Student Development Theories and Retention


Rodgers (1965)


Student development =“The ways that a student grows, progresses, or increases his or her developmental capabilities as a result of enrollment in an institution of higher education.” Rodgers (1965, 1990)

Four category structure taxonomy of development theories or model of college students change (Modified by Rodgers in 1989):

  1. psychosocial development-development of character, emotions, interactions with others, etc.. which includes identity development-development in relation to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc (psychosocial all started with E. Erickson)
  2. cognitive/structural development-the way people think and ethical (Piaget started this all).. looks like integrative theories-ecological influences, faith, self-authorship, transitions, etc fall into this category (P& T, p. 45)
  3. typological
  4. person-environment interaction theories and models



Pascarella & Terenzini (1991) How College Affects Students


Pascarella & Terenzini (2005) How College Affects Students


Ho(2006)Impact of Peer Interactn on Student Developmnt


The student’s peer group is the single most potent source of influence on growth and development during the undergraduate years (Astin, 1993).

In Weidman’s model of undergraduate socialization, interaction with peers can expose students to normative pressures that will influence students’ socialization outcomes (Weidman, 1989).

This paper will synthesize the affect of interaction with peers on college student development in the 8 areas categorized by Pascarella and Terenzini (2005).
the development of verbal, quantitative and subject matter competence is influenced by students’ involvement in activities related to interactions with peers, such as small-group learning, learning communities, extracurricular activities, and so on. The more the nature of students’ interaction with peers is related to academic program, the more is the development of verbal, quantitative and subject matter competence.
we can conclude that interaction with peers that can extend and reinforce broad ideas and confront students with diverse interests and values, either in or out of class, will have positive influence on students’ cognitive skills and intellectual growth.

in addition to in-class activities, students’ peers sometimes have greater influences than in-class experiences on cognitive skills and intellectual growth (. ... Students’ self-reports of their cognitive skills or intellectual growth were also significantly, positively influenced by interaction with peers outside of class.

However, a small amount of research concluded that participation in some extracurricular activities, such as Greek affiliation, would have negative effects on critical thinking (Pascarella, Edison, Whitt, Nora, Hagedorn & Terenzini, 1996); but, due to analyzing only based on a single sample, this conclusion still needs to be proved based on more evidence.
students’ interaction with peers plays a central role in how students thinking about themselves, and is the dominant force on general personal development. Interaction with peers of diversified interests, races, and backgrounds have the potential to stimulate reflection on students’ knowledge and currently held beliefs and values and, perhaps, lead to new ways of thinking about and understanding the world, the other peers, and themselves
peer context has positive net effects on students’ attitudes and values in various aspects. Interaction with peers more frequently can help student development in attitudes and values. Peers of diverse races, culture, or gender can reinforce the development.
in- or out-of-class interaction with peers will influence moral development. Interaction with peers of different ideas, values, and experiences can help moral development.
peers’ influence is a significant and positive force in students’ persistence decisions. The extent and quality of students’ interaction with peers were particularly influential on students’ educational attainment and persistence.

Pascarella, Wolniak and Pierson (2003) suggested that the educational aspiration of peers was a significant factor influencing persistence behavior.
involvement in activities related to interaction with peers will affect students’ career choice and career-related skills. However, although consistent evidence can be found that interaction with peers had effects on students’ career, there is no consistent evidence of the impact on economic returns.
except the impact on drinking behaviors and involvement in community service activities after college, there is still lack of clear evidence of the impact of interaction with peers on a student’s quality of life after college.

confirmed by Chickering and Reisser (1993, p.275), “When students are encouraged to form friendships and to participate in communities that become meaningful subcultures, and when diversity of backgrounds and attitudes as well as significant interchanges and shared interests exist, development along all seven vectors is fostered.”

