Given the increasing emphasis on public engagement on many college campuses, it is important to assess the extent to which engagement opportunities provide meaningful and valuable experiences for college students. While there is growing evidence to support the notion that public engagement opportunities (e.g. service-learning, volunteerism) contributes to student academic success, Eyler, Giles, and Gray (1999) caution that there is no consensus on the impact of engagement experiences and academic achievement indicators, such as grade point average. Given the apparent lack of agreement in the research, this study attempts to identify if there is a relationship between participation in community based learning activities and first-year achievement in college. To assess if there is an independent relationship between participating in different communitybased activities and first-year student grade point average, this study utilizes a sample of first-time, full-time freshmen students enrolled at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in Fall 2009 who participated in a unique survey of student engagement (the SERU survey) administered during Spring 2010.
Presented at the 2010 meeting of the Association for Institutional Research Upper Midwest (AIRUM), Bloomington, MN, October 27-29, 2010.
Jones-White, Daniel R.; Soria, Krista M.; Huesman, Ronald L. Jr..
Serving to Learn: Does Community Based Learning Participation Contribute to More Desirable Student Outcomes?.
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