Student Health Services

Excerpts from my History of Higher Education major paper, Student Life: A Brief Glimpse of the Past, Present, and Future of College & University Student Health Services

V. Conclusions, implications for further study, remaining questions
Student health services continue to impact students’ lives. The concepts of hygiene and physical education which were transplanted from Europe are still prevalent in college health. Student health services are responsible for students’ health and well-being, while recreation departments have adopted physical education programs.

Fortunately, the epidemics of the past are no longer present in the college landscape of today. Alcohol and other drugs and sexual education are highly publicized issues affecting colleges today. Fortunately, student health service practitioners are prepared to combat these issues with tactics including: social norms marketing and educational workshops.

A relatively un-researched aspect of student life which could affect the student health service is the onset of distance education. How do “e-learners” access student health services? What happens when a question and answer does not solve a problem? How will these students get student health services which compare to their traditional on-campus counterparts? The answers to these questions will undoubtedly have an impact on the “look and feel” of the student health service.

In 1937, it was stated at the National Conference on College Hygiene that constantly changing information, a lack of interest from students, and resistance to change provided health educators with a challenging teaching assignment. This statement still rings true today. Student health services continue to adapt to new information and are constantly challenged to provide a myriad of services to the colleges and universities that they serve.

Professional development exercise

This is from my Programs and Functions in College Student Services class. I made up a fictitious position and wrote up some thoughts as to why I would be perfect for the job. UPDATE: It’s interesting to see how my thinking has developed in my career path. This was an extremely tech-heavy position. I am now looking forward to working in a Dean of Students unit preferrably in a student conduct/judicial/ombuds position.

Step 1: Imagine what your ideal work life would be like in the first two years after graduate school.

Job description

Director for Web Resources and Services.
Reporting to the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Director will provide
strategic leadership for all internal and external Student Affairs oriented
web initiatives.


Master’s degree in College Student Services Administration.


Develop a collaborative planning process that leads to a Student Affairs
Web strategy which will include an assessment component.

Implement web initiatives that support the division’s enrollment, administrative
and marketing objectives, and promote the university’s strengths, mission
and messages;

Participate in creating strategic direction for interactive marketing and
communication objectives.
Oversee a university web portal and the development of a Student Affairs Intranet.
Translate client needs into account and project-specific action plans.
Guide a collaborative priority setting process for web development.
Allocate resources and manage web personnel, equipment and the budget of an
office for web resources and services.
Provide direction to project management and design personnel.
Participate in the university’s web planning and advisory group.

Type of institution

4 Year, State University

Skills required for the job

Minimum three years web consulting or web management experience and higher
education experience. Demonstrated experience in strategic project planning
and implementation in a creative team environment; demonstrated experience
in consulting with design and technical professionals to plan web site development;
understand and effectively communicate with clients about business operations
and information technologies and how the Internet can influence these functions;
excellent written and verbal communication skills; demonstrated success working
collaboratively with clients and content providers to create and maintain web
sites; ability to work independently as well as collaboratively; and ability
to process information quickly and frame issues and solutions. Knowledge of
web site usability and accessibility testing.

Step 2: Assess your skills and knowledge base (in comparison to the
job description).

  • Web design, management, and standards – I am an experienced web
    designer and have been in charge of several web site projects. As the webmaster
    for the UIC Wellness Center , I was responsible for the design, usability,
    and upkeep of over 150 web pages. I am proficient with several web and graphic
    design software packages, including: Dreamweaver MX 2004, PhotoShop 7.0,
    TopStyle 3, and Adobe Illustrator CS. My current position as the OSU student
    affairs web specialist allows me to interact with multiple departments and
    stakeholders. I am currently in the process of creating a web standards document
    which will provide departmental web editors with web creation, design, and
    maintenance protocols.
  • Planning in a team environment – At the University of Northern Iowa
    and at the University of Illinois at Chicago , I was able to be a part of
    several committees and planning bodies. At UIC, I participated in orientation
    planning committees, student-funding committees which included the creation
    of a new student fee structure, and have been a part of a university-wide
    web site “look and feel” initiative. I co-coordinated several
    events and programs in which several university departments participated.
    Currently I am working with OSU Admissions and the Publications Office to
    implement a new web site for Prospective International St udents.
  • Collaboration – I believe that throughout my career I have collaborated
    with as many people and departments as I possibly could. Collaborative efforts
    strengthen the efforts of an ind ividual and can lead to cost savings.
  • Accessibility and usability – I believe that all web sites should
    be user-friendly ( usa ble) and accessible. Every web site that I have created
    has been tested for compliance with section 508 guidelines and has been looked
    at by core users before public release. It is thrilling to navigate the web
    with a screen reader. Used for users who are visually impaired, screen readers
    can provide useful insight regarding web site design and usa bility.
  • Assessment – All student affairs programs need to have an assessment
    component. Web sites are not exempt from this statement. Web statistics can
    yield information which is extremely valuable to enrollment management professionals,
    administrators, and public affairs departments. I have instituted assessment
    programs, in some degree, for every university web site that I have been
    responsible for. Assessment data of this sort has provided me with user demographics,
    browser resolutions, unique visitors, and “popular pages” data.

Important goals you will need to pursue to gain the preparation the
job requires.