Evans, Forney et al (2009) Student Development in College


Racial & Ethnic

Cross & Fhagen's Black Identity development


Nigrescence Pattern A, B, C

5 sectors
5 stages:
1. pre-encounter
2. encounter
3. immersion-emersion
4. internalization
5. internalization-commitment

An individual reaches Achieved Identity Status when their identity is based on one’s own personal self-concepts and beliefs and not on the beliefs of others. It is at stage 5 (internalization-commitment) where the individual reaches a point where they can join others in their own community and try to solve struggles within that community as well as protect black history.

Phinney's Model of Ethnic Identity Development


Stage 1 Unexamined Ethnic identity (diffusion-foreclosure)
lack of exploration is manifested in two ways:
diffusion -a lack of interest in ethnicity
or foreclosure, a general acceptance of others opinions

Stage 2 Ethnic Identity Search/moratorium)
notions of encounter and exploration.

Stage 3 Ethnic Identity Achievement
Individuals at this stage have a clear sense of their ethnic identity and are able to successfully navigate their bicultural identity

Higher education can use the model to create an environment that encourages exploration of and commitment to one’s own ethnic identity.

Campuses can sponsor activities that support the ethnic identity search stage by providing cultural opportunities, ethnic studies courses, and open dialogues that lend to a supportive environment. Since ethnic identity development is an individual process, student affairs professionals can add opportunities for self-reflection when working with students or planning activities.

Helm's White Student Identity development theory


Phase 1 Abandonment of Racism
Status 1 Contact (encounter the idea of black people)
Status 2 Disintegration
Status 3 Reintegration

Phase 2 Defining a non-racist white identity
Status 4 Pseudo independence or white liberalism
Status 5 Immersion-emersion
Status 6 Autonomy

1) Contact, an obliviousness to own racial identity;
2) Disintegration, first acknowledgment of white identity;
3) Reintegration, accepts the belief that White is superior and non-White is inferior and questions own racial identity;
4) Psuedo-Independent, intellectualized acceptance of own and others’ race;
5) Immersion/Emmersion, an honest appraisal of racism and significance of Whiteness
6) Autonomy, internalizes a multi-cultural identity with non-racist Whiteness as its core.

The final three stages the individual is developing a non-racist White identity and understands what it means to be white, to take ownership of racial power and privilege and how it affects others, and work towards abandoning white privilege. This is the development stages where individuals can be “white without also being bad, evil or racist”

Use in Higher Education
White privilege and power is an important social construct in higher education. It is white supremacy that has created many barriers to success for minority students at an institutional, cultural, and societal level. More training and discussion must occur on college campuses with faculty, administrators, staff and students on white racial identity development. White individuals aware of their race and privilege can use it in a positive way to advocate and support students of color, which can include easier access to education for underserved populations, recruiting more diverse faculty, and creating more equitable policies and practices.

Ferdman & Gallego's Model of Latino Identity development

  1. Latino-integrated
  2. Latino-identified
  3. Subgroup-identified
  4. Latino as other
  5. Undifferentiated /denial
  6. White-identified

Renn's mixed race identity (2003)


Sexual - Gender

Cass's model of homosexual identity formation


model helps answer “how an individual acquires a homosexual identity” (p. 219).

  1. Identity confusion
  2. Identity comparison
  3. Identity tolerance
  4. Identity acceptance
  5. Identity pride
  6. Identity synthesis

Since, alienation and distress are common during some of these stages of identity formation, it is important as student affairs professionals to make sure there are resources for students. Promoting gay or lesbian clubs or social events is essential to help alleviate some of the feelings of alienation. Also, it is important to make sure we are listening to students and refer them to appropriate resources when necessary.

Moral & Ethical

Perry's Scheme of Intell and Ethical Development


Scheme or model of intellectual and ethical development: Perry claimed (and his claims have been substantiated by subsequent research) that college students (but others, too) "journey" through 9 "positions" with respect to intellectual (and moral) development. These stages can be characterized in terms of the student's attitude towards knowledge.

meaning-making process; involved forms of intellectual and ethical development .. how people view their experiences

  1. Basic Duality

Duality is when a student thinks there is an authority who knows the right answer and the authority should share the answer with them because they are all knowing. You can only be right or wrong there are no other answers to the problems you are faced with.

