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Multicultural Learning Communities: Vehicles for Developing Self-Authorship in First-Generation College Students

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This longitudinal study of first-generation (FG), low-income students considers the impact of their participation in a Multicultural Learning Community (MLC) designed to challenge the isolation and marginalization such students experience at a large Midwestern research university. The study explores the extent to which learning community design, coupled with multicultural curriculum and critical pedagogy, creates avenues for self-authorship for historically marginalized students in a TRIO program. Twenty-four FG students were interviewed 3 to 4 years after participation in the MLC, and results were analyzed through the framework of self-authorship. Findings focus on the dimensions of interpersonal and cognitive development, demonstrating that curricular spaces can facilitate the interplay of these two dimensions to build social and academic integration for FG students.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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