Coordinated Studies Programs: Their effect on student involvement at a community college

Vincent Tinto
Pat Russo


Describes a study that used quantitative and qualitative inquiry to determine how collaborative learning relates to the achievement and persistence of first-year community college students. Examines the experiences of students enrolled in Seattle Central Community College's Coordinated Studies Program, an interdisciplinary, team-taught set of thematically linked courses


Academic Persistence, Community Colleges, Cooperative Learning, Group Dynamics, Interdisciplinary Approach, Learning Strategies, Peer Influence, School Holding Power, Student Participation, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges


This article primarily details the success of the use of a learning community called the Coordinated Studies Program (CSP) at Seattle Central Community College. These learning communities would meet several times a week from 9:30 am - 1:30 pm and include faculty from several different departments to allow students to complete coursework from different departments simultaneously. Though not directly about the use of online learning or social media, findings of both a quantitative and qualitative study “reveal it is possible to promote student involvement and achievement in settings where such involvement is not easily attained” (p. 23). The students in the CSP tended to have several obligations aside from school and might also be the type of students to benefit from online courses. Not only does collaborative learning work, but the authors suggest “it may be the only viable path to greater student involvement and retention in the community college setting” (p. 23).

APA Citation

Tinto, V. & Russo, P. (1994). Coordinated studies programs: Their effect on student involvement at a community college. Community College Review, 22, 16-25.

About the Study

Links to Article
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Community College Review
Type of Research Mixed methods
Research Design Mixed methods
Intervention/Areas of Study Collaborative, group, or team-based learning
Level of Analysis Student-level
Specific Populations Examined First-year students
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest
Specific Course or Program Characteristics Arts and humanities, Social sciences
Outcome Variables of Interest Instructional effectiveness
Student Sample Size 0-99, 100-199, 200-299
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