Within the Student Affairs realm, the most common occurrence has to be the interactions with students who are often given labels, placed into categories, and described in terms of the numerous stereotypes available to the world…quite common. Then, why as professionals do we continue this trend with theories?
Sometimes, it is as simple as blindness. Professionals, without notice and unfortunate as it is, arrive at a point where the vast and endless theories blanket their vision. This new “lens” helps to plan acceptable programs, establish appropriate initiatives, and manage interactions based on research, good solid…research. However, as the categorization starts, the investment declines.
Please answer the following:
Question 1: What is the term used to describe a student who views the world in right vs wrong, truth vs falsehood, or good vs bad?
Question 2: True or False – first-generation college students are less likely to graduate and obtain a degree?
Question 3: Which program is appropriate to implement in a residence hall that addresses the continuous lack of the community’s academic success?
Through true, deep investment we come to understand the differences between the students on-campus. Through literature and research we fail to understand that these same students are more than traits or trends. In reference to the theories, students need no further labels to be placed upon them. As a profession that encourages independence and discourages discriminative language; we appreciate the overwhelming confidence to place students in regards to these theories and use higher education vernacular to describe them.
Do Student Development Theories account for all the information a professional needs to interact with students at their institution?
In order to answer this question, we need to remove the articles from the tips of our noses and focus on the person who walks into the office looking at their future, not their past.