Campus community :students' search for an operational definition
Baker, William E.
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Most educational leaders of higher education recognize the importance of creating and sustaining a sense of community on college campuses to enhance the likelihood that students achieve their educational goals. Historical definitions of campus community often are vague in their characterizations and difficult to use to structure learning experiences. This study was concerned with creating definitions of campus community with greater specificity and utility than has been traditionally revealed through literature. Historical conceptualizations of community were reviewed and a consensually oriented process for operationally defining campus community in a particular setting was employed to arrive at a preferred definition of community. The Hutchinson methodology for defining "fuzzy concepts" was used to arrive at a preferred definition of community. Student participants from a land-grant research university living in three distinct life style arrangements were consulted in workshops designed to achieve consensus to arrive at their operational definitions. The findings from this study should be useful especially to student affairs professionals who are concerned with structuring out-of-class college environments to strengthen the learning opportunities for students.
- Doctoral Dissertations