University of Minnesota
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Publications

Journal of College Orientation and Transition

Creating a Successful Transition for Working-Class First-Year Students

Authors:
Soria, Krista
Abstract:
This study explored differences between working-class and middle/upper-class first-year college students enrolled at large, public research universities. Results from administering the Student Experience in the Research University survey at 11 universities in 2010 (n = 23,331) suggest that working-class first-year students reported a less welcoming campus climate, lower academic engagement, higher academic disengagement, and fewer academic interactions with classmates compared with middle/upper-class students. Recommendations for first-year transition programs and new student orientation practitioners are discussed.
Citation:
Soria, K. M. (2012). Creating a successful transition for working-class first-year students. The Journal of College Orientation and Transition, 20(1), 44-55.
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Investigating the academic and social benefits of extended new student orientations for first-year students

Authors:
Soria, Krista
Lingren Clark, Beth
Coffin Koch, Laura
Abstract:
In this study, researchers examined the benefits of college students’ participation in an extended new student orientation at a large, public research university. Framed within social identity theory, this study extends a hypothesis that extended new student orientations promote the institutional social identity of first-year students and facilitate their sense of belonging through supportive community development; consequently, the findings suggested that first-year students who participated in an extended new student orientation had a greater sense of belonging, higher academic performance (as measured through students’ fall and spring cumulative grade point averages), and higher retention to their second year. Recommendations for new student orientation practitioners, directors, and administrators are discussed.
Citation:
Soria, K. M., Lingren Clark, B., & Coffin Koch, L. (2013). Investigating the academic and social benefits of extended new student orientations for first-year students. The Journal of College Orientation and Transition, 20(2), 33-45.
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Journal of Leadership Education

Examining the intersections between undergraduates’ engagement in community service and development of socially responsible leadership

Authors:
Soria, Krista
Nobbe, June
Fink, Alex
Abstract:
This paper examined relationships between students’ engagement in community service in different contexts through classes, student organizations, work study, and on their own as well as their development of socially responsible leadership at a large, public, research university in the Upper Midwest. Results from the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership survey distributed at a single institution (n = 1,282) suggest, among other things, that students who participated in community service on their own consistently reported higher socially responsible leadership while students who participated in service both on their own and in a student organization reported higher socially responsible leadership in all areas save for consciousness of self.
Citation:
Soria, K. M., Nobbe, J., & Fink, A. (2013). Examining the intersections between undergraduates’ engagement in community service and development of socially responsible leadership. Journal of Leadership Education, 12(1), 117-140.
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Higher Education in Review

Reaching out, connecting within: Community service participation and sense of belonging among college students

Authors:
Soria, Krista
Troisi, Jordan
Stebleton, Michael
Abstract:
This study examined the relationship between students’ participation in community service and their sense of belonging on campus. Furthermore, the study explored whether the ways in which students become involved in community service yield different associations with their sense of belonging. Using the Student Experience in the Research University survey administered to students at 12 large, public research universities in 2010, it was discovered that general participation in service and becoming involved in service through student organizations, fraternities or sororities, and university departments are positively associated with students’ sense of belonging; finding service opportunities on one’s own is negatively associated with sense of belonging.
Citation:
Soria, K. M., Troisi, J. N., & Stebleton, M. J. (2012). Reaching out, connecting within: Community service and sense of belonging among college students. Higher Education in Review, 9, 65-85.
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Multicultural Learning and Teaching

Student-faculty and peer interactions among immigrant college students in the United States

Authors:
Stebleton, Michael
Soria, Krista
Aleixo, Marina
Huesman, Ronald Jr.
Abstract:
This study examined student-faculty interactions and peer interactions among immigrant college students attending 4-year research universities in the United States. Using the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) survey completed by 58,000 undergraduate students from six large, public research universities, the researchers used analysis of variance and multiple linear regression analyses to explore differences between immigrant populations. The results suggest that there are significant differences between immigrant and non-immigrant college students with regard to their sense of belonging, faculty interactions, and peer interactions. There are also differences within immigrant waves and generational status. Implications and recommendations for educators in multicultural learning and teaching contexts are outlined.
Citation:
Stebleton, M. J., Soria, K. M., Aleixo, M. B., & Huesman, R. L. (2012). Student-faculty and peer interactions among immigrant students. Multicultural Learning and Teaching, 7(2), 1-21.
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Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad

The high impact of education abroad: College students' engagement in international experiences and the development of intercultural competencies

Authors:
Stebleton, Michael
Soria, Krista
Cherney, Blythe
Abstract:
This multi-institutional study attempts to discover whether different international activities in which students participate yield different outcomes for the development of students’ global and intercultural competencies. The five international travel and study abroad measures analyzed include students’ participation in a university study abroad program; study abroad program affiliated with another college or university; travel abroad for cross-cultural experiences or informal education; travel abroad for a service learning, volunteer, or work experience; and travel abroad for recreation. The research question that guides this inquiry is as follows: controlling for other factors, is participation in these five types of international travel activities associated with different outcomes in students’ development of global and intercultural competencies?
Citation:
Stebleton, M. J., Soria, K. M., & Cherney, B. (2013). Going global: College students’ international experiences and self-perceived intercultural competencies. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 22, 1-24.
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The Learning Assistance Review

