As we settle into the fullness of the fall semester, our students keep busy with many things. They navigate spiritual growth, coursework, relationships, health, finances, identity development and much more. Many of us pray regularly for our students as they face challenges in their lives, enjoy their college years, and receive support from friends, professors and staff.
Thank you for your partnership in doing the work of student development as you interact with students. This issue of the Student Life Newsletter provides a primer on a key developmental theory that could assist you in engaging with students. You will also read a sampling of the many Student Life programs and initiatives designed to encourage students to grow. You can always contact us if you have concerns about a student or questions about anything happening in student life.
When I first started working in the field of student development in 1987, I didn’t realize that a body of knowledge from the fields of psychology, sociology and cognitive science underlies our work. Theories in human development (including moral, racial, ethnic and sexual development), spiritual formation and human transitions all inform the work of student life professionals. To help others in our Westmont community build a general awareness of student developmental work, the Student Life Newsletter will periodically feature a key theory or theorist. We begin with Arthur Chickering and his early and defining work on vectors along which college students navigate their time in college. The linked PDF is a primer on Chickering’s work, which has served as a foundational theory for decades that many other researchers and theorists have built upon. Enjoy reading this brief summary. If you have questions, feel free to ask one of us in Student Life.
Provost Mark Sargent handing out popsicles after chapel
Career Development and Calling is offering new internships