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Student Engagement: Student and Faculty Views

Faculty Part-time students Full-time students

Active and collaborative learning

Student effort

Academic challenge

Student-faculty interaction

Support for learners

Source: 2009 CCSSE Cohort data and 2009 CCFSSE Cohort data.

CCFSSE data are based on results from all colleges in the 2009 CCFSSE Cohort. When student (CCSSE) and faculty (CCFSSE) views are presented side by side in this report, the student responses include data only from colleges that participated in the faculty survey. Also, although CCSSE results are presented in terms of benchmarks, which are created through a complex statistical analysis and expert judgment, there are no bench- marks for CCFSSE. For this report, CCFSSE results are presented in groupings of survey items that correspond to the CCSSE benchmarks.

To create this chart of student and faculty views, responses to CCSSE and CCFSSE items were rescaled to a range of zero to one. Don’t know/not applicable responses on items measuring frequency of use were not included in the computation of these scores.

Three items were excluded. A CCSSE survey item about the number of books students read on their own cannot be asked on the faculty survey. Items about the number of books read and papers assigned for classes were omitted because students report on those activities for the full yea , but faculty members report on those activities for their particular classes.

18 2009 Findings

The Connection Gap

  • e phenomenon of part-timeness stands as one of the greatest challenges community

colleges face in creating strong connections with students.

Close to two-thirds of community college students attend college part-time, and about two-thirds of community college faculty members (67%) teach part-time.* is is the reality of community colleges, and it is not likely to change.

It is well documented that part-time students are less engaged than full-time students and that they are at greater risk of leaving college without attaining their educational goals. A National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) report found that aer controlling for factors including gender, family income, and educational expectations, part-time undergraduate students were less likely than full-time students both to persist and to attain degrees. Only 15% of part-time students, compared with 64% of full-time students, had earned a degree or certicate six years aer enrolling. While 73% of part- time students le college without earning a degree, 72% of full-time students persisted (either earned a degree or were still enrolled in college).**

In addition to the dierent engagement levels for full-time and part-time students, faculty members consistently report higher levels of student engagement than students do. e dierence in perception between faculty and students likely stems, at least in part, from the dierence between personal data — what each individual personally observes about the students with whom they most oen interact — and systematically collected data, which show what typically is happening to all students.

Part- ime Isn’t Just about Students

  • e 67% of community college faculty members who teach part-time typically teach half

to two-thirds of all course sections. ey play a large role in shaping students’ experi- ences, yet in far too many colleges, they are minimally involved with students beyond the hours they are teaching.

CCSSE data consistently show that students consider academic advising more impor- tant than any other service. Moreover, data from the 2006 CCSSE special-focus items revealed that students value advising from faculty members more than advising from any other source.

Yet CCFSSE data show that about four in ten part-time faculty members (42%) spend zero hours in a typical week advising students.

*U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2005). 2004 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF: 04) Report on Faculty and Instructional Staff in Fall 2003.

**U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2007). Part-Time Undergraduates in Postsecondary Education: 2003–04. Postsecondary Education Descriptive Analysis Report (NCES 2007-165).

Making Connections: Dimensions of Student Engagement

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