Impact Of Campus Fellowship On Students Academic Performance
The study examined the effect of campus fellowship on students academic performance. The specific objectives was to determine what is the existing relationship between campus fellowships and students academic performance (GPA). The instrument used for the survey was a campus fellowship commitment inventory-FCI. The correlation result revealed a negative relationship between campus fellowship commitment and academic performance of students. Recommendation were also made in light of this discovery.
1.1 Background to Study
Campus religious organizations also known as campus fellowships have made their mark on universities and on the students that join them. To be sure, the relationship between religion and higher education is often precarious. While universities were at one time an extension of the general Protestant ethos that permeated American society in to Nigeria in thecolonial era, the influx of modernism into the academy weakened religious influences on higher education as a whole (Marsden, 1994). Campus ministry emerged in response to the declining Protestant influence within universities as a way to nurture students effectively in their faith and provide a secure, affirming community for them (Winnings, 1999).
On the contemporary scene, spiritual matters have piqued the interest of some scholars and students, especially with the rise of postmodernism (Love, 2000), but secular higher education—and the research university in particular—has remained ambivalent toward religion overall (Smith, 2001). Yet, even public institutions are not bereft of all spiritual influence, as the inclinations of many students toward faith and spirituality have become increasingly evident on campuses of all types (Astin, Astin, Lindholm, Bryant, Szelényi, & Calderone, 2005). Groups that devote considerable effort to recruitment and evangelism have become particularly noticeable on campuses, and their memberships have swelled in number (Bryant, 2005; Carroll, 2002; Cherry, DeBerg, & Porterfield, 2001; Swidey, 2003). Observations such as these lead to critical questions about the values that define these groups and how such groups impact students in terms of key college outcomes.
Studies by Jeynes (2002, 2003a) and Regnerus (2000) found that religiously committed urban children performed better on academic measures than their less religious counterparts, even when controlling for socio-economic status, race, and gender. These results, from various studies, were based upon analytic approaches, meta-analyses, nationwide datasets, and qualitative techniques. Specifically, religious students of color outperformed their less religious counterparts.
Regnerus (2000) proposed and tested a multilevel model of involvement in church activities and schooling success among metropolitan abuja public high school. He hypothesized that:
- Involvement in church activities will be directly related to higher educational expectations and better achievement test scores in public school youth,
- Religion’s importance for schooling success is greater in lower-income neighborhoods, where community disorganization is more likely to occur than in wealthier neighborhoods,
- Including other sources of educational socialization will prevent a significant church involvement effect (p. 364).
Results from Regnerus’ (2000) study indicated that participation in church activities heightened educational expectations and achievement. Additionally, data supported the finding that more intensely religious students scored higher on standardized tests in mathematics and reading, irrespective of economic factors, including social class (Regnerus, 2000).
1.2 Statement of Problem
Although we lack a comprehensive body of literature that relates religiousness and spirituality to academic performance in universities (Low & Handal, 1995), some researchers that av attempted to address this issue have posit contradicting conclusions. Campus religious groups may instill feelings of being “at home,” enable personal and academic growth through honest questioning, study groups creation and facilitate the healing of past hurt to maintain the needed focus for successful academic pursuit (Bryant, 2003; Mankowski & Thomas, 2000). Astin (1993a) confirms that religious service attendance has a positive effect on emotional health which plays a significant role in academic performance. According to Fiesta, Strange, and Woods (2002), religious well-being, religious faith, and religious practice correlate positively with academic adjustment amongs studrnts. Low and Handal (1995) also found significant positive relationships between religiousness and overall college adjustment, although the effects varied by institution and sex.
Other studies convey inconsistent support for positive relationships between religion/spirituality and academically well-being. In a sample of nearly 300 college students, Schafer (1997) found that individuals who were uncertain about their belief in God had lower levels of distress compared to those expressing either firm belief or no belief.
Furthermore, students who regarded religion as important were more distressed from too much activities than those who did not giving those that did not avenues to improve their grade point average. Schafer speculated that students who valued religion experienced conflict with the surrounding secular culture and feelings of guilt, which thereby contributed to their negative emotional states that is unhealthy for academic success.
1.3 Objective of Study
The broad objective of the study is to determine the effect of campus fellowship on the academic performance of students, specifically the study seeks:
- To determine the extent of religious commitment of students
- To determine what relationship exists between religious commitment to campus fellowships and academic performance of students
- To examine how students describe motivational factors that impact their academic performance?
1.4 Research Questions
The Research Question To Guide This Study Are:
- What is the extent of religious commitment of students?
- What relationship exists between religious commitment to campus fellowships and academic performance of students?
- How is motivational factors that impact their academic performance describe by students?
1.5 Significance of Study
This research would make a contribution to the body of literature on the subject matter. In addition, identifying other factors that students feel have contributed to or hindered their academic success could provide insight to the educational community regarding ways to assist this student population.
1.6 Scope of Study
The study investigates the effect of campus fellowships on the academic performance of students. The study uses university of nassarawa state as a case study.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The overarching research question in this study was: How does campus fellowship commitment impact academic performance among students? Upon analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data, a negative correlation can be shown between campus fellowship commitment and academic performance among African American college students. Statistical analysis does not support a positive relationship for this particular group. Small sample size could have been a factor in this determination. Many qualitative responses by the students implied that the majority of the students felt strongly about their religious values and commitments.
Throughout the data collection process, the researcher and participants developed an immediate rapport with each other. Their comfort level with the researcher could have account for their honesty in responding to the questions posed to them. Additionally, the researcher did not administer the quantitative surveys to the large groups of students. She administered them only to the focus groups. Although the surveys seemed straightforward to the researcher, students might not have perceived the surveys that way. Participants also might not have understood the need for completing the surveys and perhaps their responses reflected this misunderstanding.
Having discovered a negative relationship between student campus fellowship and academic performance the following recommendations are made:
- Students should learn to optimize their time properly so as to get the best result from study time and fellowship time
- Student should reduce the amount of time spent on campus fellowship activity as this will lead to improved academic performance.
- Student should not take up too much responsibilities in fellowship as this may affect their academic focus.
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