Program Description

A strong sense of belonging has a significant impact on both student success and well-being (College Belonging, Nunn, 2021) and our own institutional data tell us that a key reason that students consider leaving Kent State is that they lack a sense of belonging. The Student Belonging Project aims to provide instructors and academic units with strategies to support student belonging, while recognizing and celebrating the successes that our gifted faculty have already implemented. Many of the recommendations that will be shared can be found in Lisa Nunn’s books College Belonging and 33 Simple Strategies for Faculty: A Week by Week Resource for Teaching First-Year and First-Generation Students.  Please see the list below for suggested strategies.

We will celebrate and highlight the instructors and departments who are champions of belonging. All submissions will be entered for a monthly prize drawing and grand prizes will be awarded at the end of the academic year.


Congratulations to the January Drawing Winner:  Kinjal Nayak, Graduate Assistant, Public Health, Kent Campus

In lead for the number of faculty submissions are the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Nursing.  Keep those submissions coming!

End of semester strategies for student belonging:

  • Share a story of failure (e.g. exams, courses, job applications, manuscript rejections).  This is especially important for first-year students since failure may be a new experience.  
  • Invite students to reflect on what they have learned, both successful and unsuccessful actions.  Remind them that learning from mistakes helps prevent repeating them.
  • Ask students to share words of wisdom for students taking your course in the future.
  • Say farewell to students when the semester ends.  Consider letting them know what you have gained from the semester and invite them to stay connected in future semesters.
  • Reiterate the welcome that students will experience during office hours (or student hours as we prefer to call them).  Consider using one of the student/office hours templates found here Student Belonging Resources to create a welcoming environment.