  1. Multiplicity Pre-legitimate (pluralism)
  2. Multiplicity legit but subordinate 4a. Multiplicity Coordinate

Multiplicity is when you are willing to find out the right answer to the question you are faced with. Students in multiplicity are not so quick to have an answer given to them, but they want to find out for them selves through research so they can come up with their own opinion

4b. Relativism Subordinate
5. Relativism

Relativism is initiated by recognition of the need to support opinions and knowledge is viewed more quantitatively

  1. Commitment foreseen (professional)

Commitment in relativism is when students are required to make decisions in the real world, such as making decision about majors, relationships or their sense of identity

7.a. Evolving Commitments (professional)
The last set of positions is the deflection from cognitive growth. Temporizing is the timeout period. Students who are in this position do not know where their next step should be and let outcomes from tests determine their next step. Escape is when a student is abandoning their responsibility and they do not want to make commitments. Retreat is when a student goes back to dualism and wants a counselor or another type authority to give them the answers to what their next step should be.

Perry attached significance to the transitions between positions
positions are static but development is movement
movement as development rather than mere changes or phases
development is recurrent

he preferred position over the word "stage"

The residence hall advisors could use this theory with the way they pair up students in their halls. They would be able to figure out what type of students they are dealing with when a student has a problem. Financial Aid advisors could also benefit from this theory because the advisors deal with different types of students who do not want to take responsibility for why their paperwork did not get turned in on time. Students usually want someone to tell them if they are doing the process correctly. Sometimes with where I work we call this handholding

Kohlberg's theory of moral development


Kohlberg believed...and was able to demonstrate through studies...that people progressed in their moral reasoning (i.e., in their bases for ethical behavior) through a series of stages. He believed that there were six identifiable stages which could be more generally classified into three levels.

University of Chicago; Harvard Univ; committed suicide

created Heinz dilemma

Level 1-Preconventional
Level 2-Conventional
Level 3- Post-conventional

Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development
1. punishment-obedience orientation
2. personal reward orientation

  2. good boy-nice girl orientation
  3. law and order orientation


  5. social contract orientation

  6. universal ethical principle orientation

1. heteronomous morality
2. individualistc instrumental morality
3. interpersonally normative morality
4. social system
5. human rights and social welfare
6. morality of universalizable reversible, prescriptive general ethics principles

According to Kohlberg: someone progressing to a higher stage of moral reasoning cannot skip stages.

Whatever the right is, for Kohlberg, it must be universally valid across societies (a position known as "moral universalism"):[7] there can be no relativism. Moreover, morals are not natural features of the world; they are prescriptive.

Gilligan (1982) Theory of Women's Moral Development


ethics of care

Gilligan criticizes Kohlberg for using only male subjects in her experiments. This may cause a male bias. In his studies impersonal principles of justice supersede the interpersonal aspects of morality, which are often better developed among women.
She suggests a gender difference in moral development where girls interpret moral dilemmas in terms of personal relationships rather than abstract principles.

  1. Boys view moral issues from a justice perspective, and
  2. Girls view moral issues from a care perspective.

*This tends to make adolescence more stressful for girls.

Gilligan’s theory of moral development has been applied to higher education in the form of student leadership. Once student leaders recognize the benefits of using both a care and justice orientation, they can more effectively fulfill their duties. Care emphasizes relationships, inclusion, and interdependence, which are crucial aspects to teamwork and group cohesion. On the other hand, justice promotes power, assertiveness, and objectivity, which are also necessary to motivate others and make progress towards a common goal. Student leaders who incorporate both orientations into their leadership styles can be more efficient.

