Publication Date

May 2011



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The benefits and challenges for college students involved in social fraternities and sororities have long been sources of heated discussion among higher education constituents. A liberal education is meant to incorporate elements of critical thinking, diverse experiences, and challenging and enriching interactions with peers and educators. Past research indicates that involvement in a fraternity or sorority has had some positive effect in these areas, especially as students persist at their chosen institutions. This study uses data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to explore indicators of student learning among senior members of social fraternities and sororities. Regression analyses controlling for conditional variables indicated that students in these groups report higher involvement in critical developmental practices and larger gains in important educational areas than their unaffiliated counterparts. Limitations and implications of the study are discussed.