Where Student Engagement Meets Faculty Development: How Student-Faculty Pedagogical Partnership Fosters a Sense of Belonging


  • Alison Cook-Sather Bryn Mawr University
  • Peter Felten Elon University


‘Belonging’ is widely understood to be important in both student engagement and faculty development. Only recently, however, have these two arenas begun to overlap. In this opinion piece we contend that student-faculty (student-staff) pedagogical partnerships, situated at the intersection of student engagement and academic development, are uniquely positioned to foster belonging for students and academic staff, particularly for those who have traditionally been marginalized in higher education. This enhanced sense of belonging emerges as partners engage iteratively in three dynamic processes: doing meaningful work together, creating spaces and opportunities for exploration and growth, and engaging in regular and ongoing affirmation of all involved. Through these mutually informing processes, partnerships nurture belonging for both students and faculty, fostering a reinforcing cycle of deepening engagement and meaningful development.


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Author Biographies

Alison Cook-Sather, Bryn Mawr University

Alison Cook-Sather is the Mary Katharine Woodworth Professor of Education and Director of the Peace, Conflict and Social Justice Studies concentration at Bryn Mawr College and Director of the Teaching and Learning Institute at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges.

Peter Felten, Elon University

Peter Felten is assistant provost for teaching and learning at Elon University, executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning, and professor of history.


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How to Cite

Cook-Sather, A., & Felten, P. (2017). Where Student Engagement Meets Faculty Development: How Student-Faculty Pedagogical Partnership Fosters a Sense of Belonging. Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal, 1(2), 3. Retrieved from https://sehej.raise-network.com/raise/article/view/cook



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