The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2 - 47

Empirical Comparison
of Sense of Community
Outcomes for Students
in Campus Halls
and Public-Private
Partnership Developed
Housing

CHRIS HEASLEY

KATIE BOONE

Assistant Professor, Educational
Leadership, Higher Education
Saint Joseph's University
cheasley@sju.edu

Adjunct Faculty, Educational Policy and Leadership
Cabrini University
kb3388@cabrini.edu

. . . community
development is a
targeted housing
and residence
life program
outcome, making
the potential loss
of community
a particular
concern for
student housing
professionals.

Note: This research was funded in part by the Association of College and
University Housing Officers-International and the ACUHO-I Foundation to
improve our understanding of the housing and residence life profession.

DENISE L. DAVIDSON
Associate Professor, Educational Leadership
and College Student Affairs
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
ddavidso@bloomu.edu
International RA Symposium
Karlsruhe, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany

46

CONSTRUCTION AND NEW FACILITY DECISIONS regarding
student housing remain difficult for many colleges and
universities. Challenges associated with these decisions
include rising building costs, waning government funding,
daunting facility safety codes, and compliance with evolving
accessibility legislation, among many factors. One solution,
partnering with public-private developers, has been an
ever-growing practice on college campuses over the last
15 to 20 years. With increased reliance on public-private
partnerships (P3), their impact on the sense of community
(SOC) outcomes for residential students is important to
understand in a comprehensive way. The purpose of this
study was to investigate differences in SOC outcomes of
college students based on their lived experience in campus
residences versus P3 housing. We employed a mixed
methodological approach, and quantitative findings showed
very little difference in SOC calculations for students in
campus residences and P3-developed student housing.
Qualitative findings supplemented the understanding of
quantitative results; focus group participants highlighted
consumer-mindedness, the impact of the first-year
experiences, and facility design as factors most influential to
a sense of community.

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING

Privatized housing, also known as a public-private partnership (P3),
involves a contractual relationship between a public or private university and a private housing development company. As P3 housing has
expanded, partnership terms and defining characteristics between
higher education institutions and public-private developers have also
evolved (Bayless, Wilhelm, & Wills, 2013). The P3 agreement can
take various forms (Sanseviro, 2010) and includes private management of a university building, private construction with university
management, and the private company assuming responsibility for

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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2 - Intro
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