The Influence of the Multilingual Student Alliance on Sense of Belonging and Educational Success Among Refugee Background Students
Dr. April S. Masarik
Higher education is a human right proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 26.2); however, refugee background students (RBSs) often face barriers in higher education. These barriers include language difficulties, discrimination, and isolation to name a few (Mangan & Winter, 2017). Although many RBSs and their families place a high value on higher education, these barriers can make it more difficult to obtain a degree and secure employment in their desired field (Stevenson & Willott, 2007). Even further, relative to other student populations, research involving the voices of RBSs in higher education is relatively scarce and desperately needed to inform educational practices and programs (Mangan & Winter, 2017). To address these gaps in the literature, we developed a survey to distribute among leaders and members of a RBS organization on campus -- the Multilingual Student Alliance (MLSA) -- to investigate the degree to which involvement in the alliance is linked to: (a) a sense of campus belonging; (b) overall satisfaction with their university experience; and (c) educational success. Our research provides RBSs an opportunity to voice their experiences on campus and share how a student-led organization like the MLSA can lift students up to their full potential and benefit the whole campus.
Kamulete, Shukuru; Bisoka, Georgette; and Masarik, April S., "The Influence of the Multilingual Student Alliance on Sense of Belonging and Educational Success Among Refugee Background Students" (2020). 2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase. 90.