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Construct of Student Identity in Higher Education

Info: 7544 words (30 pages) Dissertation
Published: 13th Dec 2019

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Tagged: EducationYoung PeopleStudents


Little research has been conducted on the construct of student identification in the context of higher education. Specifically, at Xavier University, a Jesuit university rooted in the foundation of learning, service, and achieving as a collective, no public record of such research exists. This suggested that there was a need to intellectually challenge the validity of Xavier’s brand as it pertained to student identification and the implications of it. By conducting a survey on 90 Xavier University students, this study gathered the data on student identification and student supportive attitudes in the university context necessary to provide talking points for both private and public discourse.

All for One: The implications of student identification at Xavier University

Student identification is a process that allows an individual to achieve a positive self-concept within the context of their institution, which has implications for their academic achievement within and supportive attitude towards said institution (Sung and Yang, 2008). In the present study, student identification defines both the student and their place at Xavier University, the first Catholic institution of higher learning dedicated to religion and liberal arts located in Cincinnati, Ohio, started in 1831. This definition is possible through the understanding, application, and culmination of concepts such as social identity, group membership, organizational identification, consumer-company identification, and branding by the institution. Specifically, the present study will assist in the ongoing, critical analysis of Xavier’s motto, “All for One and One for All,” and attempt to indicate validity in its promising tagline. As the University’s success continues to build on its foundation of learning, serving, and achieving as a collective, this study presents a formidable baseline to test the reliability of its claims, notably whether it ascertains and facilitates the psalm phrase, “vidit mirabilia magna.”

According to Turner (1979), social identity is an emotionally significant part of an individual’s self-concept that derives from their perception of a specific social group and defines their place within it through an understanding of the social values categorized by the social group itself. An individual will seek social group membership if it positively contributes to their social identity. However, the perceived positive contributions of social group memberships only acquire meaning when compared to other social group memberships. This process is called intergroup comparison. Thus, an individual’s social group membership can only positively contribute to their social identity when it’s distinctiveness is compared to and subsequently valued over other groups’ distinctiveness. This form of social comparison showcases an important function of social group membership: self-evaluation (Turner, 1979).

Group membership allows an individual to locate socially desirable and sought-after

beliefs and apply them to their life. According to Ashforth and Mael (1989), this means that an individual seeks and continues group membership to realize and evaluate themselves in societally favorable ways. The outcome of an individual’s self-realization and self-evaluation is their social identification, or perception of individuality with others. This perception typically arises from a positive categorization of group members, distinctiveness, prestige, and salience. Individuals also use representative characteristics to order and define both themselves and others through social categories. These include group membership, religion, gender and age. Additionally, social identification causes the individual to act in congruence with the group itself (Ashforth & Mael, 1989).

Per Ashforth and Mael (1989), when applied to organizations, social identification is referred to organizational identification and affects the satisfaction of an individual and the effectiveness of an organization. This is a psychological phenomenon that causes an individual to perceive their fate with the organization they are a member of as the same, meaning that the individual views their success and failure as the organization’s and vice versa. Thus, when individuals experience organizational identification, they define themselves through a sense of belongingness with characteristics that they believe are represented by an organization. Plainly, organizational identification assists an individual in their self-definition by embodying and fulfilling an individual’s ideal set of characteristics (Ashforth & Mael, 1989).

However, this identification only refers to social categories, meaning that an individual

can identify with an organization they belong to while also disagreeing with ideologically driven parts of it (Bhattacharya and Sen, 2003). This refers to organizational commitment, or the strength of an individuals’ organizational identification, which is characterized by an individual’s relative belief and acceptance of organizational goals and values, openness to exercise organizational efforts, and desire to sustain membership (Ashforth and Mael, 1989). Individuals, when consumers, can also identify with companies in both formal and informal membership (Bhattacharya and Sen, 2003).

