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What can departments do to increase students' retention?: A case study of students' sense of belonging and involvement in a biology department
Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL, US.
Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL, US.
2018 (English)In: Journal of college student retention, ISSN 1521-0251, E-ISSN 1541-4167Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this case study was to explore the sense of belonging to and involvement in a biology department for students participating in a biology program designed to create a strong sense of belonging with high levels of involvement and higher student retention rates. The study is based on 10 semistructured interviews with biology majors. Analysis showed that the students have created a strong sense of community among peers and good relationships with specific faculty and staff. However, the positive social environment did not fully translate into sense of belonging to and involvement in the biology department. Analysis also implied a strong focus on careers related to medical school among students and that students not sharing this strong focus might feel disconnected from the group. Taken together, the interviews identify several different aspects for departments to consider as a way to enhance students’ sense of belonging and involvement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2018.
Keywords [en]
department, sense of belonging, involvement, biology, retention, higher education
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Didactics
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-155289DOI: 10.1177/1521025118788351OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-155289DiVA, id: diva2:1277718
Available from: 2019-01-11 Created: 2019-01-11 Last updated: 2019-06-14

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Knekta, Eva

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