Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
N A U students talking and working together on their laptops in a lounge.

Comparative case study of academic help-seeking and belongingness among Asian American and Latinx undergraduates

Faculty: Alana Kennedy 

Funding amount: $4,582.00


Using a comparative case study methodology, we aimed to understand how sense of belonging among Asian American and Latinx undergraduates impacts their academic help-seeking behaviors in the classroom. We recruited 19 participants attending one of two universities—one public Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and one private Predominantly White Institution (PWI)—to participate in a focus group or interview. We use this data to understand how sense of belonging a) is conceptualized, b) is perceived to be fostered or discouraged at the institutional level, and c) shapes the help-seeking behaviors that Asian American and Latinx undergraduates enact in academic spaces.


Findings will be presented at conferences (e.g., AERA, APA, AAHHE), submitted for publication, and shared with programs and centers that support racially diverse student populations at the universities where data were collected. Findings will also be shared with faculty and staff to promote best practices for fostering a sense of belonging and help-seeking, particularly among students who belong to minoritized groups. Beyond this pilot study, we seek to include other racially minoritized students as future participants and engage campus stakeholders to design an intervention that fosters a sense of belonging and help-seeking. We intend to incorporate the findings from this pilot study to apply for external funding from the Spencer Foundations’ Racial Equity Research Grants program, which seeks to understand and end inequality in education.