Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in First Year Studies


First-Year and Transition Studies

Committee Chair

Deborah N. Smith

Additional Committee Member

Danelle J. Dyckhoff Stelzriede

Additional Committee Member

Shelbee R. NguyenVoges


First-year students are encouraged to get involved in co-curricular activities, as research has indicated there are many benefits (Astin, 1984; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). One benefit is establishing a sense of belonging (SOB). Sense of belonging is a student’s perceived acceptance or value by the campus community (Strayhorn, 2012, p. 3). Research lacks a robust examination of SOB outcomes associated with active forms of involvement (e.g., joining a club or sports team) and passive forms of involvement (e.g., spectating a football game or attending workshops). The purpose of this study was to determine whether traditional-age (18-25), first-year undergraduate students indicated more SOB outcomes with passive or active forms of co-curricular involvement and with what average time involvement student’s indicated more SOB outcomes. Students completed a questionnaire about their involvement and related SOB outcomes. Findings signified; a) certain demographics of students (e.g., on campus and full-time) were more likely to be involved, b) students indicated similar average number of SOB outcomes for passive and active involvement, and c) low levels of involvement yielded the most SOB indicators. The study findings suggest certain factors could influence a student’s likelihood of involvement and to feel a SOB, students should be involved an average of 0-2 hours weekly.