Consumer-company identification is as active and selective as social and organizational

identification because it is also motivated by self-definition through self-realization and self-

evaluation. According to Bhattacharya and Sen (2003), a company’s identity is categorized by defining characteristics, referred to as its constitutes of identity. These include its operating principles, organizational mission, leadership, industry category, size, age, life cycle, competitive position, country of origin, location, and prototypical employee. Additionally, a company’s identity is also categorized by its communicators of identity, which include media groups, shareholders, channel members, company forums, employees, product offerings, social initiatives, advertising, and public relations. Consumers will evaluate companies in terms of their identity attractiveness, depending on their identity similarity, or similarity between consumer and company, identity distinctiveness, or distinct value traits, and identity prestige. This means that the relationship between consumers’ perception of a company identity and their subsequent evaluation of it is mediated by identity similarity, identity distinctiveness, and identity prestige (Bhattacharya & Sen, 2003).

Per Bhattacharya and Sen (2003), consumers must also perceive a company identity as coherent and trustworthy to identify with it. Companies, then, must fulfill at least one of the three basic self-definitional needs, self-continuity, self-distinctiveness, and self-enhancement, to facilitate consumer-company identification in coherent and trustworthy ways through the perception of attractiveness. If a consumer perceives a company’s identity as successful in its fulfillment of self-definitional needs, the consumer becomes embedded, feeling like an insider. When a consumer is embedded in a company, they are more likely to refer to that company’s identity as attractive. Thus, when the consumer perceives the company’s identity as attractive, they are more likely to be loyal to the company’s products, to promote the company socially and economically, to recruit more members, to disregard negative information about the company, and to have stronger, positive claims about the company. This makes identification management of significant importance within the modern marketplace, which is characterized by consumerization (Bhattacharya & Sen, 2003).

In his research, Schmitt (2011) creates a consumer-psychology model of brands by examining the outcomes of previous studies and applying them into a theoretical framework For Schmitt, a company’s identity can also be called its reputation, meaning that it is dependent on consumer experience. In this way, it is difficult for a company to have a consistent identity over demographic groups because it is multidimensional and based on company size, its extent of diversification, a consumer’s relative familiarity with it, their perception of the company’s community, employee relations, charitable contributions, quality of products and services, and advertising. A company’s image refers to the impression a company has on consumers, an opinion that is independent of consumer experience. However, it is possible to have a consistent image, otherwise referred to as brand. A single brand can encompass a variety of products and services. A consumer can identify, experience, integrate, signal, and connect with a brand. When identifying a brand, a consumer will locate its product category through a process called brand categorization, and compare it to similar brands by using brand associations, creating inter-brand relations. Afterwards, a consumer will begin experiencing a brand by using their senses and participation, their multi-sensory perception, to further their brand affect, or understanding of it, leading to their brand participation (Schmitt, 2011).

According to Schmitt (2011) this leads to their integration, or the combination of collected brand information, referred to as brand concept, and personality of it, called brand personality. Additionally, this includes their relationship with it, otherwise referred to as brand relationship. It is through the anthropomorphizing of a brand in which its inferred personality can be related to. Once knowledgeable, the consumer can signify the brand by using it as an informational cue, meaning that it is now understood as both a specific identity and image, which creates brand symbolism. Brand symbolism is the social representation of similar behaving groups and communities, it signifies both individuals and societies. Thus, an individual has a part of themselves fully defined by the brand they use, their self-brand identity. This process allows connection, or the consumer’s process of becoming forming a brand attitude and brand attachment, allowing entrance into the brand community. A typical brand community is not bound geographically, it is based on consumer relationships with each other. Consumers seek a sense of belonging through these brand communities because they search for both function and expression. Once achieved, they act in accordance with the brand by generating competition towards out-groups and favoritism towards in-groups (Schmitt, 2011).

