Academic journal article International Journal of Education

Impact of Student Engagement on Academic Performance and Quality of Relationships of Traditional and Nontraditional Students

Academic journal article International Journal of Education

Impact of Student Engagement on Academic Performance and Quality of Relationships of Traditional and Nontraditional Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of the level of student engagement on academic performance and the quality of relationships with students, faculty, and administrative personnel of traditional and nontraditional students. This study sought to determine if there was a significant difference in academic performance of traditional and nontraditional college students based on the level of student engagement. The researcher examined data from both traditional and nontraditional students to consider the impact the level of student engagement had upon the quality of relationships with other students, faculty, and administrative personnel. Furthermore, the study sought to determine if there was a significant difference in the quality of relationships with other students, faculty, and administrative personnel between traditional and nontraditional college students. There was a significant difference between traditional and nontraditional students based on academic performance and level of student engagement. Traditional students had higher levels of student engagement; however, nontraditional students had higher levels of academic performance. Level of student engagement had a significant impact on the quality of relationships with other students, faculty, and administrative personnel for both traditional and nontraditional students. Specifically, level of student engagement had the greatest impact upon quality of relationships with faculty for both traditional and nontraditional students. Furthermore, there was a significant difference in the quality of relationships with other students, faculty, and administrative personnel. Nontraditional students had the highest quality of relationships with faculty and administrative personnel, and traditional students had the highest quality of relationships with other students.

Keywords: student engagement, traditional student, nontraditional student, academic performance, quality of relationships

1. Introduction

The study of student engagement of college students during their educational and academic career has been a strong topic trending higher education. Extensive studies and research have been conducted on student engagement and the impact it may have upon the educational experience of the student (Astin, 1999; Kuh, 2005; Kuh, Kinzie, Buckley, Bridges, & Hayek, 2007). The term and theory of student engagement is first introduced as the theory of student involvement by Alexander Astin (1984). When first introduced, Astin provides the reasoning for five main purposes and key components of the student engagement/involvement phenomena. Astin (1984) defines student engagement as "the amount of physical and psychological energy that the student devotes to the academic experience" (p. 518). This definition is used in the current study to define the theory of student engagement.

Within recent years, researchers have analyzed the impact student engagement has upon the educational and academic experience of college students, specifically academic performance. There are numerous studies that analyze the impact of student engagement upon academic performance and quality of relationships for traditional college students. However, there is very limited research that looks at the student engagement process and its impact on academic achievement for nontraditional students. Previous research also has looked at the relationships between students and faculty; however, there is limited research on the quality of relationships with other students, the quality of relationships with faculty, and the quality of relationships with administrative personnel. This study was designed to fill in these missing portions of research and add to the body of knowledge in this area . 2. Literature Review

The age of today's undergraduate population is becoming extremely more and more diverse. Adults are attending for the first time or returning to college in record numbers as the undergraduate landscape is expanding beyond the traditional 18- to 22-year old students (Bauman et al. …

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