Date of Award
Master of Arts in Community Psychology, MA
Kristine Kuhn, Ph.D.
College can be a challenging time for most students; however, it can be especially challenging for minority students. Research indicates minority students can have significant differences in college experiences compared to their White counterparts’ experiences, often participating in environments perceived as unwelcoming, which create barriers to adjustment and integration for minority students within the college or university, as well as health implications. However, research also indicates minority students receive support through a variety of mechanisms which contribute to their adjustment and success while in college. The minority student college experience is complex and diverse, warranting greater understanding. Of particular importance, however, is the influence such collegiate experiences may have on minority students’ sense of community while in college. Understanding minority students’ collegiate experiences can provide valuable insight into how sense of community may be understood and actualized for such students, compared to their White counterparts. Accordingly, the present study has sought to establish the connection between minority students’ collegiate experiences and their sense of community, discussing: minority students’ sense of community in the campus, minority students’ sense of community in additional communities within the campus, factors contributing to or hindering sense of community, and sense of community’s influence on academic achievement.