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Higher education research suggests that the development of a sense of belonging is key to academic success and persistence, yet we know little about how first-year students with disabilities develop a sense of belonging as they transition into and through their first year in postsecondary environments. Themes from a grounded theory study of 8 college students, most of whom had invisible disabilities, provided the foundation for an emerging model of belonging. Student narratives suggest there are interconnections between the development of a sense of belonging, self-advocacy, social relationships, and mastery of the student role for first-year students with disabilities.

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Copyright ©2015 ACPA – College Student Educators International (ACPA)