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Current Research

Heads Up Needs Assessment & Strategic Planning

Researcher: Dr. Temitope Adeoye

The Blue Sky Lab is designing a needs assessment study to better understand youth, parents’, and staff desires for Heads Up programming. Focus groups will be conducted in Fall 2023 to learn from each stakeholder group what they have valued about Heads Up programming in the past and what they would like to see moving forward. Focus group transcripts will then be analyzed that summarizes program needs in order to develop a 1- and 5-year strategic plan for all Heads Up programs. Dr. Adeoye is currently recruiting undergraduate students interested in gaining mixed (qualitative and quantitative) research skills. There is room to create a scholarly project with this research. Interested? Email Dr. Adeoye at

Interdisciplinary Belonging Study (IRB: 2022-339)
Researchers: Dr. Emily Allen (PI), Dr. Megha Anwer, Dr. Dan Guberman, Jay Hwang, Jordan Meyer

Scholarship demonstrates that the experience of belonging informs both student wellbeing and traditional markers of academic success, including retention and graduation. Past research has also shown that certain student groups—for example, underrepresented minorities and first-generation students—experience lower levels of belonging, including in honors colleges, while students from every group benefit from increased belonging. While significant research exists tying belonging to identity markers, and while reliable data exists on populations within specific disciplines, we do not yet know how differences in disciplinary belonging affect sense of belonging within an interdisciplinary setting or how interdisciplinary belonging—defined as the sense of belonging in and contributing to an interdisciplinary learning environment—affects student success.

This mix-methods, longitudinal study examines experiences of disciplinary and interdisciplinary belonging among students in the John Martinson Honors College at Purdue University, which enrolls students from across the university and includes students from each disciplinary college. We hope to determine how the experience of belonging—and its obverse, exclusion—in an interdisciplinary setting is conditioned by feelings of disciplinary belonging and by specific identity categories. We further hope to understand the connection between interdisciplinary belonging or exclusion and academic success behaviors, characteristics, and outcomes (including retention, persistence, participation in interdisciplinary research, and program completion).

This research will contribute nationally to a growing body of scholarship on interdisciplinary honors education, and it will enrich current research on student belonging. Potential benefits include understanding how students develop a sense of belonging within an interdisciplinary honors college, developing a better sense of when and where interventions are needed, and identifying methods to improve student belonging, wellbeing, and success. More locally, this project will contribute to Purdue University’s efforts to map experiences of belonging among Purdue students, connect these experiences to student success, and design interventions to increase sense of belonging.

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