Date of this Version
Martens, S. (2016) Sense of belonging in Greek lettered organizations, is it different for first-generation students? (Master thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln).
Involvement on a college campus can lead to students’ persistence through graduation (Tinto, 1993). Student attrition can be in an issue at institutions and Tinto (2012) states, “For four-year colleges and universities, whether public or private, 38% of those who leave will do so in their first year, and 29% in their second year” (p. 3). All students come to college with different backgrounds, experiences, and identities that impact their intentions on departing from their institutions (Tinto, 1975). One of these characteristics is first-generation student status. This quantitative study explored the experiences of first-generation and non-first-generation students by analyzing their sense of belonging to their membership in Greek lettered organizations and at their institution. Participants were from three different Midwestern institutions. To answer the research questions, a t-test was conducted to see if there is a difference between first-generation and non-first-generation students’ sense of belonging to their chapter and institution. To find out if a relationship exists between the sense of belonging to students’ chapter and to their institution a Pearson’s correlation was completed. Lastly, a Fisher’s Z-transformation test was conducted to see if the relationship between the students’ sense of belonging to their chapter and to their institution is different for first-generation and non-first-generation students. The findings indicate that there is no statistical significant difference of sense of belonging to chapter and institution for first-generation and non-first-generation students. A relationship does exist between the sense of belonging to chapter and to the institution. The relationship for sense of belonging to chapter and institution is different for first-generation and non-first-generation students in that first-generation students do not have a significant correlation with a relationship between chapter and institution sense of belonging. Recommendations from the findings of this study are presented for higher education administrators who support first-generation students and fraternity and sorority life advisors. Areas of future research are also provided in this study.
Adviser: Barbara LaCost