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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Different Patterns of Student-Faculty Interaction In Research Universities: An Analysis by Student Gender, Race, SES, and First-Generation Status

  • Author(s): Young K. Kim
  • Sax, Linda
  • et al.

This study examined the conditional effects of student-faculty interaction in a large research university system, based on various student characteristics including gender, race, and socio-economic and first-generation status. The study utilized data from the 2006 University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES), a longitudinal survey of UC undergraduate students based at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at UC Berkeley. Cross-tabulations with Chi-square statistics and blocked separate regression analyses were employed as analytical methods. The study found that the impact of student-faculty interactions on student outcomes vary by student gender and race whereas it does not by student socio-economic or first-generation status. The positive relationship between research experiences and GPA, for example, is significantly stronger for African American students relative to other students. These and other conditional effects suggest avenues for future research for better understanding whether the nature of the faculty-student interaction differs in certain ways by race or gender, thus producing dissimilar outcomes for different groups.

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