Interactions among College and University Faculty and Students Involved in Academic Student Organizations: An Analysis of Qualitative and Quantitative Engagement
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The purpose of this study was to describe what kind of student-faculty interactions are occurring in the context of academic student organizations as well as identify the quality and quantity of such interactions and what factors are involved with meaningful interactions. The study also determined how these interactions might differ from those occurring in other college activities and how the factors of classification, organizational status, and institutional size relate to quality and quantity of interactions in both contexts. An instrument was developed for the study using all student-faculty interactions identified by previous researchers. A total of 104 undergraduate students from four different institutions responded to the instrument. All were members of an academic student organization. Results indicated that almost all of the students had faculty advisors for their organizations. In addition, 99 percent of participants had at least one interaction with faculty since they started college. Another 81 percent had at least one interaction with faculty within their academic student organization, and 96 percent had at least one interaction with faculty within their other college activities. Over three-quarters (78 percent) said they had interactions with faculty in both their academic student organization and other college activities. Interactions were found to occur but were infrequent overall and did not differ significantly between academic student organizations and other college activities. However, there was a trend for participants to have a higher quantity of interactions within their organizations than through other activities. Most of the interactions reported by participants lasted longer than 10 minutes, which was the standard by which some researchers measured quality. For institutional size, a pattern of responses indicated that participants from small institutions may have a higher quality and quantity of interactions with faculty than their peers from large institutions. Whether or not a student served as a member or a leader in their academic student organization did appear to impact the interactions they had with faculty. Leaders reported more interactions with faculty in their organizational context than did members.
Holzweiss, Peggy Carol (2010). Interactions among College and University Faculty and Students Involved in Academic Student Organizations: An Analysis of Qualitative and Quantitative Engagement. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from