This study examined the relationships between undergraduate students' social class background and variables theorized to affect students' social integration in higher education, including students' perception of campus climate, frequency of faculty interactions, frequency of involvement in campus activities, and sense of belonging. Data from the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) survey, which was administered to all undergraduates enrolled at nine large, public research universities in 2011 (n = 52,740), were used in this analysis and the hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling. The results suggest that college students' social class background has direct and positive associations with students' perception of campus climate, frequency of faculty interactions, involvement in campus activities, and sense of belonging on campus--students from lower/working-class backgrounds were less likely to perceive a welcoming campus climate, interact with faculty, participate in campus activities, and feel a sense of belonging on campus. The results also suggest that college students' social class background has indirect effects on students' sense of belonging when moderated through campus involvement, campus climate, and faculty interactions.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2013. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisors:Dr. David Weerts, Dr. Jarrett Gupton. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 164 pages.
Soria, Krista Marie.
What happens outside of the college class(ed)room? examining college students' social class and social integration in higher education.
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