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How Do Students of Color Find "Home" on College Campuses?

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First-year students often search for spaces in which they feel comfortable, safe, and at home. Even though existing research emphasizes the value of spaces in which college students, particularly students of color, are understood, little is known about how they navigate their search for home. Drawing upon a symbolic interactionist approach and employing qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with six students of color, this study examined students' meanings of home and the processes by which they found home on college campuses. The inquiry focused on students' choices of living in racethemed special interest halls during their first year and revealed the assumptions they had about shared culture and assumed bonds among co-ethnics. The study revealed that students do not merely discover home, they actively create it. Insights gained from this research can inform the work of higher education staff, administrators, and scholars developing more inclusive campuses.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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