Publication Date

Summer 7-22-2021

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


At the intersection of gender and race, women of color (WOC) often lack holistic support in navigating their undergraduate experience at the University of San Diego (USD). My purpose in this action research was to understand how Women of Color define, experience, and navigate their sense of academic, social, and cultural belonging at USD beyond the data. Consisting of three cycles, this research asked participants to define each sense of belonging followed by an individual interview to share how they have experienced their own definition of belonging at USD. The last cycle of this research was an opportunity for participants to meet each other and have an open discussion to share their USD experiences. At the end of this research, recommendations on how to build a more holistic sense of belonging for women of color are also directly provided from both participants and researcher observation.