and in
relative importance even after controlling for
 Other student characteristics (major, gender, Greek affiliation etc..)
 Incoming engagement/achievement measures
Issues in the External Review
2010
 Program is already successful
 Increased student
engagement
 More diverse student
population
 Improved learning and
teaching climate
 Suggested changes need to
be carefully implemented
 Structure of program
 Name of program
 Application method for
students
 more thematic flexibility
 Institutional support and
visibility
Living/Learning Communities and Diversity
at Bucknell--the Look Ahead
 Living/Learning
Communities offer an
engaging and safe
environment for
students from racially,
socially, and
economically diverse
background which
allows them an easier
assimilation in the
academic and
residential life at
Bucknell.
 Initiatives for furthering the diversity
issues:
 Fiver/Bucknell program
the program not only introduces ‘firstgeneration college students and
students from the underprivileged
economic background to the college
level courses but also exposes their
Bucknell peers to the diverse, multicultural environment of the inner city
life.
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