Perceived Faculty Support Among College Students: An Examination of Socioeconomic, Gender, Age, and Ethnic Differences

Mickens, Lavonda, Judy McCown, and Mary Hannah

Previous research offers many factors that may contribute to student perception of faculty support. This study was conducted at a private, Midwestern university and was designed to address undergraduate perceptions of faculty support (N = 186). Seventyseven percent of the sample were female and 42% were non-traditional (25 years of age and older). Socioeconomic status, gender, age, and ethnicity were considered as factors that might influence perception of faculty support. Overall, students in this study generally perceived faculty as supportive. Although socioeconomic status did not appear to make a difference, it was found that traditional students tended to view faculty as more supportive than non-traditional students. There were no significant differences in perceived faculty support between the two largest student groups in the sample: African-American and Caucasian. Furthermore, Asian students perceived faculty as the most supportive, while Hispanic-Latino students tended to perceive faculty as the least supportive overall. These results have implications for greater outreach and understanding of all students‟ needs, particularly those from non-traditional and ethnically diverse backgrounds.