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The Role of Student Affairs in the Educational Process

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Describe the scope of programs that fall under student affairs on that campus. What are the standards and theories that support student development concepts and support a professional student affair position on a campus?

Blimling, G. S., & Whitt, E. J. (1999): Chapter 2.
Colby, A., Ehrlich, T., Beaumont, E., & Stephens, J. (2003): Chapter 2.

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Student Affairs is a vital part of a school's 'health.' The department's job is to enhance and enrich the educational and campus experience of each and every student, in a communal and friendly campus environment-traditional or virtual. As such, Student Affairs' initiatives should focus on not just reaching students'; instead they must be involved in the process as well. To that end, while not exhaustive; the main overarching and major defining goals of Student affairs are to service students in different ways; collaborate with them, keep them involved, and facilitate their development; provide culturally 'safe' environments that will be conducive to learning and developing; providing evaluations, and assessments that are fair and tailored accordingly; creating and maintaining linkages and networks to bring communities, students, organizing, faculty, staff and departments together (CAS, 2012). In essence student affairs' -services the students and is the 'customer services' or 'client care' of institutions-and no organization functions effectively without a dedicated committed and effective customer services department.

At its core-and for most part, student affairs in most institutions serve to ensure that students' education and campus' experience is fostered; nurtured; grounded in good health and well-being. As well, mentors, faculty, staff, and friends ensure such an experience is as rewarding and full as possible (Hartley, 2012). General areas of focus of Student Affairs' involvement in institutions involve: overall quality of health and well-being of student life; sustainability; health and wellness; leadership and service; living and accommodation needs and provisions-creating a 'sense of home'; diversity promotion-for a 'sense of belonging'; and (for some institutions)-religious/faith-based centers-for 'a sense and quality of faith and spiritedness'.

Student Development Concepts and Theories
Student Development concepts and theories serve to inform the work of student affairs professionals who have a basic understanding of the concepts and theories and provides student affairs as well as faculty, with a common understanding and language with regards to the best ways to address the academic mission of an educational institution and examine the logics behind curricular design and implementation. In addition, student affairs' theories and concepts also provide developmental benchmarks, and standards that can be translated into course or program goals and, thus, guide assessment efforts. In these competitive; dynamic; and evolving times in higher education, it is imperative that student affairs take the lead towards decisions that are results-driven and solution driven (Bresciani, 2009; Dugan, & Komives, 2010). While the increasing addition of roles, diversity of faculty, staff and the student body can make this very challenging at times; when a solution is needed, it is important to know someone or department will take ...

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