Department of Educational Administration


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Atnip, Brandi R.K. (2015). Assessing the Relationship Between Student and Faculty Perceptions of Student Engagement at Central Mountain College.(PhD Dissertation, University of Nebraska).


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College of the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Educational Studies (Educational Leadership in Higher Education), Under the Supervision of Professor Jody Isernhagen. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2015

Copyright (c) 2015 Brandi R. K. Atnip


This study compared the perceptions of students versus faculty at Central Mountain College with regard to the issue of student engagement. Central Mountain College participated in the Community College Survey of Student Engagement and the Community College Faculty Survey of Student Engagement during the spring semesters of 2009, 2011, and 2013. The institution was provided with aggregate results from these survey administrations by the Center for Community College Student Engagement. Prior to this study, the survey results had not been accumulatively evaluated by the institution.

The study aimed to determine areas where there was congruence and incongruence between the students and the faculty so as to be able to target problem areas for improvement and to reinforce successful practices. A descriptive analysis of the survey results was conducted utilizing a framework known as the Crosswalk Tool which was produced by the Center for Community College Student Engagement. A report of institutional activities that coincided with the timing of the survey administration, and which could have had impacts on student and faculty perceptions was also prepared.

The study found little variation within student and faculty perceptions of student engagement during the three survey administrations. Despite significant physical changes to campus, and organizational changes to the institution, there appeared to be minimal impact to the two groups’ perceptions of what was taking place in the classroom. Areas of disagreement centered on student effort and involvement in their learning. These differences in perspectives highlight the need for more open communication between faculty and students, and expectations that are made clearer and more attainable to students. The study also suggested that more collaboration and congruence between the expectations of the K-12 system and higher education institutions would ease the transition to college and perhaps improve student engagement. Faculty may need to complete additional training in the area of classroom management and student success initiatives to enhance the level of engagement in their classrooms.

Advisor: Jody Isernhagen