Skip to main content

Putting Students First: How Colleges Develop Students Purposefully



Putting Students First: How Colleges Develop Students Purposefully

Larry A. Braskamp, Lois Calian Trautvetter, Kelly Ward, Jon F. Wergin (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-1-119-25484-3 January 2016 Jossey-Bass 272 Pages

Download Product Flyer

Download Product Flyer

Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description.


In Putting Students First, the authors argue that colleges can and should invest in holistic student development by recognizing and building on the students’ search for purpose in life, intellectually, spiritually, and morally. Based on a study conducted at ten religiously-affiliated schools, the book urges all colleges to rethink their approach to teaching and advising the increasingly diverse students of today; their critical mission should be to prepare students to become ethically responsible and active contributors to society, as well as critical thinkers and skilled professionals.

Putting Students First offers perspectives and recommendations in areas of holistic student development such as

  • Understanding millennial college students
  • The role of faculty in defining culture
  • The design and implementation of curriculum
  • The impact of cocurricular involvement
  • Fostering relationships with on-campus and off-campus communities

By organizing the campus environment into “4Cs”—culture, curriculum, cocurriculum, and community—the authors create a conceptual framework for faculty, student affairs staff, and administrators to discuss, plan, and create college environments that effectively support the learning and development of students. Each chapter includes an introduction, evidence and analysis, a summary, and questions to help readers consider how to develop students holistically on their own campuses.

About the Authors ix

Foreword xi

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction xvii

Putting Students First 1


Why Is It Important to Put Students and Their Development First?

Who Are Today's College Students?

Who Develops These Students?

In What Context Is Holistic Development Occurring?

Why Study Church-Related Colleges and Universities?


Conceptual Framework and Design of the Project 19


Theoretical Bases for Holistic Student Development

Faith, Spirituality, and Student Development

Student Development and the Church-Related Context

Conceptual Framework: Personal Investment Theory

Project Design


Culture 43


Discerning and Acting on Institutional Mission

Building on a Legacy

Communicating Institutional Mission and Identity


College Location

Campus Facilities

Expectations and Contributions of Faculty

Faculty as Role Models

Using a Career Perspective on Faculty Development

Faculty Evaluation as a Reflection of Culture

Support and Challenge


Questions for Campus Conversations

Curriculum 87


Philosophical Foundations of the Curriculum

Centrality of a Liberal Arts Education

Integrating Faith and Learning



Developmentally Tailored Experiences for Students

Pedagogy of Engagement: Field-Based and Community-Based Learning


Questions for CampusConversations

Cocurriculum 129


Mutual Reinforcement of Learning

Campus Rituals

Residence Life

Student Leadership

Relationships With Coaches, Professional Staff, and Campus Ministry

Faculty Interactions

Immersion Experiences


Questions for Campus Conversations

Community 159


Shared Governance

Defining Community

Maintaining Community Amidst Change

Diversity Within Community

Communities Beyond the Campus

Dealing With Difference and External Communities


Questions for Campus Conversations

Creating Communities That Put Students First 191


Chapter Overview

Mission Is Reality, Not Rhetoric

Learning and Development Are Integrated

The Campus Community Fosters Support and Challenge


Bibliography 219

Index 241