Knowing me, knowing you: Building strengths awareness, belonging, and persistence in higher education

Krista M. Soria, Robin Stubblefield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

This goal of this study was to examine the benefits of a campus-wide initiative to build first-year students' strengths awareness. The results of a survey of the first-year class (n = 1,421) suggest a positive and significant relationship between students' strengths awareness and their belief that the strengths initiatives on campus positively influenced their sense of belonging. The results also suggest a positive and significant relationship between students' strengths awareness and retention to their second year of study. Qualitative analyses of survey data suggested strengths initiatives enhanced students' self-awareness and confidence, facilitated introductory conversations with peers through the development of a common language, and fostered friendships and a deeper understanding of others - factors that are hypothesized to have contributed to students' sense of belonging and retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-372
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Clifton StrengthsFinder®
  • First-year students
  • Retention
  • Sense of belonging
  • Strengths awareness

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