According to Arpan, Raney, and Zivnuska (2003) academic attributes, athletic attributes, news coverage, and evaluations made by friends and family affect the extent in which current university students rate their university’s image, or brand. These researchers examined whether a non-student population uses different criteria than a student population to gauge university standing, and thus, develop a unique supportive attitude. They hypothesized that the non-student population would, in fact, use different criteria. A random sampling of 90 participants from the United States was used. The independent variables included university name recognition, academics, athletics, and degree program-characteristics. The dependent variable consisted of the participant’s perception of each independent variable, measured by four scales over a four-day period. However, the researchers’ hypothesis was not supported by the collected date. In fact, similar attributes between both groups were used to rate university image. Particularly notable, though, was the attribute of friend and family evaluations (Arpan, Raney & Zivnuska, 2003).

For Sung and Yang (2008), due to increased competition for students of best-fit, the significance of identity and image management, otherwise called branding, now extends to the context of universities, the hybrids of organization and company. Universities are adopting traditionally for-profit branding strategies to effectively communicate their distinct value while also being able to recruit faculty, attract donations, and, most importantly, retain students. Students are particularly important members of a university’s community because their education is the organization’s primary objective. However, the marketization of higher education forces students to become more like consumers and universities to become more like service providers. Thus, university identification exists as a combination of both social and consumer-company identification, meaning that it is characterized by students’ sense of belongingness to the university in both social and economic contexts (Sung & Yang, 2008).

Sung and Yang (2008) examined the impact of university image on student’s supportive attitudes. The researchers hypothesized that (1) positive university image is positively associated with students’ supportive attitudes, (2) a university’s external prestige is positively associated with students’ supportive attitudes, and (3) positive university reputation is positively associated with students’ supportive attitudes. A sampling of 2,800 freshmen from one of the largest universities in South Korea was used. The independent variables consisted of three constructs: university personality, external prestige, and university reputation. The dependent variable consisted of the students’ supportive attitudes, measured by a four-item Likert scale related to the participants’ University. All of the researchers’ hypotheses were supported, but one variable, university reputation, was a key determinant. In this way, the researchers proposed that it is through other’s perception of an individual’s university in which their supportive attitude is primarily decided. This implicates university-specific surveying and subsequent branding as imperatives in the modern context, especially as it relates to student-identification within, and thus, supportive attitudes towards a university (Sung & Yang, 2008).

For Balaji, Roy and Sadeque (2015) University identification can help students enhance their self-concept through mere association, facilitating commitment and valued performance, allowing students to support and represent the university. Student identification, the process of a student achieving positive social identity in the context of university identification, is critical for the success of universities, as it relates to prospective students’ behavioral intentions, to current students’ perception of university merchandise, and their attitude towards the university, and to alumni promotion, donation giving, competitive attitude, and sought contact through social media (Balaji et al., 2015).

Additionally, Polat (2011) examined the relationship between student achievement, student supportive attitude, and the external perception of their university by having a non-directional hypothesis. A sampling of 2057 students from Turkish universities was used. The results of factor-analyzed questionnaire answers suggested that a student’s achievement and supportive attitude, seen through their positive rating of their university, is directly correlated to the external perception of it. Additionally, improvement of campus infrastructure, physical image elements such as logos, public sponsorships, and quality of academic staff can also affect how current students rate their university’s image. To have a supportive attitude, then, a student must identify with, commit to, trust, and feel as a member of their university, meaning that they are able to resonate with the university’s personality, reputation, and external prestige (Polat, 2011).

However, there has been little research conducted on the construct of student identification in American higher education, specifically at Xavier University. Therefore, research such as this is necessary to determine the validity of Xavier University’s seemingly authentic, aspirational, and inclusive voice as it pertains to student identification, as well as how it effects future branding efforts, specifically to that of current students. This research will contribute to preexisting empirical evidence on the topic of student identification by increasing the understanding of self-concept within the context of university through academic achievement and supportive attitudes. Additionally, it will contribute to Xavier University’s internal and external branding efforts.

Therefore, based on the literature review, it is hypothesized that a student’s identification with and supportive attitude towards Xavier University will be positively associated with positive information about the University. In alignment with social comparison, it is through positive representation of a group in which positive meaning is created.



