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Higher Education: Student Development Theory

EDHI 380 B (CRN: 91302)

3 Credit Hours

About EDHI 380 B

Designed to cover selected educational problems in depth. The major emphasis will be on intensive and critical analysis of the literature and practice in a given area.


Graduate standing

Section Description

The description of this course is written in accordance with the CAS standards and guidelines for master’s level student affairs professional preparation programs (Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, 2015) as articulated in subpart 5b.1: student learning and development theory: This component of the curriculum must include studies of student development theories and research relevant to student learning and personal development. There must be extensive examination of theoretical perspectives that describe students’ growth in the areas of intellectual, moral, ego, psychosocial, career, and spiritual development; racial, cultural, ethnic, gender, abilities, socioeconomic status, and sexual identity; the intersection of multiple identities; and learning styles throughout the late adolescent and adult lifespan. Study of collegiate environments and how person-environment interactions affect student learning and development must also be required. Graduates must be able to demonstrate the ability to use and critique appropriate theory to understand, support, and advocate for student learning and development by assessing needs and creating opportunities for learning and development. (pp. 349-350) Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. (2015). CAS professional standards for higher education (9th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Section Expectation

There are three competencies for this course based on professional competency areas for student affairs educators (ACPA: College Student Educators International & NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, 2016). “The student learning and development competency area addresses the concepts and principles of student development and learning theory. This includes the ability to apply theory to improve and inform student affairs and teaching practice” (ACPA & NASPA, p. 17). Understanding Theory • Know student development theories and models that facilitate holistic development. Ability to articulate how theoretical constructs influence development; recognize how one’s own development can bias one’s perspective. Disposition to think abstractly about lived experience; to reflect on one’s identity, learning, and practice. Design and Application • Know theory-to-practice models and implementation steps. Ability to utilize learning goals to create intentional learning strategies and opportunities. Disposition to be intentional in using theory in the design and implementation of learning opportunities. Evaluation, Re-Application, and Integration • Know appropriate steps to evaluate and assess the effectiveness of learning and teaching. Ability to articulate, analyze and apply theory to improve practice at individual, divisional and institutional levels. Dispositions for social justice; to improve practice, guided by theory. ACPA: College Student Educators International & NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. (2016). Professional competency areas for student affairs educators: Rubrics task force. Washington, DC: Authors.




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