Publication Date

2002

Abstract

One of the basic needs of an individual is to belong. Wherever an individual is, s/he seeks to belong, to feel connected with other human beings. Whether it is in one's family, in one's social group, in one's neighborhood, in one's school, in one's workplace, everyone needs to feel a sense of belonging. It is therefore very natural for an individual to establish relationships or build connections in his/her immediate environment. Wherever one is, a sense of community is sought, to be able to meet the need for belonging (Slater, 1976). The people at the School for International Training (SIT), including students, faculty and staff are not different from other individuals ¾ everyone has the need to belong. As such, students, faculty, and staff seek and build community at SIT as their campus and their workplace. As the current campus Ombudsperson, I chose the topic of community building for my capstone because it is related to my goals as the Ombudsperson -advocacy, continuity, and integration. This research aimed to find out the educational goals of current SIT students, 54 MAT 32s and 112 PIM 60s, and if there was a supportive relationship between those goals and the community-building structures at SIT. One of the by-products of this research was to be a list of effective community-building structures at SIT that students and staff found to be supportive to students' educational goals. Another by-product was to be a set of recommendations on how to strengthen the SIT community.

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