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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 Twelve: Experiences at the Convergence: Understanding the Intersectionality of College Student Identities (Nicole Pulliam / Carolina E. González)


chapter 12

Experiences at the Convergence

Understanding the Intersectionality of College Student Identities

Nicole Pulliam & Carolina E. González

This chapter will address issues surrounding the intersectionality of college students’ identities. As institutions of higher education continue to become increasingly more diverse, it is important to conceptualize student populations using a multidimensional lens, rather than focusing on identities as independent from one another (National Center for Educational Statistics [NCES], 2013; The Pell Institute, 2015). Current college student identity models offer a one dimensional approach, viewing identities as separate entities. Such models fail to address the ways by which college student identities develop and how students experience the college environment at the convergence of multiple identities. The authors will discuss the importance of an intersectionality framework that will allow for a more holistic view of college students identity development. Particular emphasis will be placed on student populations from multiple minority groups.

As institutions of higher learning continue to become diverse microcosms of society, it is critical for student affairs practitioners, administrators, and faculty to consider the multidimensional identities of college student populations. While postsecondary enrollment increases, so too does the enrollment for historically underrepresented students—namely, racial and ethnic minority students (NCES, 2013). Overall enrollment in post-secondary degree granting institutions has increased significantly over the past 40 years, from an undergraduate enrollment rate of 7.4 million to 17.8 million by the fall of 2012 (The Pell Institute, 2015). According to...

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