WHICH STUDENTS ARE SCARED OFF? STUDENT EXPECTATIONS AND EXPERIENCES WITH COLLEGE FACULTY
Wang, Yifan, Double Hoo Research Grant, University of Virginia
Roksa, Josipa, Department of Sociology, University of Virginia
College persistence among low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities is lower than their more advantaged peers (Schreiner et al. 2011). Scholars have long believed that academic engagement in college is central to student persistence (Tinto 1993). However, not all students engage with faculty and staff during college (Collier and Morgan 2008; Yee 2016). Previous research has focused on the influence social class more generally (Yee 2016) and parents specifically (Calarco 2014; Lareau 2011) have on student engagement, but less is known about students’ actual expectations of faculty-student relationships upon college entry and how these expectations might relate to their engagement in college. This paper asks the question: how are student expectations of faculty related to student engagement in college? A sample of thirty-five students was solicited through a non-profit college access organization in Texas. Analyses of the sample data reveal that while all students come from disadvantaged backgrounds, their expectations of faculty-student relationships vary, with some students expecting assistance from faculty, some believing faculty will be friendly, and others expecting unapproachable professors. Importantly, positive expectations of professors act as a buffer, protecting students from negative experiences with faculty and encouraging further engagement, while negative expectations confirm students’ expectations, discouraging further engagement.
BS (Bachelor of Science)
College Education, Student Engagement, Social Class, Expectation of College, Professor, Student Professor Relationship, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Students
This paper is coauthored by Denise Deutschlander (dd4cf), who received her Ph.D. degree in Sociology from University of Virginia.
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