Rest's Moral Development Stages

  1. Personal interest schema
  2. Maintaining norms
  3. post-conventional schema


Sanford's challenge and support theory


Sanford found that college students go through significant personal growth and development, much of which is influenced by the college environment itself (that includes what goes on in the classroom as well as what goes on outside of the classroom). He believed that for growth and personal development to occur, a student needs to have a challenge/support balance.

The basic idea of this theory is that for growth to occur, a person needs a balanced amount of challenge and support as appropriate for the task.

Stern's person-environment fit


high levels of integration are often the evidence of positive person-environment fit

Pascarella & Terenzini


academic integration has the strongest relationship to persistence
liberal arts highest academic integration and lowest dropout





Astin's Involvement Theory


Involvement Theory: students learn more the more they are involved in both the academic and social aspects of the collegiate experience.

According to Astin, his theory of involvement has an advantage over traditional pedagogical approaches because it focuses on the motivation and behavior of the student.

Different from the role of the student in Astin's earlier "input-process-output" model (Pascarella, 1991, P.50), where the student is passively developed by the faculty and by university programs, this theory posits that the student plays an integral role in determining his or her own degree of involvement in college classes, extracurricular activities and social activities.

Astin states that the quality and quantity of the student's involvement will influence the amount of student learning and development (Astin, 1984, p.297). True involvement requires the investment of energy in academic, relationships and activities related to the campus and the amount of energy invested will vary greatly depending on the student's interests and goals, as well as the student's other commitments.

The most important institutional resource, therefore, is student time: the extent to which students can be involved in the educational development is tempered by how involved they are with family friends, jobs, and other outside activities (p.301).

Astin states that the intended end of institutional and pedagogical practices is to achieve maximum student involvement and learning; to do that instructors cannot focus solely on technique but must also be aware of how motivated students are and how much time and energy they are devoting to the learning process (p.305).

According to Astin, his theory of involvement has an advantage over traditional pedagogical approaches because it focuses on the motivation and behavior of the student. Therefore all institutional policies and practices can be judged by the degree of involvement they foster in student. Also, all faculty, from instructors to counselors, can work with the same goal in mind, unifying their energies into making the students more involved in the college environment and therefore better learners (p.307).

Weidman's undergrad socialization model


pressure of campus environments placed on individuals to conform to widely accepted values..students adapt or remain apart..looked at non-college events and environments and how they affect persistence

undergraduate socialization model: attitudes, values, aspirations, lifestyle preferences

the socialization process encourages students to evaluate and balance the different normative influences in order to attain personal goals

the process requires decisions about maintaining or changing values, attitudes, or aspirations held at the time of matriculation (P &T, 2005)

the model posits a continuing socializing role for parents even when students live away from home (parental socialization= socioeconomic status, life style, parent/child del) and a continuing socializing role for non-college reference groups such as peers, current and possible employers, and comm orgs

student background characteristics (SES, aptitude, career preferences, aspirations, values)
pre-college normative pressure
collegiate experience//socialization process (interpersonal, interpersonal, integration-social & academic)
in-college normative pressure
socialization outcomes (career choices, lifestyle preferences, aspirations, values)校內演講座談ppt等存放處/971/971120Weidman/StudentSocializationHiEd-Weidman.pdf



Tinto (1999) Rethinking the first year of college


Seven major causes of leaving
1-fit (if not, Ss usually transfer)
2-academic difficulty (accounting for 30-35% of departures)
6-learning (goal isn't retention but learning and graduating with knowledge and skills)
7-adjustment difficulties

56% drop out before 2nd year

problem:Most retention programs have done little to change the essential quality of academic experience for most students, especially during the critical first year of college

Best retention program is always a strong academic program that is actively involving students in learning especially with others...LCs are the solution

Hagedorn's individual factors that predict/influence retention


academic performance (GPA, course level, academic self-discipline)
attitudes and socialization (commitment, sense of belonging, positive attitude, social connectedness)

