openPR Logo
Press release

New Experimental Study Examines Sense of Belonging for First-Year HBCU Students

06-28-2021 09:26 AM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: Virginia Union University

New Experimental Study Examines Sense of Belonging

A new study conducted by Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, Professor of Education at Virginia Union University, finds that sense of belonging—the availability of campus supportive networks and students’ subjective interpretation of everyday social adversity—is a key to educational success for college students, including those enrolled at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The ability to connect socially with others and feel cared about, respected, and valued as a bona fide member of a group have long since been understood as basic human needs, just as fundamental as air, water, food, and shelter. But new quasi-experimental research from Strayhorn and his team of researchers reveals that sense of belonging “takes on heightened importance at times, in settings, and places where individuals are prone to feel vulnerable for alienation, social isolation, or rejection, like the first-year of college,” according to the latest findings just published in Innovative Higher Education. Most importantly, the new research demonstrates the efficacy of a brief academic intervention—a web-based video—designed by the author to positively boost HBCU students’ sense of belonging in the first-year of college.

Using data from students in three “credibly equivalent” groups, the research reveals that HBCU students exposed to the short-term intervention through a 4-week summer bridge program reported higher belonging scores than similarly-situated summer school peers exposed to either (a) a placebo video or (b) no video at all. Results affirm that messages conveyed through the video intervention can “engender sense of belonging in college for [first-year] HBCU students by encouraging nonthreatening interpretations of adversity, feelings of isolation, and self-doubt; (re)framing them as common and transient; and promoting help-seeking via support services available on campus.”

“I’m excited about my current projects that are all intervention-based, focusing on sense of belonging for higher education students and personnel drawing on the framework published in my book on the topic,” shared Professor Terrell Strayhorn, an education scholar who has enjoyed faculty appointments in psychology, sociology, and Black studies. “The belonging framework has contributed to a deeper understanding of the concept in education and learning spaces, especially for historically underserved or misrepresented groups and otherwise vulnerable populations. This project affirms the importance of mattering, culturally-responsive images, ‘the HBCU experience,’ and declaring that ‘Black Lives Matter’ when it comes to fostering belonging at Black colleges.”

The published report highlights a number of important conclusions and implications for educational policy, practice, and future research. Importantly, the study calls attention to specific policies and practices that “hold promise for creating macro-level changes that affirm micro-level outcomes”—like HBCU students matter, they’re valued, and belong.

Effective belonging interventions need not be expensive, according to the study. Higher education personnel—for example, faculty, first-year directors, advisors, and summer bridge staff—can share belonging messages, like those tested in the study, with first-year students through email, early alerts, push campaigns, coaching sessions, and growth-minded feedback. “Partnering with a number of institutions over the years, I’ve witnessed how colleges and schools apply this theory to practice using videos, websites, signage, pedagogy, and so much more...there are many possibilities,” Professor Strayhorn added, who also serves as Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at Virginia Union University and Director of the Center for the Study of HBCUs.

Virginia Union University
1500 N Lombardy St
Richmond, VA 23220
Wes Hayden, Communications Specialist

Virginia Union University is a premier research institution of higher learning, one of the nation's leading historically Black colleges and universities.

This release was published on openPR.

Permanent link to this press release:

Please set a link in the press area of your homepage to this press release on openPR. openPR disclaims liability for any content contained in this release.

You can edit or delete your press release New Experimental Study Examines Sense of Belonging for First-Year HBCU Students here

News-ID: 2314482 • Views: 474

More Releases for HBCU

01-25-2021 | Sports
The Arlington Football Showdown transcends the "HBCU Classic" experience in Nort …
(ARLINGTON, TX) - Wednesday, January 27, 2021. The Arlington Football Showdown will be the most anticipated live sporting event of the fall as the premiere football classic between Texas Southern University of Houston, Tx & Southern University of Baton Rouge, LA., go head to head on Saturday,October 16, 2021 at Globe Life Park. Lone Star Sports in partnership with the Texas Rangers will host an informative press conference on Wednesday, January 27th
The 2018 Norma E. Boyd 5K Race for Education Promised Fitness and Family Fun Whi …
Washington, DC-- Hundreds ran, jogged, walked, or joined virtually in support of education during the 2018 Norma E. Boyd 5K Race for Education on Sunday, September 23, 2018 at the scenic Hains Point in East Potomac Park, Washington, DC. This event, sponsored by the Pearl and Ivy Educational Foundation (PIEF), in partnership with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Xi Omega Chapter, took place at 8 a.m. and raised $10,783 to
An Opportunity For Johnson C Smith University To Implement Modern Campus Safety …
Johnson C Smith University (JCSU) received a $22,495 grant from Campus Consortium, the largest global education association of schools, colleges and universities, to go toward implementing a campus safety app for students and faculty. JCSU is an independent new urban university rooted in the HBCU tradition and charged with an urgent public mission: to recruit and equip a diverse student body through innovative teaching, learning and faculty-mentored and applied research
Dalton, GA Native to Helm "Douglass U"
Dalton, GA (July 15, 2010) – Dalton, Georgia native and Dalton High School alum, award winning director, Ryan Miningham, has enrolled to direct "Douglass U", a comedy film about a young man's unexpected freshman experience at one of the country's (fictitious) premiere Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Miningham directed the feature film, "Blue", which won Best Narrative Feature at the Hollywood Black Film Festival, Audience Choice Award at the American
"HBCU Experience" Sweepstakes Announced
Hollywood, CA (June, 2010) - Joining School Dayz' Mission College, A Different World's Hillman College, Drumline's Atlanta A&T University and Stomp the Yard's Truth University, "Douglass U" is next in line for becoming one of the legendary "Hollywood Black Colleges and Universities" (the other, "HBCUs"). You can become part of "Douglass U" by entering the "HBCU Experience" Sweepstakes! "Douglass U' is a comedy film about a young man's unexpected and memorable freshman
Miami Beach High Alumni Finding Success 'Back In School'
North Miami, FL (June 2010) – Miami Beach High School alumni, Catfish Jean has joined the cast of "Douglass U', a comedy film about a young man's unexpected freshman experience at one of the country's (fictitious) premiere Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Catfish (born Matthew Jean) later received a BFA in Theater from California Lutheran University. He made his movie debut at the age of 15 in an