Date of Award

2002

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Judith A. Anderson

Second Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Third Advisor

Edwin Hernandez

Abstract

Problem. This research examined the students’ sense of community building in a college and how such perceptions influenced academic, social, and spiritual engagement in a 4- year Christian university.

Method. The study was an exploratory study that used survey methodology. Data collection was done using a 150-question research instrument that consists of several sections designed to gather information about the demographic characteristics of the population, and to measure the following variables: sense of community, and the academic, social, and spiritual engagement. Both descriptive (mean and standard deviation) and inferential statistical techniques (one-way analysis of variance and canonical correlations) were used in this study.

Results. The study found that, in general, interactions with faculty, staff, and other students are satisfactory. Also the study found that, on the average, students spent only between 1 to 5 hours per week in preparing for academic matters. The students also view their spiritual engagement as faith affirming. Generally, students have a positive view of the university as a community. There is no significance difference in the perceptions of the sense of community building among 1st', 2nd', 3rd', and 4th- year students. There is significant positive relationships between the students’ perceptions of the sense of community and the students’ spiritual and social engagement, respectively. There is no relation between students’ perception of the sense of community in the university and the students’ academic engagement.

Conclusion. The study did substantiate the relationship between the sense of community and student social and spiritual engagement. The study did not demonstrate that the sense o f community building is different for 1st', 2nd', 3rd', and 4th-year students. The relationship between academic engagement and community building was not found in the study; therefore further research is needed to investigate this issue.

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