Community service learning perceptions of selected students attending a university in the southeast region of the United States
The general purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relationship among the perceptions of university students regarding community service learning and the independent variables of residential environment, student academic classification, age, race, gender, and family status. One of the by-products of this study was to develop a profile of those students who support and routinely participate in community service projects. Subsequently, a profile of those students who do not routinely participate in community service learning activities was hoped to be developed. This study examined the perceptions of 541 students at one university in the Southeast region of the United States. Data responses reflect that the vast majority of the student participants were either in agreement or strong agreement with most of the perception statements. Therefore, the researcher concludes that the majority of the participants at the host institution are supportive of campus community service efforts. Multiple regression analysis techniques were employed to test two hypotheses. The results did not find significance with the hypothesis using the variable of residential environment. However, a significant relationship was found with the hypothesis which included the independent variables of student academic classification, age, race, gender, and family status. Further analysis revealed that the gender variable was the only variable to achieve statistical significance. Data from this study revealed that female students were inclined to support community service initiatives in greater numbers than their male counterparts. The study revealed little in the way of statistical significance. Therefore, the author concludes that not enough information exists to develop an accurate profile of those students who routinely engage in community service projects. Additionally, a profile of those students who do not routinely participate in community service can also not be developed. However, the study provides data from 541 student participants. Therefore, the author believes the data results will be of benefit to the host institution, as well as to future research endeavors. The raw data obtained from this study demonstrate strong student interest in community service issues. This information can serve as a resource for student, faculty and staff community service initiatives, as well as provide insight into the community service thought patterns of students attending the host institution.