Predictors of close faculty−student relationships and mentorship in higher education: Findings from the Gallup−Purdue Index
Faculty-student relationships may promote students’ development and academic success, particularly for first-generation college students and those attending larger institutions. This study investigates the factors that influence the formation of student college mentoring relationships.
Data from the Gallup–Purdue Index, which collected information from over 5,000 college graduates, was used to examine student characteristics hypothesized to influence the likelihood of having faculty mentoring relationships.
The findings indicated that first-generation college students and those attending larger institutions were less likely to report having faculty mentorships and perceived faculty as less supportive. However, stronger perceptions of faculty mentorship was found for students involved in academic and campus activities.
The results highlight the need for colleges and universities to foster environments that promote meaningful faculty–student interactions, especially for traditionally marginalized students. The study suggests that institutions should prioritize strategies that enhance student engagement in extracurricular and academic activities and provide additional support for first-generation students to ensure they benefit from mentorship opportunities.