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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 Eleven: College Students with Disabilities and Their Allies (Karen A. Myers / J. Mark Pousson / Madeline R. Rich)


chapter 11

College Students with Disabilities and Their Allies

Karen A. Myers, J. Mark Pousson, & Madeline R. Rich


Of the many factors that relate to academic success for college students, one of these is the presence of the “significant other.” In the life of a college student with a disability, this significant other is in the form of an ally. This chapter provides an overview of college students with disabilities and the challenges they face in postsecondary education; addresses the application of the DSDM and related theories to ally development and the lived experiences of students with disabilities; emphasizes the importance of ally development and self-advocacy; and offers implications regarding ally development for student affairs practitioners, faculty, administrators, and students in the college setting.

Profile of Disability in College


Although the topic of disability is rarely a part of the diversity conversation (McCune, 2001), the number of students with disabilities at colleges and universities increases. College students with disabilities have tripled over the past 30 years from 3% in 1978 to 9% in 1998, to 11% in 2008 (Snyder & Dillow, 2010; United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics [USDOE], 2006). In 1988, Henderson reported 7% of full-time college freshmen ←193 | 194→ disclosed having a disability (Henderson, 1988). Ten years later and following the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, this number had increased to 9.4%...

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