Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Laura Holt


Previous research has focused on how students of color are enculturated on college campuses, and particularly how ethnic subcultures on campus may facilitate adjustment into the larger campus community (Museus, 2008). Additionally, research has focused on how ethnically- oriented social groups affect intergroup attitudes and behaviors within ethnic classes (Sidanius et al., 2004). P.R.I.D.E. is a student organization at Trinity College that focuses on creating a supportive environment for all students, with an emphasis on students of color. In order to better understand how this organization affects students’ sense of racial/ethnic identity and sense of belonging on campus, I conduct five focus groups with students who had varying levels of exposure to P.R.I.D.E. to examine the following questions: (1) To what extent do theories of student departure and identity development manifest in students at Trinity? (2) To what extent do students of color on campus utilize the P.R.I.D.E. program as an extension of their ethnic identity? (3) In what ways does P.R.I.D.E. promote a sense of belonging on campus and facilitate the process of meshing home culture with Trinity culture? My analysis of the focus group data suggested three major themes (Racial/Ethnic Identity, Campus Experiences, and Impact of P.R.I.D.E.) and various subthemes subsumed under these larger themes that characterize a student of color’s experience on Trinity’s campus. These themes were loosely aligned with the Theory of Student Departure, and not very well aligned with the Expanded Nigrescence Model. Implications of these findings for the design of future programming will be discussed.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford, CT for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Psychology.