06 Feb 2019
by Matthew K. Vetter, Laurie A. Schreiner, Eric J. McIntosh, John P. Dugan

Leveraging The Quantity and Quality of Co-Curricular Involvement Experiences to Promote Student Thriving - JCAPS Vol. 1 Issue 1

Despite decades of research on student involvement, few studies have examined how co-curricular experiences promote holistic student success outcomes. Fewer still have differentiated the characteristics of co-curricular involvement to determine practices most likely to predict student success. This study investigates the relationship between the quantity and quality of student co-curricular involvement within a structural model of college student thriving. Evidence from undergraduate participants (n = 2,973) at 13 colleges and universities indicates the quality of involvement directly predicts thriving, and quantity of involvement indirectly predicts thriving. Nearly 64% of the variation in thriving was explained by the full model. Findings suggest students would benefit from investing deeply in one or two meaningful co-curricular experiences. Student activities professionals should seek to identify visible pathways for co-curricular engagement on campus that foster student leadership, community building, and individual meaning-making.