THE ASSOCIATION OF CRITICAL THINKING AND PARTICIPATION IN LIVING AND LEARNING PROGRAMS: RESIDENTIAL HONORS COMPARED TO CIVIC/SOCIAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS AND NON-PARTICIPATION IN LIVING AND LEARNING PROGRAMS
Kohl, James Lucas
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This study explores the association of students' self-perceived critical thinking ability with participation in Residential Honors living-learning programs versus Civic/Social Leadership living-learning programs and non-participation in living-learning programs. The study analyzes data from the 2004 National Study of Living-Learning Programs survey using Multiple Linear Regression. The sample consists of 637 First-Year students from 8 institutions of higher education from across the United States. Findings reveal that self-perceived critical thinking ability is more related to participating in Residential Honors programs than to living in the residence halls and that living-learning program participation serves as an important conduit for college experiences associated with critical thinking ability such as peer interaction, faculty interaction and residence hall climate. The results also show that less than 1% of the variance in self-perceived critical thinking for is attributable to institutional characteristics supporting the finding of Pascarella and Terenzini (2005) that between-college influences have less of an effect on student developmental outcomes during college than within-college influences. Based on the results, possible explanations for different relationships of self-perceived critical thinking ability among living-learning programs are posed, implications for practice are identified, and suggestions for future research are made.