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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 Eight: Student-Athletes: The Dumb Jock Myth (Pietro A. Sasso / Mark A. Frederick / Alexis Appezzato / Brianna McCarthy)


chapter 8


The Dumb Jock Myth

Pietro A. Sasso, Mark A. Frederick, Alexis Appezzato, & Brianna McCarthy

Statistics by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) indicate a tremendous growth in collegiate sports participation during the past three decades. This popularity has led to an American culture that is generally enthralled and reveres the athlete icon. However, there is a widespread opinion that college student-athletes are “overprivileged, pampered, lazy and out-of-control, and whose primary motivation to attend school is to participate in sports” (Ferrante, Etzel, & Lantz, 1996, p. 4). Student-athletes serve a dual role during their undergraduate college experience and face several challenges as they attempt find equilibrium in their roles as both student and athlete. Many individual athletes face problems and issues related to development, retention, and graduation rates. Institutions struggle with providing the unique counseling and advising needs due to rules and regulations placed on them by governing organizations such as the NCAA. Collegiate athletes are a ubiquitous part of the student body, but have become a significant, complex, and albeit critically controversial student subpopulation in higher education.

The experience of student-athletes has continually been misunderstood by faculty, student affairs professionals, and their non-athlete cohorts. This occurs even though student-athletes face many of the same developmental challenges as non-athletes. Both athletes and non-athletes must endure the same developmental milestones. Unfortunately, many student-athletes have greater pressures and demands that their non-athlete student counterparts do not. Student affairs professionals...

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