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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

Investigating a First-Year Seminar as an Anchor Course in Learning Communities

Author(s): Friedman, D. B., & Alexander, J. S.

Citation: Friedman, D. B., & Alexander, J. S. (2007). Investigating a First-Year Seminar as an Anchor Course in Learning Communities. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 19(1), 63-74.



First-year seminars have increasingly been used as anchor courses in learning communities. This study investigated the impact participation in Freshman Seminar had on the grade earned in a linked learning community course in fall 2004. Grades in the linked course for 1,294 first-year students who were enrolled in 37 different learning communities where Freshman Seminar served as the anchor course were analyzed. Students enrolled in a linked section of Freshman Seminar earned higher grades in the learning community course than both students enrolled in a non-linked version of Freshman Seminar and students not enrolled in Freshman Seminar. In addition, first-year students enrolled in a Freshman Seminar that was not linked to the learning community class outperformed first-year students who did not enroll in Freshman Seminar.


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