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Theoretical Foundation 


OASIS is grounded in Dr. Sam Museus’s (2014) Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) model, which focuses on three elements: 

  • Sense of Belonging: Do I feel like I belong here?  Do I have a trusted community?
  • Academic Dispositions: Do I feel like I’m learning?  Do I feel like I can succeed? 
  • Academic Performance: Do my test scores or grades reflect what I am capable of?

Based on 20 years of empirical research on what contributes to diverse populations thriving in higher education, CECE uses an asset-based approach to focus on the positive elements of campus environments that need to be nurtured to move toward greater inclusion. 

 Museus has produced over 200 publications and conference presentations focused on diversity and equity, campus environments, and college student outcomes. He has published in a wide range of journals, such as the Harvard Educational Review, Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, Teachers College Record, and The Review of Higher Education. Museus has previously received several national awards in recognition of the impact of his scholarship, including the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Early Career Award in 2011, the NASPA George D. Kuh Outstanding Contribution to Research and Literature Award in 2014, and the Robert H. Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member in 2018. Museus has been featured in various media outlets such as NPR, Inside Higher Ed, and the Boston Globe.