Student Belonging Resources

Below you will find strategies promoted by the Center for Teaching & Learning.  Resources related to strategies that promote a strong sense of belonging for students are also linked below.  

Below are some resources related to office hours; suggestions, templates and downloadable items you can use to help students know when office hours are and help welcome them.   Feel free to click on the titles below to download and use them.

Late-Semester Strategies:

  • Share a story of college woe.  This may be a time you overslept your alarm, had problems with your roommate, or struggled to find money to eat something other than instant noodles.
  • Help students remember what they are passionate about or what they are really good at doing. 
  • Do a fun activity in class—something that allows students to laugh or commiserate.  Think about something other than a traditional written response such as a haiku, a limerick, or drawing. 
  • Practice a mindfulness or gratitude exercise with your students.
  • Talk with students about wellness practices

Mid-Semester Strategies:  

  • Acknowledge that your course is challenging.
  • Communicate your confidence in students’ ability to succeed.  Remind them that learning is a process and that they can succeed with practice and effort.
  • Spend 5-15 minutes during class on student success.
  • Collect mid-semester feedback on how the course is going for students. 
  • Choose a few students to engage with before/after class.

Beginning of Semester Strategies:

  • Introduce yourself in class as a living, breathing human being rather than your professional self. 
  • Be available and perceived as available to your students. This may occur in student interactions in class, in the syllabus, and during office hours.
  • Get to know your students through informal surveys, assignments, and activities.
  • Require office hours (individual or group) early in the semester can help break the ice and decrease the barrier to attending in the future.
  • Explain successful learning strategies for your course early and often in the first few weeks

Beginning Project - Faculty Edition:

The Student Belonging Project has allowed your strategies to improve students' sense of belonging to help others at KSU.  We thought it was important for faculty to know that their sense of belonging is important as well.  Shown below are strategies that extend belonging to colleagues and that emphasize care for yourself as well.

  • Reach out and make a personal connection with a new faculty member in your area.  It’s important to remember that our new colleagues have started their positions during a pandemic, making their new start even more challenging.
  • Extend grace to yourself and to your colleagues.  We are all facing challenges, both personal and professional.
  • Recognize that what you do truly matters.  Celebrate your accomplishments, both big and small.
  • Tell someone you appreciate them.  Say “thank you”!
  • Practice self-care in a way that brings you a greater sense of well-being:  this could prioritizing your sleep, exercising, practicing meditation, eating well or participating in a Kent State Wellness program.