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ERIC Number: ED548278
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 238
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2673-8527-7
Private Liberal Arts College Professors' Deepened Engagements with Students beyond the Classroom: An Exploratory Study
Pereira, Kimberley Boulanger
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
This study uses semi-structured interviews to examine how 33 professors, working at two private liberal arts colleges and identified by their local faculty colleagues as professors who deeply engage with students beyond the classroom, experience such engagements and incorporate them into their work lives. The study defines "deepened engagements" between professors and students as sustained relationships that are substantial and involve a heightened level of commitment. The extant literature on student-faculty engagement focuses primarily on how students experience and benefit from such engagements. In contrast, this study explores student-faculty engagements from the perspective of the professors. The study findings reveal how some professors craft their work lives to cultivate and, at times, limit their deepened engagements with students beyond the classroom. For example, professors' accessibility to students appears to be crucial for developing such engagements. Yet, accessibility is a complex concept that includes professors' creating spaces and time for student-faculty engagements and, when needed, limiting their accessibility to students. Further, professors who engage deeply with students beyond the classroom do so by focusing on students' intellectual and personal development, and these professors may place limits on engagements that they feel are not mutually satisfying. This research also examines the contexts within which professors' deepened engagements with students occur. Study data indicate that despite professors' perceptions that certain features of campus life may discourage such engagements, some professors are willing to incorporate them into their work lives. Further, though they see these engagements as part of their faculty work, professors also portray these deepened engagements as a personal undertaking in terms of the reasons that they give for why they do this work and how they learn to engage with students in meaningful ways. This research proposes that professors who do deeply engage with students are purposeful in how they structure their work lives to cultivate such engagements. The study concludes with several practices that professors can enact in their work lives to foster deepened engagements with students, recommendations for academic administrators who support student-faculty engagements at their college or university, and suggestions for future research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A