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Journal of College and Character

Ed. by Dalton, Jon C. / Crosby, Pamela



Soul-Building: Students' Perspectives on Meaning, Purpose, and the College Experience

Michele M. Welkener1 / Amanda Bowsher2

1University of Dayton

2University of Maryland, College Park

Citation Information: Journal of College and Character. Volume 13, Issue 3, ISSN (Online) 1940-1639, DOI: 10.1515/jcc-2012-1881, August 2012

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Research suggests that students are becoming increasingly interested in exploring their meaning and purpose (HERI, 2005). How college students understand these terms and how they are prompted to reflect on such existential questions, however, deserves further attention. In this article, the authors share narratives from a qualitative inquiry with undergraduates who discussed their perceptions of the ambiguous, but significant terms meaning and purpose, the role and salience of meaning and purpose in their lives, experiences during college that encouraged students to think about these concepts, and implications for practice in higher education.

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