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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

How Do Students of Color Find "Home" on College Campuses?

Author(s): Samura, M.

Citation: Samura, M. (2018). How Do Students of Color Find "Home" on College Campuses?. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 30(2), 27-43.



First-year students often search for spaces in which they feel comfortable, safe, and at home. Even though existing research emphasizes the value of spaces in which college students, particularly students of color, are understood, little is known about how they navigate their search for home. Drawing upon a symbolic interactionist approach and employing qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with six students of color, this study examined students’ meanings of home and the processes by which they found home on college campuses. The inquiry focused on students’ choices of living in race-themed special interest halls during their first year and revealed the assumptions they had about shared culture and assumed bonds among co-ethnics. The study revealed that students do not merely discover home, they actively create it. Insights gained from this research can inform the work of higher education staff, administrators, and scholars developing more inclusive campuses.


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