Towards a Relationship-Centered Approach in Higher Education: The Dynamic Student Development Metatheodel (DSDM)

Mark Allen Frederick, Pietro Sasso, William R Barratt


College success is often too simply measured as ultimate graduation and overlooks students' critical need for a perceived sense of affiliation and belonging to the collegiate community which develops self-identity as a college student and can result in a higher level of performance over the academic lifespan.  This article presents the Dynamic Student Development Metatheodel (DSDM) which was developed from common factors identified in multiple theories and models of human development, student development, and learning.  When intentionally employed, the DSDM can be expected to improve retention, persistence, and ultimate graduation, as well as improve students' academic and co-curricular experience.


college success; student development; metatheodel; DSDM

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