Date of Conferral







Patricia Brewer


Since the late 1990s, community colleges have changed strategies to enhance student success, moving from a traditional faculty-focused teaching model to a student-focused learning paradigm using O'Banion's 6 college learning principles to define and guide the learning college model. However, it is unclear how much the model is being used by community colleges or shared with stakeholders. The learning college model, supported by transformational language research on decision making and innovative thinking, provided a conceptual framework for this discourse analysis study. The purpose of this study was to discover the extent to which the language of the learning college model is present on publicly available community college webpages. The 17 website samples were drawn from colleges officially identified as elite learning colleges. Linguistic coding facilitated by applying the 27 discourse analysis questions developed by Gee to encompass O'Banion's 6 college learning principles provided evidence of student-focused learning as a goal at community colleges. Results indicated that learning college principles were presented by all 17 colleges in the study, represented on different pages of their websites. Determining transparent and accessible evidence of the learning college on community college websites provided colleges with a starting point to consider their procedures and the experiences of their students when determining which school is best for them to attend. Students at colleges with a clear learning college mission have the opportunity to collaborate in their learning experiences and to construct knowledge in ways that enhance student success and goal completion, so identifying the presence of such schools can change students' college outcomes.