Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ed.D.

Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career, and Higher Education

Major Professor

Thomas E. Miller, Ed.D.

Keywords

Engagement, Persistence, Student employment, Student-faculty interaction, Student success

Abstract

Statistics on college students working have shown an increase as students cope with rising costs of education, decreasing financial aid, greater personal financial commitments, and the expectation that students should contribute to the cost of their own education. These facts combined with the students' need to secure employment upon graduation contribute to why they must work while attending college Whereas working may provide a means to address students' financial and employment concerns, it also limits the amount of time students have to interact with faculty outside of class. This form of student engagement enables students to become more comfortable with their academic environment and enhances their sense of belonging which contributes to their persistence.

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the number of hours students worked off-campus and the frequency of their experiences with faculty as measured by the College Student Experiences Questionnaire 4th edition. Examples of students' interactions with faculty included actions such as talking with your instructor about your course grades and assignments; discussing career plans; socializing outside of class; asking for comments on academic performance; and working with a faculty member on a research project. The study also examined the relationship between work and gender and between work and class standing. v In examining the relationship between hours worked and the ten experiences with faculty, the research revealed those who worked 1-20 hours weekly participated in significantly more discussions outside of class with other students and faculty than students who did not work.

Further, the researcher found a greater proportion of seniors worked compared to juniors but found no significant relationship between hours worked and gender. These findings resulted in several recommendations for future research which include studying the relationship between student engagement and variables such as: the nature of the students' work; students' time constraints and the students' academic major. Examining these may yield insights into the relationship work may have with other aspects of student engagement.

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