Learning communities are small pre-selected student groups based on a common interest with a variety of goals related to student outcomes. Previous research has shown robust effects of learning community participation on student success outcomes, but little is known about the mechanisms which may mediate these effects. The current study analyzed two years of data on a large sample of first-year and transfer students using mediated regression techniques and logistic regression to explore the mechanism by which learning communities affect self reported student behaviors. Results showed that being in a learning community leads to positive academic and social attitudes which lead to increased academic and social behaviors respectively. Results shed light on the mechanism by which learning communities affect student outcomes.
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(Author: Daniel Bonilla, Kimberly K. Buch, Cindy Wolf Johnson