As student affairs practitioners, using and understanding student development theories is
a key factor within our responsibilities. We must learn how to apply different theories to certain
situations that will arise with our students on the college campus. Student development theories
can also be vital in understanding why students may act the way they do. Student development
theories can be defined as a way that a student grows, progresses, or increases his or her
development capabilities, as a result of enrollment in an institution of higher education.
Moreover, there are three types of development, which are change, growth, and development
(Giroir, 2013). In this particular ...view middle of the document...
Jeremy responded back saying “my experience as a college student was very challenging, and I
wanted to quit several days.” I asked other probing questions so Jeremy could elaborate on his
statement. I found out that Jeremy was a first generation college student, who was clueless about
begin a college student. Jeremy explained to me that he had to figure everything about college
out for himself. Coming from a large family, and being the oldest Jeremy did not receive a lot of
support from his family. He told me that his high school counselor was the one who applied for
the scholarship for him to go to college because the counselor seen great potential within him.
The counselor is also the one, who helped him fill out his college application for admissions into
the university. When it was time for Jeremy to move into his “dormitory”, as he called it, he did
not know what to take, besides his clothes. After meeting his roommate, he then figured out that
he needed more items for his room, to make it through the year. So with the help of his
roommate's parents, they brought Jeremy things that he needed. Next, I asked Jeremy what were
some of the greatest challenges you experienced as a college student? After a conversation
Jeremy told me his greatest challenge as a first time college student was learning how to be a
college student and financial problems. He told me he overcame the hardship by getting involved
in African-American initiatives, joining a fraternity, and campus involvement. Jeremy shared
with me that before he came to college he thought he should become the “typical” African-
American male that societies stereotype them as, saying drugs, a college dropout, and other
negative things he thought. As he progressed through his college experiences, he said that his
motivation was becoming a successful man, who is going to be the change for his family, and
help other African-Americas like him make the transition to college, and become a mentor.
Secondly, I asked Jeremy when his mindset changed in college did any of his family relationship
change. He answered by saying “ he begin to share his college success with his parents, and
explained what his grades meant and how he is working through his degree plan, so he can
graduate.” He also said “he begin to work with his younger siblings to help them get ready for
college, and start to find their passions.” Lastly, he said that he would invite his family to college
events, so they could experience the college life, in hopes to encourage them.
The College Journey
Doing the next phase of the interview we focused on the Jeremy college journey. I started
this part off by asking the question what was his high points and low points of four years’
experience in college. Jeremy elaborated that one of his main highest points was receiving a
letter in the mail stating that he is a candidate for the fall 2006 graduation, from his university.
Secondly, he said his next highest point was...