by Patrick Troup
Student Development theories inform the work of student affairs professionals, teaching assistants, and professors. Having a basic understanding of such theories provides faculty and student affairs professionals with a common language to discuss how best to address the academic mission of the institution and to explore the rationales behind curricular and co-curricular design and implementation. Finally, these theories provide developmental hallmarks that can be translated into course or program goals and, thus, guide assessment efforts. The following review of select student development theories aims to provide professionals with a foundation from which to work with students in varying degrees of development.