This book explores how belonging differs based on students’ social identities, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, or the conditions they encounter on campus. Belonging—with peers, in the classroom, or on campus—is a critical dimension of success at college. It can affect a student’s degree of academic adjustment, achievement, aspirations, or even whether a student stays in school. The 2nd Edition of College Students’ Sense of Belonging explores student sub-populations and campus environments, offering readers updated information about sense of belonging, how it develops for students, and a conceptual model for helping students belong and thrive. Underpinned by theory and research and offering practical guidelines for improving educational environments and policies, this book is an important resource for higher education and student affairs professionals, scholars, and graduate students interested in students’ success.

New to this second edition:

  • A refined theory of college students’ sense of belonging and review of current literature in light of new and emerging theories;
  • Expanded best practices related to fostering sense of belonging in classrooms, clubs, residence halls, and other contexts;
  • Updated research and insights for new student populations such as youth formerly in foster care, formerly incarcerated adults, and homeless students;
  • Coverage on a broad range of topics since the first edition of this book, including cultural navigation, academic spotting, and the "shared faith" element of belonging.

chapter Chapter 1|9 pages


chapter Chapter 2|16 pages

Insights from Literature and Research

chapter Chapter 3|19 pages

From Plausible Explanation to Evidence-based Theory

chapter Chapter 6|14 pages

“A Bridge to Belonging”

Insights from First-Year College Students

chapter Chapter 8|17 pages

Sense of Belonging and Black Male Collegians

“Brothers 2 Bruthas”

chapter Chapter 9|16 pages

Sense of Belonging and Graduate Students

chapter Chapter 10|17 pages

Clubs, Organizations, and Sense of Belonging

chapter Chapter 11|16 pages