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Implementation of Course-based Learning Communities and Living-Learning Communities along with the Development of a Simple Python Program for Measuring Retention

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

First Year Programs Division Poster Session: The Best Place to Really Talk about First-Year Education

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.907.1 - 26.907.28



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Paper Authors


Mary E. Goodwin University of South Florida

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Dr. Goodwin, who has engineering degrees in industrial and environmental engineering, is the Director of Student Services in the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida. She worked in industry for nine years and more than 20 years in higher education, focusing on engineering education.

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John Pharo Morgan III University of South Florida

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John earned his M.Ed. in 2003 and has worked as an engineering academic advisor for the past 10 years. He is currently finishing his dissertation in Curriculum and Instruction.

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Yan Wang University of South Florida

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Wang is a doctoral student in the Educational Measurement and Research program at USF. Her research interests include the application of statistical methods to the analysis of educational data, test/instrument development, and psychometrics. She received her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction at Boston College.

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Michelle King University of South Florida College of Engineering

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Michelle King has worked in higher education for 15 years. She is a user applications specialist, concentrating in university student information systems, and has been dubbed the College of Engineering’s “data guru” by her colleagues. She is currently finishing her degree in Information Technology.

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Blake A Burton University of South Florida

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Burton is a computer science major graduating in Fall 2015 with a bachelor's degree from USF.

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Implementation of Course-Based Learning Communities and Living Learning Communities along with the Development of a Simple Python Program for Measuring Retention AbstractRetention of engineering students has been a major concern for universities across the country.Those students who have trouble adjusting and making friends tend to leave at a higher rate thosestudents who have successfully integrated into college life. In addition, due to the rigor of theengineering program, students also have to learn how to study better and more often than theyhad just a few months ago when they were still in high school. Many students report that theyhad never had to study so much and found it very overwhelming and stressful.Research has clearly documented how learning teams and living learning communities helpprovide students with a ready-made social group to help them become acclimated quickly to theuniversity and reduce some of the stress that they are experience.This paper chronicles the development and implementation of starting course-based learningteams and living learning communities at a major metropolitan university in Florida along withthe development of flexible and simple python programs to measure the retention of the students.Many schools do not have robust data systems to provide retention numbers and other dataanalysis required to measure success of their programs. By developing these programs in house,in addition to providing basic overall retention numbers, it allows for an expansion of themeasurement of retention into several categories and subcategories which helps to provide amore in-depth analysis of student success programs.Initial findings over the first two years indicate that these learning communities are having asignificant impact on the retention of the students not only at the university level but also in thecollege of engineering. The software program helped to show the basic retention numbers andthen allowed for further deeper exploration of student retention by showing the retention brokenout by many different subcategories of students.

Goodwin, M. E., & Morgan, J. P., & Wang, Y., & King, M., & Burton, B. A. (2015, June), Implementation of Course-based Learning Communities and Living-Learning Communities along with the Development of a Simple Python Program for Measuring Retention Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24244

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