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The Dynamic Student Development Meta-Theory

A New Model for Student Success


Edited By Mark A. Frederick, Pietro A. Sasso and José Miguel Maldonado

The Dynamic Student Development Metatheodel (DSDM) is a meta-theory based on empirically based inferences drawn from a national survey entitled the University Learning Outcomes Assessment (UniLOA). The UniLOA’s current dataset consists of over 500,000 college student participants and has supported impressive findings that allow for the reconceptualization of long-held cultural artifacts and assumptions regarding the way students grow, learn, and develop (GLD) and how decision makers within postsecondary education have selected to engage the domains of student development measured by the UniLOA. This book champions a model of student success. The DSDM was developed from common factors identified in multiple theories and models within the areas of human and student development as well as empirically based theories and models of education. By first defining complementary elements within the theories and models then establishing accurate operational definitions, the planning and engagement of appropriate services, supports, interventions, and programs (SSIPs) and the active assessment of their outcomes can lead to a more effective response to current challenges faced by higher educators. As a metamodel, the DSDM reconceptualizes student success within higher education that is disruptive to the current accepted paradigm of student learning and engagement. This book is intended for faculty and staff interested in critical debate about issues in higher education and for deliberation by graduate students in college administration programs.

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Chapter Seven: DSDM: Application to Fraternity and Sorority Life (Daniel A. Bureau / James P. Barber)


chapter 7


Application to Fraternity and Sorority Life

Daniel A. Bureau & James P. Barber

Fraternal organizations have been a part of the fabric of U.S. higher education for over 200 years, beginning with the founding of Phi Beta Kappa at the College of William & Mary on December 5, 1776 (Anson & Marchesani, 1991). Now a diverse community of over 200 national and international fraternities and sororities, these organizations bring forth amazing opportunities and challenges for any college or university campus. For those who work with them, including campus personnel, national staff members, and volunteers, there are a range of models that can facilitate desired educational outcomes.

The Dynamic Student Development Metatheodel (DSDM) brings forth numerous opportunities to aid in the outcomes of desired educational goals within Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL): the experience of members has been largely structured to influence the affective domain that is the focus of the model. As a result, the extent to which members feel about their collegiate environment and overall experience is deeply influenced by their experiences in these organizations (Gallup, 2014). People who work with these organizations can provide significant influence to aid in achieving goals such as learning skills, developing characteristics and progressing through the stages of student development.

Much has been written about the powerful connections that students feel in these organizations and as a result to the campus environment. These connections include relationships with significant...

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