The Role of Service-Learning on the Retention of First-Year Students to Second Year

September 3, 2015

Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning Spring 2010, pp.38-49

The Role of Service-Learning on the Retention of First-Year Students to Second Year

Robert G. Bringle and Julie A. Hatcher, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Richard N. Muthiah, George Fox College
Retention of college students is a priority of all colleges and universities. This research investigated whether or not student enrollment in a service-learning course in the fall semester of college was related to (a) intentions to stay on that campus, based on self-reports at the end of the semester, and (b) reenrollment the following fall on that campus, based on reports from campus registrars the following fall.

Enrollment in a service-learning course was related to intentions to continue at the same campus and
this relationship was mediated by the higher quality of service-learning courses (vs. non-service-learning courses). This relationship between service-learning and intentions to re-enroll at the same campus held even when pre-course intentions were covaried out. Re-enrollment at the same campus the following year was found to be related to enrollment in a service-learning course. This relationship was mediated by the higher quality of the service-learning courses (vs. non-service-learning courses) and greater intention to continue education at the campus, but these relationships did not persist after controlling for pre-course intentions.

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