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2009 - Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference Pages: 21 pages || Words: 6467 words || 
1. Smith, Robbin. "Civic Engagement and Community College Students: The Relevance of Learning Communities and Service Participation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, Apr 02, 2009 Online <PDF>. 2020-02-22 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The author’s research included devising a model to cultivate civic engagement in a population of community college students. For the research study, a control group of students in two introductory American history and American government courses were compared to another group of students in those same courses who had formed a learning community that involved enrollment in a one-credit U.S. elections course with a service participation requirement. The elections course examined the history of U.S. elections, including the role of a variety of actors and forces in elections, theories of voter behavior, and reviewing the power of state and local governments in the election process. Finally, as part of their one credit load, they were required to volunteer in polling stations on Election Day and attend a poll worker training workshop. The results on pre and post-tests for the students in the learning community were then compared to the results of students enrolled in those same introductory courses but who were not part of the learning community. The research showed marked changes in the levels of civic engagement across a variety of criteria for the learning community students as compared to the nonparticipating students.

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