Theory-in-Use Core Concepts: Perspectives From Scholarly Practitioners
This chapter draws out thematic perspectives from lessons learned and recommendations made by contributing authors. Core concepts about applying student development theories in contemporary higher education contexts are highlighted, with the importance of scholarly practitioner engagement noted. The emphasis by higher education and student affairs practitioners on the academic missions of their institutions was clear. Practitioners demonstrated intentionality and discernment in monitoring for—and countering—deficit approaches grounded in negative stereotypes. To help with financial support, practitioners suggested working with institutional advancement officers; for assistance with personnel needs, seeking out local community members was an option. Connecting with intra-institutional resources was important to informing invested constituencies, gaining buy in, and enhancing achievement of intended outcomes. Additional caveats include being mindful of the changing nature of language, which shifts interpretations of theoretical terms, and the need to use theories from multiple academic disciplines to boost outcomes.