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Looking Across High-Impact Practices: First-Year Student Democratic Awareness and Democratic Participation

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Creating educated and informed citizens for our diverse democracy has long been one of the objectives of the U.S. educational system. Traditionally, service-learning has been the primary tool for colleges and universities to promote civic outcomes; however, other practices, particularly those requiring substantial student investments of time and energy, also hold the potential to improve civic outcomes. Using data from nearly 13,000 first-year students who responded to the National Survey of Student Engagement's Civic Engagement module, we found that service-learning, learning communities, and research with faculty were positively and significantly correlated to two measures of democratic engagement. The results have important implications for how postsecondary institutions promote civic outcomes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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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