A sense of community has been defined by Westheimer and Kahne as the result of interaction and deliberation by people brought together by similar interests and common goals. Joel Westheimer and Joseph Kahne, “Building School Communities: An Experienced-Based Model,” Phi Delta Kappan Vol. 75 (4), 1993. The most essential elements of community include mutual interdependence among members, sense of belonging, connectedness, spirit, trust, interactivity, common expectations, shared values, and goals and overlapping histories among members. Alfred Rovai, “Building Sense of Community at a Distance,” The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning Vol. 3(1), 2002. In fact, research has shown the development of a sense of community is linked to student satisfaction. However, though graduate students may be more inclined to infer they “didn’t come to graduate school to make friends”, they may still use language such as a desired “connection with my classmates and faculty” or “build my network” instead of the classic term “community” to describe their sentiment. Networks, however, are sub-communities and those engaged in social and professional networks have an opportunity to build a sense of community because of their participation. A sense of community can be particularly important to the overall graduate experience.
Every second Wednesday join the conversation! This virtual space allows graduate students to connect, listen to colleagues, generate creativity, form new ideas and more. Sessions are facilitated by graduate student ambassadors.
Every Second Wednesday at 12 pm CST starting Feb 10th, 2021