Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Dianne Timm


This qualitative study sought to examine how Black women define and create their sense of belonging while attending a predominately White institution using a photovoice approach. The women took photographs of spaces that they frequently occupy and then engaged in a face-to-face interview to discuss the photographs. The researcher also investigated four Black women, ranging from junior to graduate level, to identify how they developed a sense of belonging at the research site institution. Results of the study showed that a feeling of comfort was most important when identifying belongingness in a space. The participants were able to create a sense of belonging on- and off-campus with the assistance of three key factors: creating a home, using spaces for its intended use, and having people invested in them.