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ERIC Number: EJ912096
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-1195-4353
Sleepwalking through Undergrad: Using Student Engagement as an Institutional Alarm Clock
Kazmi, Auroosa
College Quarterly, v13 n1 Win 2010
The university seems a buzz of activity; there are long line ups at the student center for food, students are outside hanging out with friends, and some students are in lecture halls daydreaming about the moment their classes will end. This buzz can be deceiving. It implies that students are awake, active and alert when, in this author's opinion, they are often not. Students may be physically awake but their disengagement with the learning process, their institution, and the opportunities around them can be likened to a state of unconsciousness, of auto pilot, of sleepwalking. It is not necessarily their fault; education is marketed as a means to an end; there is little focus on the journey or the learning process to get there. Thus, it is plausible that students may be simply unaware that they are sleepwalking as they shuffle from one class to the next. Student engagement represents the time and effort students devote to activities that are empirically linked to desired outcomes of college and what institutions do to induce students to participate in these activities. To understand how student engagement can be used as an institutional alarm clock, one must first understand what student engagement is and where it comes from. This article examines the following research questions: (1) where does the term student engagement come from and what does it mean?; (2) what variables does it espouse as being critical for student success?; (3) what implications do these models have on student engagement initiatives in other words, how can student engagement be used as an institutional alarm clock?; and (4) what recurring themes exist in student engagement literature that suggest ways engagement can be increased? The scope of this article is limited to the institutional perspective of student engagement and the recurring themes around these four questions. It is not meant as an expansive look at this literature and therefore does not address the student dimension of student engagement. It is also limited to suggestions for practice and does not address surveys used to measure engagement, their validity or their results. In this article, the author examines Astin's theory of involvement, Tinto's theory of student departure, Pacarella's General Casual Model, and two alternative perspectives.
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. 1750 Finch Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M2J 2X5, Canada. Tel: 416-491-5050; Fax: 905-479-4561; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A