The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2 - 35

Cultivation of Support Networks by Students of Color

ratives, and complexity to emerge (Glesne,
2016). We used the same 10 questions and
semi-structured protocol across focus groups.
Sample prompts included the following:
 Why participants chose this institution and
why they chose to live on campus.
 Participant definitions of "support
network" and whether they had a network.
 How participants developed networks to
navigate challenges.
 Advice participants had for Students of
Color attending their institution.
 Suggestions participants had for
supporting Students of Color at this PWI.
The staff on the research team conducted
the focus groups, while the principal investigator took notes. We audio recorded and transcribed focus group conversations.

Data Analysis
Research team debriefings provided structure
for preliminary themes (Maxwell, 2013) and
initial data organization (Creswell, 2014). The
principal investigator and graduate student
conducted inductive data analysis in combination with open coding. Identification of
themes or "category construction" (Merriam,
2009) was done through inductive analysis
(Huberman & Miles, 1998) and began with
reading focus group transcripts and making
"notes, comments, observations, and queries"
(Merriam, 2009, p. 178). As themes emerged,
we continued coding for data and developed
coding memos refining codes and categories to
most appropriately capture the data described
therein (Merriam, 2009). We reviewed data repeatedly until a comprehensive set of themes
was identified (Creswell, 2014).

FINDINGS
In response to our research question "How
do Students of Color develop networks of
support in residence hall settings at PWIs?"
participants discussed the importance of developing relationships with others. These
relationships were essential to Students of
Color feeling connected to their residential
communities and the campus. Specifically,
the roles of the Community Advisor (or CA,
sometimes referred to as Resident Advisor/
RA), roommates and friends, and the custodial staff were important.

Community
Beyond being a place to sleep, eat, and bathe,
residential communities provided spaces
where students built support at this PWI. As
one participant shared,
[Living in the halls] helped me adjust to
the vast majority of the people here, as in
being a Black person. It helped me adjust to
being one of the few Blacks in my residence
hall amongst all these Whites. So, it kind of
lowered the culture shock before classes came
and it also helped me build a bond with some
friends so . . . I would have some people that I
knew. So, I built support.
Having a sense of connection and interpersonal bonds with other residents prepared Students of Color for what they would experience
on the larger campus. Perhaps more importantly, this student talked about the need for
this support, given that he was one of very few
Black students at this PWI. Friends provided
the support for his experiences in the halls, but
also his experience in the larger context of this
specific PWI campus.
V O L U M E 4 5 , N O. 2 * 2 0 1 9

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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2 - Intro
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