What is the Quality of Community at Whittier College?

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Rebecca Overmyer-Velazquez


My research focuses on the question: “What is the Quality of Community at Whittier College?” The questions target the student population at a small liberal arts college in Southern California and focus on different commitments to and perspectives of the campus population. The importance of the question is to find out if, in general, the student population feels that the College is a communal location, since the campus has so many different sectors that make it up. The methods I used to empirically test the research question were survey and interview questions I distributed to the student body and asked interview subjects. I received 97 surveys and performed 10 interviews. During the course of my scholarly work I found that at this small liberal arts college in Southern California it exhibits more division on campus than what is portrayed in publications, to both prospective families and the media. Many students feel little sense of community from the campus. The results have shown that the school portrays a high sense of community yet students actually feel a low sense of it. The broader implications of the findings will hopefully be able to show the college that students want to feel a stronger sense of community, and make administrators and faculty realize that a strong sense of community keeps students coming to school, and keeps them happy. This project will hopefully advance the quality of a feeling of community on this college campus.


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