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Abstract
Graduate learning communities have the potential to assist graduate students in integrating both academically and socially into their graduate programs through curricular and extracurricular activities. At Texas A&M University, a graduate learning community was created in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to help diverse graduate students integrate into their graduate program. This study sought to describe experiences of this first-year graduate learning community in a college of agriculture focused on retention of graduate students, successful integration into graduate school and leadership and research skills. Interviews were conducted with eight graduate students who completed one year of a graduate learning community to gain an understanding of what students gained from their experience. Graduate students described the learning community through two themes: most meaningful experiences and least meaningful experiences. Regarding suggestions for enhancement for future students, themes of structure/content and social interaction were found. Students reported social interactions were one of the most meaningful components of the learning community, but more social interaction was a recommendation for future learning communities.

 

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