Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version


Document Type



Black, J. D. (2013). Student perceptions of first-year experience: A comparison of participants and non-participants in a learning community program and their first-year experiences (Master’s thesis). University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, NE


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor James V. Griesen. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Jordan D. Black


The purpose of this mixed-methods study is to better understand first-year experiences from a student perspective, while comparing two different student groups: learning community participants and non-learning community participants. First-year experiences studied were defined through intentional conversations with administrators and students to better understand what experiences were believed to be common at the institution studied. An online survey was then administered to determine the perceived value of experiences, followed by interviews with selected participants to better understand their perspectives. The results demonstrated that although there were differences between the perceptions of experiences between the two samples, the reasoning behind the perceptions was similar and provided for a brief understanding of the student experience at the institution studied.

Adviser: James V. Griesen