Participants will be undergraduate students at Xavier University. Some will receive

research credit for participating. All participants will be recruited using convenience sampling by

using flyer on a bulletin board in Elet Hall, a University newsletter through email, and a

notification on Canvas, the University’s social learning platform. The target sample size is 30

participants per condition (positive information, neutral information, and negative information)

for a total of 90 participants (half male, half female).


Materials and Measures

Participants randomly assigned to one of three conditions will be given an information

Piece after reading an informed consent form (see Appendix A). The participants in the positive

information condition will read an article about Xavier University’s partnership with TriHealth

(see Appendix B). The participants in the neutral information condition will read sections 1.1.1

to 1.1.7 of Xavier University’s Student Handbook (see Appendix C). The participants in the

negative information condition will read an article about racist events that took place on Xavier

University’s campus (see Appendix D). The experimenter will then ask participants to answer

the question, “How does this piece of information make you feel?” by writing for five minutes

(see Appendix E). This will enforce the effect of information on the constructs student-

identification and supportive attitude in a qualitatively measureable way.

Student-identification within and supportive attitude towards Xavier University will then

be quantitatively measured using a 27-item, 7-point Likert scale created specifically for the

present study in pretext of previous research (see Appendix E). An example item is the

statement, “Xavier University has a distinctive identity.” Participants will respond in a scoring

range between 1, strongly disagree, and 7, strongly agree. Higher scores mean that, as a student,

the answering participant identifies with and has a supportive attitude towards Xavier University.

Low scores mean that, as a student, the answering participant does not identify with nor has

supportive attitude towards Xavier University. Previous research (Arpan, Raney & Zivnuska,

2003; Sung & Yang, 2008; Polat, 2011) indicates and suggests both reliability and validity of

this method.



The proposed research will employ a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to measure

and compare the effect of positive information, neutral information, and negative information on

student identification within and supportive attitude towards Xavier University.



Inside a classroom, participants randomly assigned to one of three conditions, positive

information, neutral information, or negative information, will be given an informed consent

form. The participants will then read a piece of information specific to their condition.

Afterwards, the experimenter will hand out sheets of paper and the participants will be given five

minutes to write about the piece of information they read on the sheets, answering the question,

“How does this piece of information make you feel?” The experimenter will then collect the

participants’ responses and hand out a 27-item Likert scale, which tests the constructs of student

identification and supportive attitude within the context of Xavier University. Additionally, the

participants will answer a demographics form. Once the participants are finished, the

experimenter will then debrief them, award them extra credit if necessary, and dismiss them.

This process will remain consistent for all three conditions.

The experimenter will then take the participants’ written responses and answers on the

scale and record their content on a data sheet alongside their demographic information. Data will

be analyzed using two one-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) to measure and compare the

effect of positive information, neutral information, and negative information on student-

identification within and supportive attitude towards Xavier University.





Arpan, L., Raney, A., & Zivnuska, S., (2003). A cognitive approach to understanding

university image. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 8(2), 97-113.

Ashforth, B. E., & Mael, F. (1989). Social Identity Theory and the Organization. The

Academy of Management Review, 14(1), 20–39.

Balaji, M., Roy, S., & Sadeque, S., (2015) The antecedents and consequences of

university brand identification. Journal of Business Research, 69(8), 3023-3032.

Bhattacharya, C., & Sankar, S., (2003). Consumer-company Identification: A framework

for understanding consumers’ relationships with companies. Journal of Marketing, 67(4), 76-88.

Polat, S., (2011). The relationship between university students’ academic

achievement and perceived organizational image. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice,

11(1). 257-262.

Schmitt, B. (2011). The consumer psychology of brands. Society for Consumer

Psychology, 22, 7-17.

