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The College Student

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S U M M E R   2 0 2 2


Explores how various student development theories can be leveraged to positively impact learners' social and academic success in higher education.


This course introduced me to student development theory, something that I might have intuitively guessed at previously but had no real training or exposure to prior to this course. Within the broad topic of student development theory, there are also subsections to consider: the various different theories and models that exist to describe the development of different students, from race and ethnicity, to gender and sexuality, and many more other social identities. Even further than that, utilizing film allowed me to apply some of these theories to characters in the same way I might utilize these theories in practice as a professional.


Moving forward in my work as a student facing administrator in an academic department, understanding these theories will help me achieve success for myself, my colleagues, and my students in several key areas. First, understanding student development theory and utilizing it to examine the trajectory of students in my department will allow me to better assist in curriculum management. Understanding key developmental milestones can inform the way we structure our programs and classes, and allow space for students to grow with assistance from faculty and staff. Second, student development theory also provides the tools for understanding differences across social groups as well as similarities. Utilizing this knowledge can assist myself and my colleagues in preparing events and activities that will connect the department across those differences. Lastly, I can know utilize my familiarity with student development theory when I work directly with students. Students often have questions or concerns about their particular situations and interests; understanding where students might be in their personal development will allow me to better support them when they seek assistance.

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