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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 Fourteen: Diversity: Accounting for Culture in the DSDM (José Miguel Maldonado / Jason D. Kushner / Samantha Bartek / Tevis Bryant / Pietro A. Sasso)


chapter 14


Accounting for Culture in the DSDM

José Miguel Maldonado, Jason D. Kushner, Samantha Bartek, Tevis Bryant, & Pietro A. Sasso

Increasingly, diversity is part of the conversation across the entire United States, particularly in the context of higher education. However, there have been several recent events to occur which were captured by social media and recordings as the motivation behind these conversations. Instances such as those involving Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Philando Castile, and the Pulse Night Club victims. Movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, also plays an enormous role in raising awareness of diversity and prompting conversations regarding race and racism. Entertainer and actor, Will Smith made a very powerful statement in an interview with talk show host Jimmy Fallon relating to diversity. Smith stated, “Racism isn’t getting worse…It’s getting filmed.” Racial division has always been present in the nation; however, it has not always been acknowledged. With access to new technology and media, images and audio revealing social injustices have been increasingly surfacing.

While facing the country’s ongoing cultural divide, many collegiate institutions have been making efforts to be inclusive as well as provide services to different specialized and underrepresented groups of students. Institutions have begun providing programming and support for student groups such as minority students (particularly blacks and Latinos/as), students diagnosed with mental health issues, international students and LGBTQ identified students.

Colleges and universities are placing importance in not only diversifying their...

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