Randomized Evaluation of an Intervention to Enhance a Sense of Belongingness among Entering College Students. College Student Affairs Journal, 40(1), 66-76.
This study examined an intervention designed to improve sense of belongingness for new
students at a medium-sized, four-year, public university in the Eastern United States. A
randomized controlled trial was used to assess the impact of The Connection Project, a novel, 9-
session intervention in a sample of 128 first-year students (77 treatment, 48 waitlist control).
Given the onset of COVID-19, students received a hybrid in-person/online intervention. At post-
intervention, the intervention group reported a significantly higher sense of school
belongingness, after accounting for baseline levels, than control group students. Post-hoc
analyses of moderation by demographic variables indicate that the intervention functioned
similarly for students from a variety of backgrounds in this sample. These results are interpreted
as suggesting the potential value of this intervention to promote a sense of community and
connection among new students in college, whether delivered in-person or online.