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Effects of College Transition and Perceptions of the Campus Racial Climate on Latino College Students' Sense of Belonging

Sylvia Hurtado and Deborah Faye Carter
Sociology of Education
Vol. 70, No. 4 (Oct., 1997), pp. 324-345
DOI: 10.2307/2673270
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2673270
Page Count: 22
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Effects of College Transition and Perceptions of the Campus Racial Climate on Latino College Students' Sense of Belonging
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Abstract

To clarify the conceptual underpinnings of Tinto's theoretical model of students' departure, the study presented here tested a conceptual model of the antecedents of sense of belonging to examine the extent to which Latino students' background characteristics and college experiences in the first and second years contribute to their sense of belonging in the third year. The study found that discussions of course content with other students outside class and membership in religious and social-community organizations are strongly associated with students' sense of belonging. First-year experiences have positive effects, while perceptions of a hostile racial climate have direct negative effects on students' sense of belonging in the third year. The results suggest that greater attention needs to be paid to minority students' subjective sense of integration in campus life, temporal sequencing of college experiences, and new avenues for understanding students' adjustment to college.

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