Constructing past, present, and future communities: Exploring the experiences of community among last-dollar scholarship students

Misha White, Walter Legg, Behrang Foroughi, Jeff Rose

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Abstract

This study explores sense of community (SOC) among low-income college students. The development of a SOC among college students, especially low-income students, may be particularly vital because of its implications for student success. Six low-income Arizona State University students were selected based on receipt of a prestigious last-dollar scholarship. Using narrative inquiry, participants were interviewed about their understanding and experiences with communities. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. Participant narratives were created to provide context and in-depth understanding of experiences. We identified the following themes: (a) mutual support and caring; (b) shared values and goals; (c) interaction and intentionality; and (d) community as self-constructed, intersecting, and nonlinear. These findings expand existing literature on SOC, with an emphasis on low-income students in university settings. This research offers an opportunity to examine ways in which universities and student services can provide students an opportunity to better understand their own SOC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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abstract = "This study explores sense of community (SOC) among low-income college students. The development of a SOC among college students, especially low-income students, may be particularly vital because of its implications for student success. Six low-income Arizona State University students were selected based on receipt of a prestigious last-dollar scholarship. Using narrative inquiry, participants were interviewed about their understanding and experiences with communities. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. Participant narratives were created to provide context and in-depth understanding of experiences. We identified the following themes: (a) mutual support and caring; (b) shared values and goals; (c) interaction and intentionality; and (d) community as self-constructed, intersecting, and nonlinear. These findings expand existing literature on SOC, with an emphasis on low-income students in university settings. This research offers an opportunity to examine ways in which universities and student services can provide students an opportunity to better understand their own SOC.",
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