Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 11-27-2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Floralba Arbelo Marrero, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Michael Butcher, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Robert Voelkel, Ed.D.


retention, learning community, social integration, minority freshmen students


This dissertation examined whether student social integration through participation in a learning community is associated with the retention of freshman minority students from the first semester to the second semester of their first year in college. A web-based Qualtrics survey questionnaire was administered through social media to the target population of freshmen aged at least 18 years old in learning communities across the United States. A correlational quantitative research design was utilized to address the research questions. The study examined whether retention between freshmen first and second semester relates to their social experiences in a learning community. In addition, this study looked to see if these factors which were (a) gender, (b) age, (c) high-school GPA or (d) end-of-first-semester GPA, had any effect on the retention of minority freshman students between the first and second semester of college. Data was entered and analyzed using IBM Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) version 25 (2017) software and the Minitab Express (2017) software. Analysis of the data demonstrated that there was no correlation between social integration in a learning community and retention for the Hispanic, Other Minority, and Caucasian group of participants. However, the African American or Black category showed retention as constant between the first and second semester of college. The variables of (a) gender, (b) age, (c) high-school GPA or (d) end-of-first-semester GPA, had no effect on the retention.