Creating a Culture that Instills Students' Sense of Belonging Yields Positive Outcomes / Elizabeth Anne Cooner.

Cooner, Elizabeth Anne, author.
[Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] : University of Pennsylvania ; Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2019.
1 online resource (163 pages)
Local subjects:
Higher education.
Community college education.
Educational administration.
Higher education management -- Penn dissertations.
Penn dissertations -- Higher education management.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Nine million students enroll in community colleges each year, but only about one fourth graduates in a timely fashion. Identifying factors associated with student success is of critical importance to students, colleges, and the nation. For this research, I examine factors associated with students' sense of belonging that lead to student retention, an important indicator of success. Through the analysis of two sources of data-national findings from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement and qualitative research at three community colleges--I present a framework for understanding community college students' sense of belonging. When defining belonging, students emphasize the importance of connecting with others and the comfort associated with fitting in, sharing experiences, and knowing others' names. Students value communication with professors and peers and the commonalities of shared race, ethnicity or language. For some, belonging relates strictly to their commitment to secure a good education. More than demographic or academic attributes, students' interactions with their peers and faculty are correlated with a strong sense of belonging. Students who frequently work with classmates on projects in or outside of class report high levels of belonging. Similarly, students with strong relationships with faculty or administrators have a strong sense of belonging. Faculty members can nurture students' belonging through a circular hub-and-spoke model, fostering inclusive environments among students, or through a linear model, mentoring individual students. By creating spaces that facilitate opportunities for students to gather, colleges can strengthen students' sense of belonging. While the positive outcomes associated with building communities are abundant, assorted factors can function as detractors from belonging, including students' competing priorities, in-group versus out-group animus, exclusivity, and some students' reluctance to integrate into the college community. Students' belonging is positively correlated with higher college satisfaction and with willingness to recommend their college to others. Once a sense of community is fostered, students collaborate with each other and with the faculty more often, spend more time engaged with the academic material, and achieve their educational goals more efficiently.
Source: Dissertations Abstracts International, Volume: 81-03, Section: A.
Advisors: Moneta, Larry; Committee members: Eric Kaplan; Barbara Gaba; Diane Eynon.
Department: Higher Education Management.
Ed.D. University of Pennsylvania 2019.
Local notes:
School code: 0175
Moneta, Larry, degree supervisor.
University of Pennsylvania. Department of Higher Education Management, degree granting institution.
Contained In:
Dissertations Abstracts International 81-03A.
Access Restriction:
Restricted for use by site license.
This item must not be sold to any third party vendors.
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