A Preliminary Inquiry into Latina/o Students' ""Sense of Belonging"" at Arizona State University's West Campus
The purpose of this research is to explore Latina/o students' involvement at Arizona State University West and how it affects their sense of belonging, and thereby, their retention. I operationalize a "sense of belonging" as being able to express and feel comfortable with one's ethnic identity in the context of a higher education institution (Hurtado, 1997). I operationalize student involvement by the extent to which an individual student is devoted to their academic experience, invests time studying on campus, participates in student organizations, and interacts with faculty and their peers (Astin, 1984). I draw from Astin's theory of student involvement and Hurtado's sense of belonging as a base for this inquiry because they are critical components to understanding retention among the Latino/a community at Arizona State University West.