Sung, M., & Yang, S. (2008). Toward the model of university image: The influence of

brand personality, external prestige, and reputation. Journal of Public Relations Research, 20(4),


Turner, J., (1979). Social comparison and social identity: Some prospects for intergroup

behavior. European Journal of Social Psychology, 5(1), 5-34.

Appendix A


Informed Consent Form

Your participation in this study will involve reading a piece of information, writing about it, and then recording your level of agreement with items on a scale. The total time to complete this study is approximately 30 minutes.


By reading a piece of information, writing about it, and then recording your level of agreement with items on a scale, I am indicating my informed consent to participate in this study.

Appendix B

Positive Information Piece

TriHealth, Xavier unveil plans for fitness and recreation center


TriHealth and Xavier University, two of Greater Cincinnati’s leading health and educational institutions with a long relationship with each other, pledged Thursday to a broad, sweeping experiment to improve the health of a college campus.

Beacon Orthopedic, a major regional private medical practice that provides medical services to XU athletics, will join the effort, officials announced at a news conference at the Cintas Center.

A team of XU faculty, staff and students will start work this month with TriHealth leaders and clinicians to design the new fitness center, said TriHealth spokesman Joe Kelley. The project size and cost has not yet been determined, but the new facility will be on Cleneay Avenue and Musketeer Drive near residence halls and Cintas Center. The target opening date is fall 2019.

The new center will replace the O’Connor Sports Center, built in 1976 and located on the west side of the XU campus north of Victory Parkway and Dana Avenue. A desire to replace O’Connor was one reason that XU began a process a few years ago to seek health care providers as partners, said Rev. Michael J. Graham, XU’s president.

But Xavier also wanted to boost its existing academic offerings in health care, as well as improve the health of its staff and students and the care for its student-athletes, he said. The idea to “put it together” in one package with a sponsor was the idea of XU’s trustees, Graham said in an interview. The new center will have academic classrooms related to health and wellness.

The decision to extend the partnership between XU and TriHealth made sense because “teaching and healing are very much at the core” of both organizations, Graham told about 200 people at a news conference announcing the alliance.

XU and TriHealth are also major religious institutions in Cincinnati, and for the past 20 years, they have maintained a close business and medical relationship. They developed and built University Station in Norwood, which features the TriHealth medical practices Queen City Adult and nearby Bethesda Family Medicine.

The health care system already works with XU to develop education and training and provides support with Beacon at Xavier sports events, said Kelley. Xavier students can use concierge services at TriHealth’s hospitals, and TriHealth leaders serve on Xavier boards.

Under the expanded partnership, TriHealth will provide services to 18,000 Xavier faculty, staff and their dependents that will extend beyond traditional health care, said Mark Clement, TriHealth’s chief executive officer. “Now you see your doctor when you sick” and you don’t see them again until you’re sick again,” said Clement, an XU graduate. In the new model, the focus will be on encouraging health and preventing problems while also getting better outcomes.

TriHealth already provides traditional wellness services for more than 3,000 local employers ranging from Fortune 500 companies to “mom and pop store,” Clement said. The health system wants to offer services similar to those it will provide to XU to more employers.

Officials also believe the closer relationship will lead to more medical leadership programs.

Over the past 10 years, TriHealth has produced more than 275 fellowship and residency graduates, many of them from Xavier’s Health Services Administration programs.

The plan also aims to support Xavier’s nationally ranked athletics program by expanding the sports-medicine team and enhancing the clinical care model for student athletes.

Finally, the affiliation will lead to better primary care on campus. “All this together gives everyone the ability to imagine and implement a bold mission on how health and wellness should be integrated on a campus for a more vibrant community,” Kelley said.

The TriHealth-Xavier announcement is the second recent investment by a local health system into a local college campus. St. Elizabeth Healthcare has contributed $8 million for a two-story medical simulation center now under construction at Northern Kentucky University.

Retrieved from: http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2017/01/12/trihealth-xavier-unveil-plans-fitness-and-recreation-center/96436972/

Appendix C

Neutral Information Piece

Xavier University Student Handbook

Welcome to Xavier University’s Student Handbook. For more information or questions regarding the Student Handbook, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at (513) 745-3166.

