The Critical Role of Faculty as Buffering the Impact of Discrimination on College Student Aspirations Open Access Deposited

Date Uploaded: 01/03/2024
Date Modified: 01/03/2024

While most like to consider college and university campuses safe from discrimination, research demonstrates this is unfortunately not true. We know students with minority group status experience discrimination on campus at an alarming rate. Years of research has demonstrated the negative effects of experiencing discrimination on students’ well-being, sense of belonging, and future aspirations. However, research has also shown positive impacts that faculty relationships can have on students’ motivation, academic achievement, persistence, and aspirations. Faculty serve as institutional agents within the university, so they have considerable influence over students’ satisfaction with their university experience and overall wellness. Thus, this study investigates the extent to which college students’ trust in faculty acts as a buffer against the negative impacts of discrimination. Results of this research indicate a strong relationship between experiencing discrimination and feelings of stress and decreased sense of belonging, and that increased stress and decreased belonging negatively affect students’ future aspirations. However, our findings demonstrate that trust in faculty mitigates the negative effects of discrimination and can reduce feelings of stress and increase feelings of belonging, thereby increasing students’ future aspirations. Our findings demonstrate the important role faculty play in creating an affirming climate for students on college campuses.

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  • College Teaching
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