My Research Focus

InterdisciplinaryToday I thought about a new way to describe my research focus:

My research focus is the study of college impacts and institutional effectiveness through an interdisciplinary approach.

When I say college impacts, I mean student learning in- and out-of-classrooms, online education, STEM education, student engagement, civic engagement, and moral and spiritual development of college students.

When I say institutional effectiveness, I mean assessment of student affairs practices, teaching evaluation, student satisfaction, and other measures of institutional competitiveness and effectiveness.

Many scholars study college impacts and institutional effectiveness, but my unique contributions come from the utilization of an interdisciplinary approach. I investigate college impacts and institutional effectiveness through psychological, sociological, and economic theories combining with the current literature in the field of education, business management, data sciences, and leadership.

Career Advice for New Academics

Career AdviceYesterday I saw a friend asking on the Facebook for career advice for new student affairs professionals. I am now into my 12th year working as a professional in academia. I thought about career advice for new academics and I have three:

  1. Treat everyone with respect and dignity especially to those you don’t like and those “black sheep”.
  2. Do not stop learning and improving your trade. This should be true for everyone but especially true for academics.
  3. Raise your hand and take on the task nobody wants, and you are on your way to become a leader.







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Definition of First Generation College Student

Many students asked me to help them define first generation college student, so I post it here for anyone who is interested.

The definition of First Generation of College Student:

According to Title 20 U.S. Code Sec. 1070a-11(h)(3):

The term “first generation college student” means—
(A) an individual both of whose parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree; or
(B) in the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, an individual whose only such parent did not complete a baccalaureate degree.

According to National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Report 2000-153:

Education levels were aggregated as follows:

  • First-generation: Both parents have no more than a high school education. Thus, the student would be a member of the first generation in the immediate family to attend college.
  • Some college: One or both parents have some postsecondary education, but neither had attained a bachelor’s degree. This category includes parents with vocational certificates and associate’s degrees as the highest level of attainment.
  • College graduate: One or both parents earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.