Publication Date

Summer 8-7-2021

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


The commuter student experience is not one that is often thought of at largely residential universities like the University of San Diego (USD). My research focused on how I and the Office of Community and Leadership Development enhanced the experience of commuter students within the Commuter Commons at USD. The purpose of my research was to identify how the Commuter Commons engaged with and retained student’s active participation throughout the academic year. Through survey responses, one-on-one interviews, and a small group discussion with current USD commuter students we were able to reimagine what support for this student group looks like. This research further explains why more assessment, commuter-targeted programming, and departmental funds are needed to help foster a greater sense of belonging at USD.