Student Belonging Project

A strong sense of belonging has a significant impact on both student success and well-being (College Belonging, Nunn, 2021) and our own institutional data tell us that a key reason that students consider leaving Kent State is that they lack a sense of belonging. The Student Belonging Project aims to provide instructors and academic units with strategies to support student belonging, while recognizing and celebrating the successes that our gifted faculty have already implemented. Many of the recommendations that will be shared can be found in Lisa Nunn’s books College Belonging and 33 Simple Strategies for Faculty: A Week by Week Resource for Teaching First-Year and First-Generation Students.  Please see the list below for suggested strategies.
We will celebrate and highlight the instructors and departments who are champions of belonging. All submissions will be entered for a monthly prize drawing and grand prizes will be awarded at the end of the academic year.
Beginning of Semester Strategies:
  • Introduce yourself in class as a living, breathing human being rather than your professional self. 
  • Be available and perceived as available to your students. This may occur in student interactions in class, in the syllabus, and during office hours.
  • Get to know your students through informal surveys, assignments, and activities.
  • Require office hours (individual or group) early in the semester can help break the ice and decrease the barrier to attending in the future.
  • Explain successful learning strategies for your course early and often in the first few weeks.