1.1.1 – Vision Statement of Xavier University

Xavier men and women become people of learning and reflection, integrity and achievement, in solidarity for and with others.

1.1.2 – Mission Statement of Xavier University

Xavier is a Jesuit Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts tradition. Our mission is to educate each student intellectually, morally, and spiritually. We create learning opportunities through rigorous academic and professional programs integrated with co-curricular engagement. In an inclusive environment of open and free inquiry, we prepare students for a world that is increasingly diverse, complex and interdependent. Driven by our commitment to the common good and to the education of the whole person, the Xavier community challenges and supports students as they cultivate lives of reflection, compassion and informed action.

1.1.3 – Values Statement

Xavier University is based on a Catholic, Jesuit tradition and is committed to supporting the intrinsic value of each human being. This tradition is dedicated to providing students with a caring, supportive, and developmentally enriching environment that focuses on the whole person, influenced by justice and love. Being a member of the Xavier University community is a privilege that carries with it responsibility for the well-being of all other members of the community. At Xavier University all members of the community share responsibility for the health and safety of fellow students and for the regulation of student conduct. The Standards of Student Conduct are designed to foster the ethical, developmental, and personal integrity of students and to promote an environment that is in accord with the values of respect for oneself, respect for others, respect for authority, respect for community, respect for property, and respect for University values – honesty and integrity. Choosing to join this community obligates you to act in a manner that is consistent with these principles. Civility and respect for all individuals is fundamental to the Xavier educational experience. The “power of X” is building respect for self, others, and the world. Violation of this values statement may be grounds for conduct charges.

1.1.4 – Xavier University Student Commitment

We are Xavier Musketeers.
We are unique individuals who come together
in the spirit of St. Ignatius,
to learn together, to serve together
and we will succeed in changing the world together.
We act with integrity, justice and generosity.
All for one and one for all.

1.1.5 – Scope of Policies, Guidelines, and Procedures Contained in the Student Handbook

It is the obligation of every Xavier University student (undergraduate, graduate, traditional, non-traditional, full-time, part-time, on-campus, or off-campus resident) to comply with the policies, guidelines, and procedures within the Xavier University Student Handbook as a condition of enrollment noting that some aspects of the contents specifically refer to specific student populations. Additional policies, guidelines and procedures may be utilized by offices, colleges, departments or programs within Xavier consistent with the policies in the Student Handbook. In the event of a conflict between those policies, guidelines or procedures and the Student Handbook, the Student Handbook will apply unless otherwise noted herein.

The contents of this Handbook apply to all students who represent Xavier in any capacity where University resources (human or fiscal) support a program, event, or trip (domestic or international). It is within the rights of any faculty member, club or organization advisor, or any person functioning as a University agent and a responsible party for a University-sponsored trip or educational experience (academic or co-curricular) to take prudent action when violations occur based on inappropriate choices that may place a student at risk of harming self or others. This may include ending the experience for the entire group or sending a student back to Xavier at the person’s personal expense.

Any violation of this Handbook will be handled according to the Student Conduct Process set forth in Part 3 of this Handbook.

The Student Handbook applies when a student is accused of violating Xavier policy by a fellow student, employee (staff and faculty), contractor, or third party (i.e., visitor to campus). The Harassment Code & Accountability Procedures applies when an employee or contractor is accused of violating Xavier policy by a student, employee, contractor, or third party.

1.1.6 – Official Version Provision

All students are responsible for knowing, understanding, and abiding by the terms of the official version of this Handbook. The official version of this Handbook is located on Xavier’s website at http://www.xavier.edu/studenthandbook. The link to the official version of this Handbook will be emailed to all students annually.