Bean & Eaton's psychological model of Student Departure


Kuh theory of student engagement


Student engagement represents the time and effort students devote to activities that are empirically linked to desired outcomes of college and what institutions do to induce students to participate in these activities

McClellan & Larimore


social and external levels of retention --social and family support

sense of belonging
family support
faculty and staff support

Kuh's Student Success in College


Tinto's Completing College


high expectations

Kalsbeek SEM /retention


reframing retention strategy
profile (challenge and support0
process--not just presence

General Identity

Erikson's Identity Development Theory (1959)


Theorist Erik Erikson coined the term "identity crisis."

Explains how variations in identity status occur throughout development:
- Recall the basic aspects of his eight stages. Stage five = identity vs. identity confusion

  • Identity Formation is a life-long task. Adolescents are experiencing lots of changes and thus frustration can set in when trying to resolve the issue of roles and acquiring different selves. This frustration is referred to as an identity crisis.

  • Erikson thought the identity was discovered through an active process of trial and error, which created lots of anxiety. Some people never resolve their adolescent identity crisis.

James Marcia's Ego Identity Statuses

  1. foreclosure (no crisis/commitment)
  2. moratorium (crisis/no commitment)
  3. identity achievement (crisis/commitment)
  4. diffusion (no crisis/no commitment)

Foreclosure status is when a person has made a commitment without attempting identity exploration.

Moratorium is the status of a person who is actively involved in exploring different identities, but has not made a commitment.

Identity achievement occurs when an individual has gone through an exploration of different identities and made a commitment to one.

Identity diffusion occurs when there is neither an identity crisis or commitment.

Chickering Seven Vectors of college student identity


developmental tasks of college students, not sequential steps, 7 stages
1. developing competence
2. managing emotions
3. moving through autonomy towards interdependence
4. developing mature interpersonal relationships
5. establishing identity
6. developing purpose
7. developing integrity

Josselson's identity formation in WOMEN

  1. Foreclosures: Purveyors of the Heritage – Women who graduate from college with identity commitment with no experience in identity crisis, little identity change, seek security in relationships

  2. Identity Achievements: Pavers of the Way – Break psychological ties to childhood & form separate, distinct identities, reorganize sense of self and identity, commit to who they are in relation to others & decide how they want to contribute to other’s lives

  3. Moratoriums: Daughters of the Crisis – Unstable time of experimenting & searching for new identities, internalize the paradox there are many ways to be right, sticks with one way and if challenged, crisis will ensue.

  4. Identity Diffusions: Lost and Sometimes Found – Lack of crisis & commitment, low ego development, high anxiety, withdraws from situations, fails to internalize varied experiences, little attachment to inner self

Applications: Participation in college activities = achievement identity, student affairs, structure, facilitation, guidance

Josselson's Identity formation in women



King & Kitchener (1981) Reflective Judgment Model


Belenky, Clinchy& Goldberger (1986) Women's Way of Knowing


Baxter Magolda's Model of Epistemological Reflection

  1. absolute knowing (receiving and mastering knowledge)
  2. transitional knowing (Interpersonal and impersonal knowing)
  3. independent knowing (inter-individual and individual knowing)
  4. contextual knowing

Baxter Magolda's Epistemological Reflection



Bronfenbrenner's ecological system


Kegan (1982) self-authorship


Schlossberg's Transitional Model


coping resources (individual, environment, transition)
transition process (moving in, through, out)

Bronfenbrenner's ecological system


Bronfenbrenner's ecological system



MyersBriggs Personality types


Kolb's theory of experiential learning


process through which knowledge is created through the transformation of experience

4 stage cycle (concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, active experimentation)
4 styles: convergers, divergers, assimilators, accomodators

Holland's vocational personalities and environments


describes career development based on interests
theory of vocational choice (1985.1992)

Holland's theory of vocational choice (1985.1992)