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ERIC Number: ED569061
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 104
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-8421-4
The Relationship between Middle School Students' College-Going Beliefs and Sense of Belonging in School
Steiner, Jamie L.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, St. John Fisher College
Although there is an abundance of research on middle school counseling, college readiness and belonging, there is a gap in the research regarding middle school students and attempts to correlate their sense of belonging to college-going beliefs. Research identifies eighth grade as a critical time in a student's education in which they make important post-secondary decisions. The research stressed that a student's academic achievement was not only influenced by intellectual abilities, but by their school climate. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to identify a correlation between school-based factors, specifically a student's sense of belonging, and college-going beliefs. One hundred eighty-four eighth-grade students from a diverse suburban middle school were surveyed on their college-going beliefs as well as their sense of belonging. In addition, focus groups were facilitated to further explore how students felt about their school environment and post-secondary planning. The findings showed a significant statistical correlation between students' sense of school belonging and college-going beliefs. This is significant because it begins to address the void in the research identifying how school based factors are related to students' college-going beliefs. Focus group data also enhanced quantitative findings by highlighting how students who described a positive sense of belonging in school had strong intentions and higher confidence for attending college after high school. The results of this research will help educators improve programs, develop stronger relationships with students and strengthen the curriculum to better prepare students for high school and beyond. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 8; Elementary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A