Driver 2 - Supportive Instructor & Course Interactions

Resources in this Change Idea

Evidence Base

Feeling valued and connected to others in one’s learning community (i.e., having a sense of social belonging) is positively associated with student well-being, academic engagement, and performance. Conversely, belonging uncertainty is the concern people have about the extent to which they belong, or fit in, in different contexts or across time (Walton and Brady, 2017). Institutions can help students understand that belonging concerns are a normal part of college transitions and do not signal a lack of belonging or academic potential. They can also communicate that belonging can improve with time and self-directed steps to build community. By doing so, colleges have the ability to help students increase their sense of belonging, maintain academic engagement, and bolster achievement, particularly for students from groups that have been historically excluded or underserved in higher education (Hurtado & Carter, 1997; Walton & Cohen, 2007; 2011 Yeager et al., 2016; Murdock-Perriera et al., 2019; Murphy et al., 2020).



College Transition Collaborative/Equity Accelerator


Instructors across the SEP network used evidence-based resources in the SEP Classroom Classroom Practices Library to develop their approach to sharing social belonging messages in the classroom. The resource guides in the Classroom Classroom Practices Library assisted instructors in communicating to students that academic challenges and concerns about belonging are normative, and do not signal a lack of fit or academic potential, and that belonging gets better over time with the use of agentic steps to build relationships and ties to the campus community. Click the link below to learn more about effective social belonging messages and review the evidence-based implementation guide in the Classroom Practices Library.