Every student has different influences, factors, beliefs and values that brought them to or are keeping and motivating them in college. Prominent research is being conducted that has begun to further investigate these influences and factors contributing to student learning and development. Other research has shown that both first-year students and students of color have different influences and factors in regard to their college experience. Thus, through new analysis of the 2006 data from a Cornell College survey (National Survey of Student Engagement) I aimed to connect these two areas of research. The main goal of my research was to determine even if there was a relationship between first-year students’ engagement level and their race or ethnicity. I analyzed three of the five NSSE categories of engagement; Student- Faculty Interactions, Enriching Educational Experiences and Supportive Campus Environment.
Overall, my results indicated that there was a marginal significance connecting race and ethnicity to level of engagement. Yet, the data suggests that given a larger sample size and makeup there would be a stronger relationship to be noted. However, even with only marginally significant results I was still able to draw my own conclusions suggesting that student’ s ethnic and racial identity, family commitment and personal academic achievement goals served as contributing factors to student’ s level of engagement.
Samantha Golden, ’07 Madison, WI
Majors: Psychology, Human Services and Higher Education
Sponsor: Suzette Astley