Thriving in Residential Learning Communities

Learning Communities Research and Practice / April 2020

This research presents a multi-institutional study on the concept of thriving in Residential Learning Communities (RLCs). The study utilizes the Thriving Quotient (Schreiner, 2010c) to research how RLCs at four U.S. institutions contribute to students’ academic engagement and performance, interpersonal relationships, and psychological well-being. Additionally, this study uses an institutional mapping inventory to examine how students’ thriving correlates with various components of RLCs (Inkelas et al., 2008), such as RLC size, theme, faculty involvement, budget, and linked courses. The data were analyzed using factor analysis tools and blocked linear regression to identify associations between RLC characteristics and the thriving outcomes. Results indicate that particular groups of students (women, first generation students), faculty involvement, and financial resources correlated with higher thriving in RLCs. The article concludes with implications and directions for future research.