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Krista Lucas Publishes Study on Undergraduates' Sense of Belonging, Community, and Support at a Title V Center

March 14, 2022  | 1 min read

Krista L. Lucas, visiting assistant professor of biology, and Sarah A. Roberts from University of California, Santa Barbara recently published “Undergraduates’ Sense of Belonging, Community, and Support at a Title V Center” in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice

Title V “contributes to the development of facilities, services, and programs to engage and support Latinx students at colleges and universities that are designated as [Hispanic-serving institutions].” The study analyzed how the Title V-funded center at a California university supported first-generation and minoritized college students academically and non-academically and fostered a sense of community and belonging.

The researchers specifically looked at the center through a “counterspaces lens.” Counterspaces, the researchers define, are “safe spaces for students to escape from microaggressions and thrive in the university setting…where students can find resources to meet a variety of needs.” The researchers discovered that the center functioned as a counterspace by providing a “safe space, advising, educational support, and mental health support.”

“From our findings, specific recommendations for universities looking to incorporate a Title V Student Center include: offering food resources, connecting first-generation and minoritized undergraduates to faculty, advisors, and undergraduate and graduate mentors in a central and neutral location, and including ‘insider information’ programming about the workings of a university,” the study shares.

The researchers also acknowledged the “tremendous” need for spaces on college campuses where first-generation and minoritized students can feel a sense of belonging and have access to resources of both academic and non-academic varieties.

To read more, visit the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice.