Exploring Predictors of Faculty-Student Interaction for Community College Students

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Title: Exploring Predictors of Faculty-Student Interaction for Community College Students
Author: Wirt, Lesley Grieco
Advisors: Audrey Jaeger, Ph.D., Committee Chair
Abstract: One fundamental aspect of engagement in higher education is faculty-student interaction. Faculty-student interaction has been associated with student success and persistence in both four- and two-year higher education institutions. Due to a lack of research concerning community college students, understanding student engagement in higher education is based on White, traditional-age students who attend four-year institutions. However, community colleges enroll almost half of US undergraduates. Community college students’ primary involvement or interaction typically occurs inside the classroom due to their part-time status, employment responsibilities, lack of involvement in student activities, and attendance at non-residential campuses. Increasing faculty-student interaction does seem to be a possible approach to assist students in their educational endeavors while enrolled at community colleges. Only a limited number of researchers have examined faculty-student interaction in a community college setting. The purpose of this study was to explore the variables that predict faculty-student interaction of community college students. This research project was guided by two theories that examine student engagement and faculty-student interaction: Astin’s (1985) student involvement theory and Pace’s (1979) student development and college impress model. Descriptive and inferential statistics examined the data and answered three research questions. Of the 15 independent variables, multiple regression revealed that five (age, grants/scholarships, GPA, orientation program/course, and learning community) were significant predictors of faculty-student interaction for full-time community college students and four (first-generation status, GPA, orientation program/course, and learning community) were significant predictors of faculty-student interaction for part-time community college students. Both models had three of the same significant independent variables (GPA, orientation program/course, and learning community). Participation in a learning community was the strongest predictor and had the largest uniqueness index for both full- and part-time community college students. Implications and recommendations for future research are included.
Date: 2010-04-28
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Higher Education Administration
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/6228


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