Main Article Content
Connectedness and integration are essential elements of student satisfaction, academic success, and retention. Despite its importance in the lives of college students, research on connectedness has approached the concept from definitional perspectives other than those of students. This multi-study explores connectedness from the student perspective while drawing from social identity theory and student involvement theory. In Study 1, students described their experiences and perceptions of connectedness in focus groups. Study 2 built on the qualitative findings of Study 1 and empirically tested connectedness as defined by the students. Results of the study indicate the need for a student definition of connectedness and provide practical suggestions for those in higher education.
Keywords: connectedness, social identity theory, student involvement theory, instrument design, higher education