Journal of Student Affairs

JoSA: Volume VI, 2010


Table of Contents

Sustainability in Colleges and Universities: Toward Institutional Culture Shifts
Annie W. Bezbatchenko

Environmental sustainability in higher education is a relatively new and growing topic within higher education research.  The field of higher education does recognize that it has a role to play in fostering sustainability, but more ambiguity surrounds how the higher education community might best approach the topic.  This article will review the current state of the research on sustainability in higher education and will also explore how the research can become more focused, attending to the context of colleges and universities. The recent literature on sustainability in higher education primarily focuses on leadership and strategy, highlighting a top-down approach towards cultivating a sustainable culture. While the lenses of leadership and strategy are surely necessary to advance research on sustainability in higher education, this article will look at how these lenses must also be complemented by a theoretical perspective that attends to the decentralized structure of higher education, views change in a more systemic way, and focuses on behavior change: tipping theory.  For the purposes of this article, a ‘tipping point’ represents the point in time when sustainability takes off within a college or university community and spreads rapidly among the students. Studying tipping theory as it relates to sustainability in higher education will ideally help explain student behavior and identify types of student interventions to target. Ultimately, if students can transition to a more sustainable culture, the capability exists for this culture to spread like an epidemic through other sectors of society.

From Student Development to Social Psychology: A Supplemental Lens for Student Affairs
Aaron King

    Scholars and practitioners in higher education administration are expected to possess, at minimum, a macro understanding of post-secondary academe. More specifically within a division of student affairs, they are typically expected to possess knowledge of student development theory. Ostensibly, they should not only be informed but also able to implement their understanding of student development theory toward the realization of learning outcomes and goals in institutional agendas. This article presents an interdisciplinary perspective in which social psychological theories are considered supplemental to student development theories and daily practice. However, although many of these theories are applicable, minimal literature provides or supports such an intentional, interdisciplinary approach. From classic studies in authority and conformity to illuminating research in prejudice and stereotyping, social psychological theories can inform nearly every functional area within student affairs. This paper will provide a selection of social psychological theories and explore ways they supplement current perspectives, inform theory and best practices, and necessitate associated future research within the student affairs profession.

Success Programs for International Students: A Program Initiative at the New York University Silver School of Social Work
Christine Campbell-Schiff and Courtney R. O’Mealley

In this era of internationalization and global education, many college communities are expanding in terms of diversity, culture, academics and campus climates. More students seek out study abroad opportunities; international student applications and acceptance rates are steadily growing. There is no question that international students, with their diverse backgrounds and experiences, contribute a great deal to the classroom and greater learning community. However, an important question to ask is: how do student and academic affairs professionals support these students and the enormous transitions they face acclimating to new cultural, social and academic expectations? In this article, the authors will review a program initiative implemented to address the challenges international students at the New York University Silver School of Social Work may experience acclimating into a new academic environment. The authors will review the challenges faced by international students, the support services implemented under the new program initiative and how these services have positively influenced students’ academic development. An unintended outcome, enhanced social capital, will also be discussed. 

Perceptions, Representation, and Identity Development of Multiracial Students in American Higher Education
Roberta Garbarini-Philippe

In my article I first examine some historical facts and policy issues related to multiracial individuals, giving a few examples of how this population has been perceived and stereotyped by institutions, the media, and American culture. I then look at some of the research on biracial identity development and show how one of the assumptions regarding people of mixed-race heritage, the inability to fit in any monoracial group, has been refuted by many studies that predict healthy and positive psychological outcomes for multiracial individuals. Finally, I discuss multiracial identity development in the higher education context and suggest some ways in which colleges and universities can create inclusive environments and utilize the potential of these border-defying students to introduce a new discourse on race.

Academic Freedom: Liberal Professors, their Critics and the Effect on Today’s College Student
Bernadette McHugh

Do students need to be protected from liberal professorates who are taking advantage of their youth and inexperience and indoctrinating them into a liberal mindset? Conservative students have accused professors of discriminating against them in the classroom and in grading them unfairly, and there have been calls for universities to make an effort to hire more conservative professors to promote equality of viewpoints. These calls for reform have gained momentum in recent years and inspired a great deal of literature in defense of contemporary education. Most schools see the intrusion of government oversight into the academy to be a threat to academic freedom. If professors are told what they can and cannot say in class, schools claim they cannot properly teach students to be free thinkers. In addition, by trying to steer clear of political controversy, institutions cannot prepare students to be responsible citizens. In this literature review, I will examine the arguments on both sides of the issue.

Exclusive Online Articles

Faculty Tenure in Academe: The Evolution, Benefits and Implications of an Important Tradition
Michael Cameron

Today, nearly two-thirds of the nation’s professors in degree-granting institutions are considered adjunct or contingent faculty. With the economy slowing down and online education becoming a more mainstream higher education option, the future of faculty tenure is at risk. As tenure decreases substantially within the American higher education system and more contingent faculty enter classrooms, college and university administrations must be aware of the positive impact that faculty tenure can have on institutions. This article will focus on the evolution of academic tenure, examining advantages to the administration and student body, and conclude with a discussion about the future of faculty tenure as it relates to the academic experience of students.

Expanding the Role of Student Affairs Practice in Medical Institutions to Include Minority Student Recruitment
Stephen T. Cucchiara

While the number of students graduating from medical institutions increased each year since 1995, matriculation into these universities from underrepresented and minority backgrounds trailed noticeably.  Medical college and university admissions departments established various types of recruitment programs using techniques that focused on minority undergraduate student perspectives. Meanwhile university student affairs offices broadened their focus to include retention and academic enrichment programs (Carlisle, 1998). These current programming adaptations failed to produce the hoped for results in medical and dental institution’s minority recruitment efforts. Consequently, they led the thinking to considering extending responsibility for recruitment efforts into student affairs programs. This article examines why current institutional efforts have not increased minority enrollment, outlines a student affairs developmental initiative for medical and dental school student affairs units, and suggests outreach projects in underserved communities and student mentoring programs in secondary education districts.

 Journal of Student Affairs, Volume VI Cover Art