A.W.E.S.O.M.E. community programming in freshman residence halls: education through engagement.
Tierney, Frank William
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Does residential programming produce important learning gains for college freshman beyond what they learn in the classroom? How do freshman residents in a small, regional comprehensive college feel about these programs? These questions, among others, were the focus of the present study. A group of 10 Resident Assistants in conjunction with the investigator developed 10 program units under the title of AWESOME, an acronym for Artistic, Wellness, Emotional, Spiritual, Occupational, Multicultural, and Educational; a community residential programming curriculum for college freshmen. Resident volunteers were exposed to 10 specific program topics and activities and were pre-and post-tested on their understanding of important program content. In addition, residents independently and anonymously completed consumer satisfaction surveys following their participation in program activities. Findings indicated that the AWESOME program produced consistent and numerous improvements in residents’ understanding of program content across all 10 topics. Additional information indicated that residents rated program goals, activities, and outcomes quite favorably. In spite of these positive effects, however, outcomes were limited by rather low attendance (11%) rates across programming sessions. Implications for future research and practices are offered.
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