Students at Smaller Colleges are more Likely to have Faculty Mentors than Students at Big Schools

Updated: Oct 5, 2019

The Gallup-Purdue Index Report 2015 reveals that college graduates who felt their professors cared about them as a person were almost 2 times more likely to agree that their education was worth the cost. This finding is in alignment with my post from two week's ago, where I revealed that the most important factor enabling college students to achieve their educational goals was a supportive faculty member. Hence once again research shows, positive relationships between students and faculty are important, not only for college graduates achieving their goals, but also for increasing their satisfaction with their college experience.

Also noteworthy is that the Gallup-Purdue Index Report 2016 provides information about where positive faculty-student mentoring relationships are more likely to occur. That report notes:

"Graduates of private not-for-profit universities are more likely to say that one of their professors acted as a mentor (87%), compared with 79% of graduates from public universities. Additionally, more than nine in 10 students who graduated from smaller universities (1,000 to 4,999 students) say a professor was their mentor, compared with more than seven in 10 graduates from large universities (20,000 students or more)." p. 12

This finding appears to suggest that students are more likely to experience supportive faculty at smaller, private colleges than they are at larger, public institutions. This doesn't mean big, public research universities should be avoided at all costs, it just tends to support the notion that it's easier for students to get to know their teachers when class sizes are small.

Most importantly, being a college student who was mentored by a professor doesn't just improve one's satisfaction level with college. According to the Gallup-Purdue Index Report 2014, individuals who believed that their professors cared about them as a person, were more likely to report a greater sense of well-being after college. Hence, going to a college where you are likely to be mentored and supported by the faculty is good for students, not only while in college, but afterward as well.


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