College Union Facilities and Their Perceived Influence on Institutional Retention

by Tierno, Scott A., D.A., FRANKLIN PIERCE UNIVERSITY, 2013, 154 pages; 3567824


The College Union is a campus facility that is part of the campus ecology. It provides a place where all can feel a sense of inclusion, safety, involvement, and community. Through a comparative research approach I will present how both students and professional staff perceive the College Union, the programs that are part of the facility, and how it impacts the retention of students. This investigation draws upon psychology, behavioral sciences and the liberal arts disciplines as they relate to learning spaces, campus ecology, and the building of community through involvement.

This study is a two phased mixed method research design with the primary data collection conducted electronically using web-based survey tools for both professional staff (N=562) with a response of 113 individuals, and 50 student respondents (N=1,971). Follow-up interviews were conducted with two participants at schools that were randomly selected from the survey participants who completed a construction or renovation project in their College Union in the past five years (N=21).

There is a synergy that became evident between Boyer's 6 Principles of Community (1990), the ACUI Core Competencies (2005), and common themes that came out of my literature review, survey results, and the interviews conducted as a follow-up to the surveys. Through the application of a grounded theory approach, this study presents the Six Principles of College Union Efficacy that support retention on college campuses. Tierno's 6 Principles of College Union Efficacy The College Union: 1. Supports the academic mission of the institution 2. Enhances communication of community values 3. Is a diverse space on campus 4. Is a Community Center 5. Is a Welcoming Place 6. Celebrates Traditions (Tierno, 2013)

AdviserRichard Abel
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEducational sociology; Educational leadership; Architecture; Higher education
Publication Number3567824

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With nearly 4 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

PQDT Global combines content from a range of the world's premier universities - from the Ivy League to the Russell Group. Of the nearly 4 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 2.5 million in full text formats. Of those, over 1.7 million are available in PDF format. More than 90,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - - or contact ProQuest Support.