The Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges (the RP Group) has awarded Samia Yaqub, Butte College Dean of Language Arts and Humanities, its 2011Award for Dissertation/Thesis Excellence.
Dr. Yaqub earned the award for her dissertation titled, "Latina Student Perceptions of Learning Communities." In her dissertation, she explored whether a well-structured learning community experience provides Latina students with the type of learning environment that fits their academic and social needs. She also identified those experiences in learning community courses that had the greatest impact on their learning.
“I’m honored to receive this award from the RP Group,” said Yaqub. “It is especially rewarding to have research that focuses on student voices and experiences recognized by such a well-respected organization. It’s important to hear what students have to say about their education.”
The study found that the social interactions that were built into learning communities, particularly collaborative learning and opportunities to make meaningful connections between their course content and their lives, resulted in Latina students becoming more engaged than they did in non-learning community classes.
“In addition to receiving the award, Dr Yaqub presented on her study at the RP Conference, disseminated its findings through our statewide newsletter, Perspectives, and her work has been featured on our website as a resource of particular use to other colleges,” said Kathy Booth, Research and Planning Group Executive Director. “Studies such as this one offer important insights, particularly as colleges and districts strive to understand how to foster more equitable outcomes. Dr. Yaqub has built an environment where critical investigations of student success are carried out.”
Yaqub has served as an administrator at Butte College since 2001. Prior to that, she taught ESL, reading, and writing at Butte. She received her doctorate in Education with an emphasis on Community College Leadership from Oregon State University. She also holds a master’s degree in English from CSU, Chico and a bachelor’s degree in English from UC Davis.