An immersive field trip focused on beef production increases the sense of belonging in ethnoracial minority college students. Academic Article uri icon


  • Sense of belonging is a student's sense of feeling accepted, valued, and included by others in their discipline. Imposter syndrome is self-perceived intellectual fraud in areas of success. Sense of belonging and imposter syndrome can influence behavior and well-being and are linked to academic and career outcomes. Our objective was to evaluate if a 5-d tour of the beef cattle industry changed college students' sense of belonging and imposter tendencies with a focus on ethnicity/race. Procedures involving human subjects were approved by the Texas State University (TXST) IRB (#8309). Students from TXST and Texas A&M University (TAMU) attended a beef cattle industry tour in the Texas Panhandle in May 2022. Identical pre- and post-tests were administered immediately before and after the tour. Statistical analyses were conducted with SPSS v.26. Independent sample t-tests were used to evaluate the change from pre- to post-survey and one-way ANOVA was used to evaluate the effect of ethnicity/race. Students (n = 21) were mostly female (81%); attended TAMU (67%) or TXST (33%); and were White (52%), Hispanic (33%), or Black (14%). "Hispanic" and "Black" were combined as a single variable to analyze differences between White and ethnoracial minority students. Before the tour, there was a difference (P = 0.05) in sense of belonging in agriculture between White (4.33 0.16) and ethnoracial minority (3.73 0.23) students such that White students had stronger belonging. There was no change (P = 0.55) in White students' sense of belonging as a result of the tour, from 4.33 0.16 to 4.39 0.44. However, there was a change (P 0.01) in ethnoracial minority students' sense of belonging, from 3.73 0.23 to 4.37 0.27. There was no change (P = 0.36) in imposter tendencies from the pre-test (58.76 2.46) to the post-test (60.52 2.79). Ultimately, participating in the tour increased ethnoracial minority, but not White, students' sense of belonging and did not impact imposter syndrome tendencies across or within ethnicity/race. One benefit of implementing experiential learning opportunities in dynamic social environments is the potential to improve students' sense of belonging, especially in disciplines and careers where ethnoracial minority people are underrepresented.

published proceedings

  • Transl Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Drewery, M. L., Cooper, J. V., Waliczek, T. M., & Wickersham, T. A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Drewery, Merritt L||Cooper, Jade V||Waliczek, Tina M||Wickersham, Tryon A

publication date

  • January 2023