The Effects of Student–Faculty Interaction on Academic Self-Concept: Does Academic Major Matter?

Abstract

Using cross-classified multilevel modeling, this study attempted to improve our understanding of the group-level conditional effects of student–faculty interaction by examining the function of academic majors in explaining the effects of student–faculty interaction on students’ academic self-concept. The study utilized data on 11,202 undergraduate students who completed both the 2003 Freshman Survey and the 2007 College Senior Survey at 95 baccalaureate institutions nationwide. The results show that the strength of the relationship between having been a guest in a professor’s home and students’ academic self-concept varies by academic major. Findings also suggest that some aspects of departmental climate, such as a racially more diverse student body and greater faculty accessibility, can possibly magnify the beneficial effects of student–faculty interaction. The study discusses the theoretical and practical implications of the findings.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Because schools vary in how they administer the TFS and CSS, and do not report on their target population, it is not possible to calculate a formal “response rate” to either survey. Further, the CSS includes only a subset of institutions that participated in the TFS, and may include institutions that did not participate in the TFS; thus, the matched samples of TFS 2003 and CSS 2007 students was created from the subset of institutions that chose to participate in both surveys.

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Appendix

See Appendix Tables 5 and 6.

Table 5 Academic majors of CIRP data classified by Holland’s academic environments
Table 6 Coding schemes and descriptive statistics of variables

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Kim, Y.K., Sax, L.J. The Effects of Student–Faculty Interaction on Academic Self-Concept: Does Academic Major Matter?. Res High Educ 55, 780–809 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-014-9335-x

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Keywords

  • Student–faculty interaction
  • Academic self-concept
  • Academic majors
  • Conditional effects
  • Multilevel modeling