Academic and Social Belongingness: Does the Format of the First-Year Seminar Format Make a Difference?

Project Description

A sense of belongingness is a key component in retaining first-year students and helping them achieve academic and personal success (Pittman and Richmond, 2008).  The purpose of this study is to examine whether or not the type of KSU 1101: First-Year Seminar course format impacts the degree to which one of the course learning outcomes (academic and social belongingness) is met.  Students in three different kinds of first-year seminars (66% hybrid and meeting f2f twice a week [one section as a stand-alone and the other embedded in a Thrive learning community]) took a pre and post test on academic and social belongingness Fall semester 2019 (N=55).  In Spring semester 2020 students in a fully online section of KSU 1101 will take the same pre and post test.  Study results will possibly be used to determine future course formats and offerings and submit a proposal to various conferences.

Pittman, L.D., & Richmond, A. (2008).  University belonging, friendship quality, and psychological adjustment during the transition to college.  The Journal of Experimental Education, 76(4), 343-361.

Project Department

First-Year and Transition Studies

Researcher Requirements

Qualitative data research analysis skills preferred (or a willingness to learn).  Researcher must be self-motivated.  I anticipate the number of hours per week will be approximately two-three.  If student is interested, a Directed Study could be created.

Project Duration

January 6, 2020 through April 27, 2020


Deborah N. Smith