Breaking down barriers: Academic obstacles of first-generation students at research universities

Authors:
Stebleton, Michael
Soria, Krista
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived academic obstacles of first-generation students in comparison to non-first-generation students. Using the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) completed by approximately 58,000 students from six research universities, the researchers used nonparametric bootstrapping to analyze differences between first-generation and non-first-generation students’ obstacles to academic success. The results suggest that first-generation students more frequently encounter obstacles that compromise their academic success as compared to non-first-generation students, such as job responsibilities, family responsibilities, perceived weak English and math skills, inadequate study skills, and feelings of depression. Implications for learning assistance professionals are outlined.
Citation:
Stebleton, M. J., & Soria, K. M. (2012). Breaking down barriers: Academic obstacles of first-generation students at research universities. The Learning Assistance Review, 17(2), 7-19.
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Journal of College & Character

Integrating strengths-based education into a first-year experience curriculum

Authors:
Stebleton, Michael
Soria, Krista
Albecker, Anthony
Abstract:
This article describes an initiative that integrated a strengths-base curriculum into a first-year experience program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Using a positive psychology framework, students completed the StrengthsQuest and participated in activities designed to help them learn and apply their signature talent themes. A pre- and post-survey were included to assess measures related to students’ self-awareness. The results suggest that a curriculum based on strengths positively impacts students’ awareness of their strengths, a factor that, in turn, has positive implications for students’ major/career choices and future decision-making. Strategies for practice and guidelines for future research are highlighted.
Citation:
Stebleton, M. J., Soria, K. M., & Albecker, A. (2012). Integrating strengths-based education into a first-year experience curriculum. Journal of College and Character, 13(2), 1-8.
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The Learning Assistance Review

Immigrant college students' academic obstacles

Authors:
Soria, Krista
Stebleton, Michael
Abstract:
Immigrant college student populations continue to grow on college campuses across the nation; yet, little is known about the experiences of immigrant students. This paper examines differences in perceived academic obstacles between immigrant students and non-immigrant students at six large, public research universities (n = 56,000). The researchers found that immigrant students reported greater obstacles to their academic success, including weak math and English skills, inadequate study skills, poor study behaviors, poor study environments, and poor mental health. Using the framework of academic self-efficacy, the researchers offer guidelines to higher education practitioners, including faculty, advisors, learning assistance center staff, and other student affairs professionals, to decrease the effects of academic obstacles on immigrant students and enhance their academic self-efficacy.
Citation:
Soria, K. M., & Stebleton, M. J. (2013). Immigrant college students’ academic obstacles. The Learning Assistance Review, 18(1), 7-24.
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Libraries and the Academy

Library Use and Undergraduate Student Outcomes: New Evidence for Students’ Retention and Academic Success

Authors:
Soria, Krista
Fransen, Jan
Nackerud, Shane
Abstract:
Academic libraries, like other university departments, are being asked to demonstrate their value to the institution. This study discusses the impact library usage has on the retention and academic success of first-time, first year undergraduate students at a large, public research university. Usage statistics were gathered at the University of Minnesota during the Fall 2011 semester for thirteen library access points. Analysis of the data suggests first-time, first-year undergraduate students who use the library have a higher GPA for their first semester and higher retention from fall to spring than non-library users.
Citation:
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Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice

Gym Bags and Mortarboards: Is Use of Campus Recreation Facilities Related to Student Success?

Authors
Ronald L. Huesman, Jr.
Anthony K. Brown
Giljae Lee
John P. Kellogg
Peter M. Radcliffe
Abstract:
This study examined the relationship of student use of campus recreation facilities (CRFs) with retention and graduation rates at a large, public, Midwestern Carnegie doctoral-extensive university. Tinto’s interactionalist theory of student departure provided the conceptual framework. An extensive review of the literature on the relationship between academic performance and recreation facility use identified a set of critical explanatory predictors. Although anecdotal evidence and studies of student perceptions support the contention that use of CRFs promotes social integration, thereby increasing the likelihood of persistence, few studies have employed both actual CRF visit counts to quantify use and advanced statistical methods to analyze the data. The linking of visitation data to individual student records is a unique component of this preliminary study. Maximum likelihood estimated models were used to identify which factors were related to retention and graduation. Results show positive associations between CRF usage and both first-year retention and 5-year graduation. Citation:
Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice. Volume 46, Issue 1, Pages 50–71, ISSN (Online) 1949-6605, DOI: 10.2202/1949-6605.5005, March 2009
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Institutional Research Updates

Assessing University of Minnesota Student Experiences and Outcomes: A Policy Analysis Design

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University of Minnesota Applicants Admitted But Not Enrolled: Where Do They Go? 2008

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