Administrative Issues Journal


Neal Ellis


In addition to learning, the college experience involves building relationships with peers and university faculty. For many students, interactions with faculty take place only in the classroom. For students at small liberal arts colleges, though, students and faculty often meet serendipitously both on and off campus. This study focuses on the unplanned interactions that occur between students and faculty. Data obtained from an interview, a focus group, and a campus-wide survey indicate that students who interact with their professors out-of-class (OOC) gain more value from their college experience and enjoy greater academic success than students who meet their professors in only the traditional academic settings. This study highlights the value of informal student-faculty interactions and suggests that university administrations would do well to foster these types of OOC relationships on their campuses.