The University reserves the right to make changes to the Student Handbook  at  any  time. Notice of changes to this Student Handbook will be provided to students through the Campus Portal, e-mail system, or by some other method reasonably intended to reach all students.  This version is authorized for use effective as of its posting to the Dean of Student’s website and replaces any prior versions, including any prior statements regarding Standards of Student Conduct at Xavier University.

1.1.7 – Official Email Address for University Correspondences

Appendix D

Negative Information Piece

Xavier president ‘outraged’ at student blackface photo


Fox19NOW | Published 1:59 p.m. ET Oct 25, 2016 | Updated 5:06 p.m. ET

Xavier University’s president says he is “outraged and deeply troubled” by a pair of racist images connected to Xavier students that circulated on social media Tuesday.

The first photo shows a woman wearing apparent blackface with the caption “Who needs white when black lives matter.” It appears to have been originally posted on Snapchat.

The second image shows a hanging skeleton dressed in a dashiki, a garment that originates from West Africa.

“Please be assured this is being addressed on campus through a variety of channels,” President Michael Graham wrote in an email to staff and students Tuesday morning.

It’s not clear where the racist images originated, but several students sent the photos to Fox19 Now over social media.

Graham told students he will continue to keep them updated on the situation.

“Racist actions are unacceptable on our campus, and we have mechanisms to respond in a responsible and thoughtful manner. When one of us falls short, we all fall short,” Graham’s email continued. “Many of our students, of all races, are in pain over this. Steps are being taken to make sure that all members of the Xavier community know that we must act with integrity, justice and generosity, in solidarity for and with each other.”

About one in 10 Xavier students is black, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard website. The website says 72 percent of Xavier’s 4,460 undergraduates are white.

Retrieved from: http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2016/10/25/xavier-president-outraged-student-blackface-photo/92728048/

Appendix E

Written Answer

Please answer the following question to the best of your ability:

How did this piece of information make you feel?



















Appendix F

Student-identification and Supportive Attitude Scale

The following statements refer to your feelings regarding your place in and feeling towards Xavier University. They also gauge to what extent you agree or disagree with them.

A score of (1) means strongly disagree, (2) means disagree, (3) means somewhat disagree, (4) is neutral, (5) is somewhat agree, (6) means agree, and a score of (7) means strongly agree.

Please answer as truthfully as possible.

I like what Xavier University stands for.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

Xavier University has an attractive identity.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

I recognize myself as a member of Xavier University.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

My sense of who I am matches my sense of Xavier University.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

Xavier University has a distinctive identity.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

Xavier University stands out from other Universities.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

Xavier University is nationally known for its academic programs.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

I am confident in my family’s decision to invest in Xavier University’s education.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

Xavier University has a high standard of education.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

I feel like I know very well what Xavier University stands for.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

It is difficult to get a clear sense of what Xavier University stands for because of its actions.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

Most students at Xavier University are intelligent.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

I trust Xavier University.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

I think about Xavier University often.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

My interactions with Xavier University are overwhelmingly positive.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

I feel comfortable at Xavier University.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

Xavier University has been positively formative in my personal growth.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

I often talk favorably about Xavier University to my family and friends.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

I often wear clothing with Xavier University’s name or logo.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

My friends and family speak highly of Xavier University.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

I forgive Xavier University when it makes mistakes.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

I felt the “blackface incident” that occurred at Xavier University in 2016 misrepresented it.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

If I have children, I can see myself wanting them to attend Xavier University.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

I can see myself donating to Xavier University in the future.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

I feel embarrassed when talking about Xavier University.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

Xavier University is committed to academic excellence.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

Xavier University is committed to its student’s personal growth.

  1. _____ (2) _____ (3) _____ (4) _____ (5) _____ (6) _____ (7) _____

Appendix G

Demographics Form

The following items collect demographic information about individuals participating in this study. This information will not be used for identification purposes.


– Male

– Female

– Other ___________


  • White or Caucasian
  • Black or African American
  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Asian
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

–     Other ___________

Age:  ___________

Grade: __________

GPA: __________

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