Degree Granting Department
Adult, Career and Higher Education
Donald A. Dellow
Academic majors, CSXQ, Holland's Theory, Retention, University
Faculty are the academic heart of colleges and universities. They guide learning and facilitate student academic and social integration in the campus community. As described by Tinto, student integration is an important component to success in college. Out-of-class and in-class faculty-student interaction supports student integration and may lead to improved college completion. Students enter college with expectations for what they are about to experience, including expectations for faculty interaction. Smart adapted Holland's vocational choice theory to study college disciplines and found that faculty in six broad categories of disciplines displayed specific environmental and personality traits and interacted differently with students.
The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine relationships between first-time-in-college (FTIC), prior-to-matriculation student expectations of faculty-student interaction and two dependent variables: four-year degree completion and FTIC, prior-to-matriculation student's major, as categorized in one of Holland's categories. High school GPA, ethnicity, and gender were controlled in the study.
The sample consisted of 3,144 FTIC, prior-to-matriculation students enrolled at the University of South Florida, a large, metropolitan public university in the South during the summer or fall of 2008. Students completed the College Student Expectations Questionnaire (CSXQ) as part of a mandatory university orientation program. Seven items on the CSXQ's "Experiences with Faculty" section were summed and used to assess a FTIC, prior-to-matriculation student's level of expected faculty-student interaction. Students' prior-to-matriculation majors were assigned to one of seven Holland major categories --investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, realistic, conventional, and not in Holland. However, only five categories; investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and not in Holland were used because no FTIC, prior-to-matriculation student majors were assigned to the realistic and conventional Holland categories.
A binary logistic regression was used to investigate the potential relationship between (FTIC), prior-to-matriculation student expectations of faculty-student interaction score and four-year degree completion. A statistically significant relationship (p<.05) was not observed between a FTIC, prior-to-matriculation student's expectation level for faculty-student interaction score and four-year degree completion. A statistically significant relationship (p<.05) was observed between the independent variables of high school GPA and gender and the dependent variable of four-year college completion. A one-point increase in the student's high school GPA showed an increase of the odds of four-year graduation by a factor of 2.96. The study also found the odds of a female graduating in four years is increased by about 1.3 times over a male four-year graduation.
A multinomial logistic regressions were used to evaluate the relationship between (FTIC), prior-to-matriculation student expectations of faculty-student interaction score and Holland's categories. A statistically significant relationship (<.05) was found between a FTIC student's expectation level for faculty-student interaction and a student's FTIC Holland classification. As the level of the faculty-student expectation score increased by one point, the odds of being a member of the investigative category over the artistic, social, or enterprising category increased by 1.05 times, 1.03 times, or 1.04 times, respectively. The results must be interpreted with caution, given the small effect sizes, as exhibited by a Cox and Snell's value of .005 and a Nagelkerke value of .006.
Scholar Commons Citation
Story, Craig N., "The Relationship of Undergraduate First-Time-in-College Students' Expectations of Interactions with Faculty and Four-Year College Degree Completion" (2013). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.