The Impact of Student Faculty Interaction and Intergroup Contact on Cognitive and Sociocultural Gains in College Seniors as Measured by the College Student Experiences Questionnaire
MacDonald, Michael Christopher
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The rising costs of attending college have students, families, and other stakeholders calling for evidence of gains that result from earning a degree (Burrows, 1999; Jongbloed, Enders and Salerno, 2008; Julian, 2012). They expect that graduates to achieve cognitive gains in communication, critical thinking, and the ability to work independently and in teams (SHEEO, 2005). Additionally, the global marketplace has created the need for graduates to achieve sociocultural gains; they need to understand different cultures and successfully interact with diverse peoples (Gurin, 1999; Leville, 2006). Research has shown that different experiences influence cognitive and sociocultural gains including student faculty interaction (SFI) and intergroup contact (IGC) (Cole, 2007; Kuh and Hu, 2001; Thompson, 2001; Umbach and Porter, 2002). However, cognitive and sociocultural gains have typically been explored independently. Moreover, researchers have not examined the demographic factors that, combined with SFI and IGC, promote such gains. The purpose of this study was to determine if SFI, IGC, and demographic factors (gender, race or academic major) explain variance in cognitive and sociocultural gains among college seniors. The sample included seniors who completed the College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ) Fourth edition. The results of the hierarchical linear regression revealed that SFI and IGC have a significant influence on both cognitive and sociocultural gains. However, the impact of these predictors is not experienced by every student uniformly; a student's sex, race and academic major matters.
- Doctoral Dissertations