Continuing our featured posts for #CSAM14 we wanted to highlight what some #SApros & #SAgrads had to say about student development theory in the work that they do. We often see student development theories being taught in #SAgrad programs & in the work we do. Here are a few answers from some wonderful contributors!
Which student development theories do you use most often in your work (your “go to favorites)?
I’m a huge fan of Chickering’s Theory of Identity Development. Whenever I work with a student that is my “go-to” theory to try and diagnose where they are on the proverbial developmental spectrum. I’m also a fan of Astin’s Theory of Involvement. I think it’s important for students to get involved outside of the classroom and to know where they can get the best experiences out of that involvement. Perry’s Scheme of Intellectual and Ethical Development is also one of my favorites. It helps when you know how students think about certain topics and ideas in order to help them succeed.
~ Kevin Knudsen
I love Schlossberg’s theories of marginality, mattering, and transition. It’s very applicable to the work I do on a daily basis.
After doing this for so long I think that some of my theories have molded into one comprehensive theory that I implement in practice. My education was great for providing me a framework but my practice and experience have provided me with working knowledge. So my answer to this question is that I do the best i can for as long as I can while treating people with respect, kindness, and understanding as they try to navigate the difficulties of life.
~ Nate Johnson
I like Kolb’s theory. There’s something helpful breaking down each person’s learning style–it gives you the chance to create opportunities to for people to stay in their comfort zones, as well as step out of them. I also use Peter Senge’s systems thinking, (which is more leadership focused), when working with groups. It’s incredibly helpful.
~ Jamie Rosenbloom
My go to favorites are Perry, Rogers, and Gilligan. I also draw on learning theory, critical theory, and intersectionality in my work on campus.
~ Kristan Cilente Skendall
I’m a bit sacrelig on this one – I don’t have a go to theory. I work with a lot of staff that get lost or hide behind theory and can’t see that the work we do is more than theory. Yes, theories shape my work, but I also think my work shapes theories. Honestly, to me, one of the biggest pitfalls of newer professionals is thinking that the entire scope of work we do can be solved with a theory or theories. They forget that there is administrative detail needed, as well as other hard skill sets that get lost sometimes in the soft skills of theory. Just my opinion – for what it is worth!
~ Torry Brouillard-Bruce
Foundationally I love Perry – of course there are limitations to his work, but it offers a good basis for so many additional theories that I think his work is critical to Student Affairs.
~ Reece Painter
Sanford. It’s all about providing just the right amount of challenge and support.
~ Eric Stoller
About our contributors:
Bio: Hi Everyone! My name is Kevin Knudsen and I am a second year graduate student and graduate assistant at Salisbury University! For the longest time I wanted to be a secondary social studies teacher, but changed my career path last year when I found my true passion in Student Affairs. My main role at SU is in our learning center, the Center for Student Achievement, where I oversee the tutoring program among various other responsibilities. I work with the Orientation program at the beginning of every semester where I help plan and oversee the Transfer Orientation Program as well. I also serve as the president of the Graduate Student Council. I’m very excited about the upcoming months as I’ll be pursuing a full-time career in the field!
Years in field: 0-1
Connect with Kevin on Twitter: @kknuds21
Kristan Cilenten Skendall
Bio: Kristan Cilente Skendall completed her doctorate at the University of Maryland, College Park in the College Student Personnel program and works as the Associate Director of the Gemstone Program, a four-year undergraduate research program in the Honors College at the University of Maryland. Kristan also has a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Arizona and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and history from the College of William & Mary, where she served as a Resident Assistant.
Professionally, Kristan has worked at Georgetown University, the U.S. Department of Education, and at ACPA-College Student Educators International. Kristan’s served as the Senior Coordinator for Community Service-Learning in the Adele H. Stamp Student Union, where she coordinated the Alternative Spring Break program in its initial years on campus. She has published several articles and book chapters related to student leadership, alternative spring break, multiple identity development, and new professionals needs.
Years in field: 11-15
Connect with Kristan on Twitter: @kskendall
Bio: Eric Stoller is a higher education thought-leader, consultant, writer, and speaker. He frequently gives keynotes on how individuals and organizations can use social media strategically and thoughtfully. Eric is a proponent for teaching students about digital identity development and has been a blogger for InsideHigherEd.com since 2010.
Years in field: 11-15
Connect with Eric on Twitter: @EricStoller
Bio: Lindsay Ritenbaugh works as the Program Coordinator for Student Organizations at DePaul University, overseeing 300+ student organizations, the Student Involvement Ambassadors, and DemonTHON, DePaul’s Dance Marathon. She is an active member of NASPA, AFA, and serves as president of the Kappa Delta Lakeside Alumnae Chapter in Chicago, IL. She attended graduate school at the University of Florida and did her undergraduate studies at Florida Southern College.
Years in field: 2-4
Connect with Lindsay on Twitter: @lindsayrite
Bio: Nathan Johnson, most commonly called Nate, is in his 12th year as a student affairs professional. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a degree in Sociology and received his masters degree from Eastern Michigan University. Nate has built a career on mentorship and helping others to explore their understated value and embrace their limitless potential. A common phrase that he uses often, “The world is made better or worse by the person that you choose to become,” is a cornerstone of how he lives his profession.
Years in field: 11-15
Connect with Nate on Twitter: @n8iveson
Bio: I am an educator with a foundation that exists in the overlap of leadership and student developments. I believe in meeting students where they are at and that anything is possible with the power of awe. I am a reader of many things and a writer of fiction. I love crossword puzzles and warm weather. B.S.-English, M.A.-Higher Education Leadership
Years in field: 0-1
Connect with Jamie on Twitter: @JamieSara22
Bio: I am currently the Executive Director for Housing and Greek Life at University of the Pacific. Prior to working at Pacific I worked professionally at the University of Arizona and Montana State University. I have a B.A.Ed in elementary education from Eastern Washington University and an M.Ed in adult and higher education administration from Montana State University.
Years in field: 8-10
Connect with Torry on Twitter: @torrybruce
Bio: Reece Painter is a Program Coordinator in Student Programs and Leadership Development at Fairfield University. Reece assists in the facilitation of orientation programs, First Year Experience, International Student services, late night programming, and helps to coordinate student leadership programs and initiatives. An alumnus of Eastern Connecticut State University, Reece graduated in 2011 with a Bachelors of Arts in English and a minor in History. In May of 2014, Reece graduated from Central Connecticut State University with her Masters of Science in Student Development in Higher Education. In November of this year, Reece will present her thesis, “Betwixt and Between: Understanding First-Generation College Student Cultural Transition” at the NASPA Region 1 Conference.
Years in field:2-4
Connect with Reece on Twitter: @PiecesofReeces