Publication Date

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Committee Members

Dan Abrahamowicz (Committee Member), Lawrence Mrozek (Committee Member), Joanne Risacher (Committee Member), Charles W. Ryan (Committee Chair), Joseph F. Thomas (Other)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Abstract

The influence of a college students living environment has been under investigation for many years. The purpose of this study was to analyze college student living environment factors that influenced college success at a mid-west metropolitan university. To narrow the definition of college success, this researcher specifically focused on retention, academic study habits, and student satisfaction.

This researcher identified three groups of students that lived in different living environments including on-campus, a hybrid on-campus/off-campus, and an off-campus arrangement. A sample of each group was asked to participate in a telephone survey. Due to a low participation rate of subjects the small sample size made the study statistically invalid to generalize over the total student population. But the responses that were received from of the survey showed many interesting trends.

These trends indicated that students living in on-campus environments were most involved and active in college activities. The students that lived in the hybrid environment were the second most involved and active group, and the off-campus group was the least involved or active. Other trends worth noting indicated that students living off- campus worked more hours at off-campus jobs than those students that lived on-campus. Students living off-campus were found to have a slightly higher grade point average than the on-campus students but on-campus students reported higher retention rates and graduation rates from the midwest university that their off-campus counterparts.

Based on the findings of this study this researcher would make three recommendations for first year college students and higher education professionals. First, university officials need to emphasize the value of the on-campus housing option to increase student involvement in college activities. Second, universities need to develop programs for off-campus students to get them involved. Thirdly, universities need to open more on-campus employment opportunities for off-campus students. This would create opportunities for off-campus students to get more involved on campus.

In closing, this researcher recommends further studies be done to investigate the value of hybrid on-campus/ off-campus student living arrangements. There are many possible benefits that can be derived from this kind of student housing if it is utilized properly.

Page Count

112

Department or Program

Department of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations

Year Degree Awarded

2008


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