Erikson started the discussion on identity development with his eight stages of development that each begin with a “crisis” or turning point. Students typically enter college in the fifth stage of identity versus identity diffusion. Students are struggling to explore their independence and develop an idea of the self. This is the perfect opportunity for student affairs to develop learning activities that will engage students in the exploration of other cultures, beliefs, and ideas. Residence halls at larger institutions are crucial for fostering communications and relationships that will help students build an identity from. For community college without residential capabilities, it is important to establish activities that promote student bonding and relationships in a fun, stress-free setting. These relationships will become a part of the following stage of intimacy versus isolation. A strong sense of identity will lead to healthy relationships.
Chickering and Reisser saw that college ...
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...ress themselves based on their knowledge and experiences. This means that faculty and staff need to provide knowledge and experiences for them to draw from.
Student development is the idea that students will enter college in one phase of life and leave college in another, hopefully through progression. College is the time for students to explore ideas and cultures that they haven’t been previously exposed to and to have experiences that shape their view of the world and their view of the self. They can identify who they want to be and begin working towards that goal. Positive relationships, such as mentors, can shape a student’s perspective about morals and ethics. Student success and development can be influenced on many different levels, whether it be free popcorn in the president’s office, a motivational speaker, or simply a fun activity for students to connect.
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