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THE IMPACT OF SERVICE LEARNING ON STUDENTS IN A FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR

by STEVENS, MARGARET CARNES

Abstract (Summary)
Both service learning programs and first-year experience programs have had positive effects on a number of factors including: student retention, course satisfaction, academic performance, and engagement on and around the university campuses. This study examined what happens when the two are combined, in order to create a pedagogy of support and engagement for students in a first-year seminar. This study was a quasi-experimental, non-equivalent control group study, which relied on quantitative pre and post-test analysis of students in a first-year seminar. Students in the experimental group participated in service learning activities as part of their required course work and were compared to students in a control group who followed the same curriculum without any service learning activities. In addition, qualitative data was collected from students in the service learning courses through written course reflections and post-course interviews in order to gain a deeper insight into their experiences. While the literature suggested that the service learning students would demonstrate higher levels of engagement, retention, course satisfaction and academic performance, this was not necessarily the case. The findings showed that in most cases there were not significant differences between the service learning students and the non-service learning students in the first-year seminar. An explanation for the lack of differences between the groups and implications for practice and for further research are presented in the following pages.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:first year service learning freshman seminar community based student success

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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