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Article
Do I belong here? Exploring immigrant college student responses on the SERU survey Sense of Belonging/Satisfaction factor
CSHE Research and Occasional Paper Series, Berkeley, CA. Center for Studies in Higher Education (2010)
  • Michael J. Stebleton, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • Ron Huesman
  • A. Kuzhabekova
Abstract

The immigrant college student population will likely continue to increase. This exploratory study addresses the questions: To what extent does sense of belonging/satisfaction of recent immigrant college students differ from non-immigrant college students? Do perceived self-ratings of belonging vary by immigrant generations? This research draws on a new extensive data source, the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) survey. Survey data from the 2009 SERU is based on the responses from 55,433 undergraduate students from six-large research institutions from across the United States. Findings suggest that immigrant students’ perception of their sense of belonging and satisfaction is significantly lower than their non-immigrant peers’ perceptions. Immigrant college students -- whether they were a recent immigrant that arrived in the country as a child, or arrived later as a teenager or young adult, or are the children of parents born outside the U.S. ( 2nd generation) -- consistently reported lower levels of belonging/satisfaction as compared to their 3rd or 4th generation (i.e., nonimmigrant) peers. Responses within the immigrant generation groups were similar. The following implications were highlighted: effective practice and application strategies for student affairs practitioners and faculty members who work directly with immigrant college students; policy development suggestions for both academic and student affairs administrators; future research inquiries for scholars who are interested in this fast growing population of college students.

Keywords
  • immigrant student,
  • belonging,
  • satisfaction,
  • persistence,
  • engagement,
  • SERU survey
Publication Date
2010
Publisher Statement
Published in ROPS series.
Citation Information
Michael J. Stebleton, Ron Huesman and A. Kuzhabekova. "Do I belong here? Exploring immigrant college student responses on the SERU survey Sense of Belonging/Satisfaction factor" CSHE Research and Occasional Paper Series, Berkeley, CA. Center for Studies in Higher Education Vol. 13 Iss. 10 (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_stebleton/29/