Statistics on the numbers of 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 relationships between gender and work and between class standing and work.
In examining the relationship between hours worked and the ten experiences with faculty, 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. The researcher suspects this may be true because students may be more inclined to gather together with peers outside of class for study groups, lab projects, and group assignments that may involve the participation of faculty outside of class. These types of activities are usually associated with class requirements and students, regardless of their work schedules, must make time for them as they influence their grades in the course.
In examining the relationship between gender and hours worked, the research revealed no significant relationship existed for any of the work groups which included: no work, 1-20 hours per week, and over 20 hours per week. Further examination of the relationship between class standing and hours worked showed a greater proportion of seniors worked compared to juniors.
These findings resulted in several recommendations for future research which include studying the relationship between student engagement and other variables such as: the nature of the students' work; time constraints i.e.; intercollegiate athletics or performing arts; and the students' academic major. Examining these may yield insights into the relationship work may have with other aspects of student engagement.
|Advisor:||Miller, Thomas E.|
|School:||University of South Florida|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/11, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Engagement, Off-campus work, Student employment, Student-faculty interaction|
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