“I Felt Like . . . They Left Me to Fend for Myself”: A Mixed-Method Examination of Sense of Belonging Among Minoritized Groups in Sport Academic Programs

in Sport Management Education Journal
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  • 1 Center for Sport Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
  • | 2 Department of Sport and Recreation Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • | 3 Educational Services & Leadership, College of Education, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ, USA
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Drawing from Strayhorn’s model of educational sense of belonging and Vaccaro and Newman’s model of belonging for privileged and minoritized students, this study utilized a mixed-method approach to examine to what extent students from minoritized groups feel like they belong in the sport management classroom. Significant differences in sense of belonging were found based on visible identities such as gender or race. In addition, our qualitative data revealed five higher-order themes that positively or negatively impacted students’ sense of belonging across identity groups: (a) representation, (b) community, (c) support, (d) accomplishments, and (e) academic and professional experience. Limitations, implications, and directions for future research are discussed.

Kluch (ykluch@vcu.edu) is corresponding author, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1916-2264

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