The Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1 - 48

Jordan P. Fullam * Andrew J. Hughes

appear to be, but, more important, are aimed
at helping students form the connections and
social support systems that are helpful for
academic success " (p. 21). FIR programs have
proliferated in recent decades, and an online
search turns up hundreds of these programs
on campuses across the United States.
While there is a lack of research investigating faculty-student interaction in the context
of FIR programs, three studies undertake this
task and are worth noting. These studies make
contributions toward developing a typology of
faculty-student interaction that can be useful
for analyzing interactions in the context of
FIR programs. Cox and Orehovec (2007), for
example, suggested a typology of interactions
that includes (1) disengagement, defined as lack
of interaction among students and faculty
outside of the classroom; (2) incidental contact,
or informal and unintentional interaction;
(3) personal interaction, or interaction around
common interests or hobbies exclusive of
academic purposes; (4) functional interaction,
or interaction that fulfills some institutional
purpose such as advising or collaborating on
academic activities; and (5) mentoring interaction, or interaction that usually combines personal and functional interaction to achieve a
higher level of learning and engagement.
Drawing on the above typology, Mara and
Mara (2011) found that the quality of interactions in the context of the FIR program they described often depended on a variety of factors,
including physical setting and willingness of
faculty and students to interact and connect.
More importantly, they documented what they
described as a " natural progression from one
type of interaction to another " (p. 77) through
which lower level interactions progressed to
48

those higher up on the scale offered by Cox and
Orehovec (2007).
In a subsequent study, Sriram and McLevain
(2016) categorized faculty-student interaction
across two domains. For the first domain, they
distinguished between formal (programmatic)
and informal (non-programmatic) interaction.
Formal interaction was defined as interaction
that takes place at programs organized by FIRs,
student affairs professionals, and student staff.
Informal interaction was defined as interaction
that takes place outside of such programs.
For the second domain, Sriram and
McLevain (2016) organized faculty-student
interaction into three distinct types of engagement: social interaction, academic interaction,
and deeper life interaction. Social interaction,
in this framework, was defined as casual
interaction involving personal hobbies and
interests. Academic interaction was defined
as interaction that involves intellectual
stimulation and discussion around academic
majors and career choices. Finally, deeper life
interaction may include " conversations about
relationships, family, spirituality, and meaningmaking " (p. 607) and engages students in the
big questions of life that help them make sense
of their lives beyond the classroom (p. 608).
Synthesizing the findings in this emerging literature provides an opportunity to construct a conceptual model that delineates types
of faculty-student interaction. The conceptual
model (see Table 1) presents a typology of faculty-student interaction that organizes interaction types into five categories: (1) context, (2)
substance, (3) purpose, (4) frequency, and (5)
learning outcomes. All of the interaction types
included in the typology were drawn from the
three studies cited above with the exception

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1

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