Philosophy of Student Development

Let me just say that this page alone has brought many many folks to this website. I just hope that what I’ve written serves as a jolt to help you craft your own philosophy of student development. You can snake mine…but you really need to do some soul searching into what Student Development means to you. I’ve developed my thoughts after years of facilitating ethics and values exercises, learning my strengths, processing my MBTI results, living in different cities, working at different types of institutions – these are things that help you to know what you believe in, what you stand for, how you see the world around you. They effect your approach to helping students succeed. Good Luck in your journey of discovery. – Jennifer

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The role of Student Affairs professionals is to understand the needs of students, and to help them achieve self-actualization by offering holistic learning experiences. It is our job to guide students from the moment they first walk on campus, continuously taking into consideration where each student may be developmentally and what type of challenge or support they will need to help them succeed.

The development of each student happens on an individual basis and at their own pace. Responding to and developing each student as an individual is the key to my leadership. I believe that each student is unique, coming from a different background, and seeing the world through a different lens. It is my role to help bridge that gap by creating common ground and fostering a relationship built on trust and understanding.

As an educational leader, I choose to help students find their strengths before their weaknesses. I believe that students can achieve more when focusing on strengthening the talents that they already have versus dwelling on their weaknesses. I believe in personal accountability and find “teachable moments” to show students that they can build their credibility by accepting accountability for their successes as well as their failures.

As a Student Affairs professional, I feel I have an opportunity and responsibility to help prepare students for the challenges awaiting them both inside and outside the classroom. This is the philosophy that has guided me in my 16 years in working with students.


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