Student Affairs

Introduction to Using Developmental Theory in Student Affairs Practice

Duration: 1 hour
Facilitator: Dr. Tracy Davis
Price: $98.00

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Professionals acquire beliefs about how students learn, grow, and respond to developmental interventions. The resulting perspectives influence how we perform challenge, support, and otherwise promote learning. We either "fly by navigation" or "by the seat of our pants", as one student wisely suggested. This webinar will offer an overview of theories commonly used in professional preparation programs, with a particular focus on navigating practice. This webinar is also updated to include some of the pitfalls related to using theory in practice.


  • Gain an introductory understanding of central student development theories.
  • Explore the role of theory in student affairs practice and be able to describe limitations and common problems of using developmental theories.
  • Begin to develop an understanding of the relationship between theory and practice and how to formulate practice guided by theory.


  • Student affairs staff without a developmental theory background
  • Student life staff
  • Residence life staff
  • Student services administrators
  • Student affairs staff desiring a refresher course on theory
  • Anyone wanting to deepen professional student affairs practice based on theory


Tracy Davis is a Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at Western Illinois University where he also is Director of the College Student Personnel Program. He has published widely regarding men's development, sexual assault prevention and social justice. Dr. Davis's most recent book, co-authored with Laura Harrison, Advancing Social Justice was published in 2013. Tracy also co-edited, Masculinities in Higher Education: Theoretical and Practical Considerations with Jason Laker in 2011, and co-edited the New Directions monograph Developing Social Justice Allies.

His sexual assault prevention research has won numerous awards including both the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators outstanding dissertation award. Tracy was also selected to the inaugural class of ACPA Emerging Scholars in 1999 and has received the ACPA SCM Outstanding Research Award, the Commission on Student Development Assessment's Outstanding Assessment Article, and NASPA 2012 Men and Masculinities Knowledge Community Newly Published Research award. He was also selected to receive the 2013 ACPA Senior Scholar Award, the ACPA Annuit Coeptis award for Senior Scholars and the SCM Harry Canon Outstanding Professional in 2006. He is a frequent presenter, speaker and consultant on college campuses. Most importantly, he remains wildly unfinished.

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