A LEARNING COMMUNITY PROJECT: COMPARATIVE INTERVENTIONS ON WRITING APPREHENSION AND LOCUS OF CONTROL OF DEVELOPMENTAL STUDENTS AT A TWO-YEAR COLLEGE
Komives, Susan R.
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The education of under-prepared college students is a topic that interested and motivated this researcher to conduct a study on learning communities and measuring change in writing apprehension and locus of control of developmental students at a community college. Higher education is generally viewed as a place for the intellectually elite. However, more institutions are finding that students are enrolling at post-secondary institutions lacking proficiency in basic skills such as mathematics, reading, and writing. This study focused on the developmental studies area of writing. A limited, but growing, number of institutions are pursuing differing ways of addressing the educational needs of students at risk of possible failure. Astin's (1984, 1999) foundational research states that locus of control is a factor of consideration to facilitate academic success for college students who are coming to some resolve about whether they have influence over, or if their effort in college is directly correlated with, successful outcomes; that is, students' beliefs about control being external or by chance opposed to internal based on effort or involvement. Pajares' (2003) research which is grounded in Bandura's work (1986) found that students' beliefs about their writing have an influence on academic outcomes. The purpose of this study was to contribute to the sparse body of knowledge in developmental education and the success of developmental writing students. The goal was to increase the knowledge base about developmental writing students at a two-year college and their engagement in a learning community.