  • Knowledge of university web portals – OSU currently does not have
    a web portal. I am presently conducting research into the efficacy of various
    portal applications. A web portal project can last for years and I hope that
    I can play a role in the actual development and implementation of a portal
    at OSU. In researching web portals, I have tried to keep in mind some of
    the student development theories which might be relevant in a web portal
    discussion. Sanford ’s Challenge & Support Theory, Astin’s
    Involvement Theory, and the Theory of Marginality & Mattering by Schlossberg
    can all be taken from the “brick and mortar” student affairs
    office to the World Wide Web. For more information, please read, “Theory
    to practice: Real to virtual, the new environment” by E. Stoller.
  • Develop a collaborative planning process that leads to a Student Affairs
    Web strategy which will include an assessment component I
    plan on working with key technology stakeholders in Enrollment Management,
    University Housing and Dining Services, Central Web Services, Publication
    Services, and University Marketing to create an OSU web standards document
    and plan which will hopefully include an assessment component. It will be
    challenging to get everyone on the same “page”, but it will lead
    to a better web site for OSU students.
  • Implement web initiatives that support the university’s enrollment – Before
    I started my assistantship I had no idea about the functions of enrollment
    management departments. I really want to immerse myself in this area. The
    Admissions web site is in need of several changes. It currently is not very
    user-friendly and it is barely accessible. A new web services manager for
    Enrollment Management will provide me with a mentor and a “techie” peer.
  • Provide direction to project management and design personnel – The
    decentralized nature of the OSU web makes it difficult for users to have
    a consistent experience. In my role as the student affairs web specialist
    (yes, that is my title!) I hope to bring a standardized approach to the entire
    web development process and build up a sense of community within key personnel.
    A semi-work related project that I am interested in pursuing is a re-design
    of the OSU Public Safety web site. It does not look like an OSU web site
    and it is not user-friendly. I hope that protocols and standards will help
    alleviate web sites which are not up to par.
  • Participate in the university’s web planning and advisory group – I
    was recently asked to join two separate committees. The first committee’s
    goal is to create accessibility guidelines for technology at OSU. The second
    committee is an ad hoc technology think tank with the goal of being innovative
    with OSU web services. I honestly have no idea if these groups will help
    my development but they sound exciting!

Step 3: Personal philosophy statement about yourself, your beliefs
about students and your values as a student affairs professional.

My personal philosophy is based around the concept that I can make the world
a better place by making web sites better. Web sites are integral to the success
of a university. Student affairs departments are integral to the success of
students. It would seem then that student affairs departments would need to
have good web sites in order to support both the university or college in which
they reside, and the student whom the serve.

I believe that a web site can have a tremendous impact on the life of a student.
A highly usable and accessible web site can make a students learning experiences
more efficient and can lead to a positive view of the university. The first
experience that most students have with a university is online. Their first
impression is crucial in their decision about which school they will attend.

It is a fallacy that today’s students are all technologically competent.
Students maybe quite adept at entertaining themselves with Playstations and
instant messaging, but how does this relate to their ability to navigate a
university’s web site?

A university web site can provide students with a multitude of resources
and services. The Director of Web Resources and Services positions compliments
my personal philosophy about the web and its ever-changing role in the lives
of students. I have consistently incorporated elements of assessment and student
development theory in my web work. I also keep accessibility and usability
at the core of any web project. It is my hope that all students will use our
web site, that we will assess that use, and that we will provide a continually
evolving “virtual” environment.

OSU EM Web Standards

OSU Enrollment Management Web Standards Responsibilities of Web Publishers

Content validity

As a web publisher at Oregon State University , you are responsible for the
content of your pages. You must ensure that your content is up to date and
is grammatically correct. Macromedia Dreamweaver has a built in spell checker
located in the “Text” menu (Shift + F7).

Content Maintenance

Pages must be accurate and up-to-date. Establish an updating system and identify
specific individuals to help maintain content validity.

OSU expects sites to be accessible to users with visual, hearing, mobility,
and cognitive disabilities. The guiding principle is that all OSU sites must
meet or exceed Section 508 (Priority 1) standards for accessibility.

Interface Consistency

Web Pages should “look and feel” like the OSU web page template.

Page Components

OSU Banner
Use the same OSU banner for all pages.

Search (or Virtual Advisor)

OSU Includes
OSU primary “includes” location: www/httpd-docs/u_central

For example:
<!--#include virtual="/u_central/banners/banner_or5a.php"--> =
orange banner

Cascading Style Sheet (CSS)
The default OSU style sheet will be used on every page.
Link to the central OSU style sheet
<link rel="stylesheet" href="" type="text/css"/>

Contextual Titles
Titles are used by search engines to identify pages when users search. Additionally,
if two or more pages have the same title, they cannot be differentiated
by users or the "Favorites" capability of a browser. Page titles
also aid users who are using screen readers.

Urchin (site statistics)
All new pages should contain the Urchin webstats script.
(See Eric for more information)

Site Directory Structure

Unlinked/Landing pages
Place all non-public\landing\temporary test pages in the root directory.
The only html files in the root should be current pages or pages which fall
into the aforementioned category.

Directory rules
No capital letters

Use lowercase for all file names.
Try to limit the use of #’s and _’s.

Use clear naming conventions: printapplications.html instead of papps.html

Technical Notes


Turn on “accessibility” in Dream weaver MX 2004.
A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc",
or in element content).

ALT tags is short for alternative tags.  ALT tags appear when you place
your mouse over an image.  They also appear when an image does not load
or is not allowed to load.  This provides a hint to a user reading from
a text only browser or one on a slow connection.  Screen readers also
use the ALT tags when reading to the visually impaired.  ALT tags are
very easy to add to your pages.

Do not use frames. Frames are not universally accessible.
The content of frames may not be searchable by search engines.

Descriptive links
Instead of denoting a link with the words "Click here" or similar
phrase, be descriptive when providing links; for example: "more information
about online applications." Consider allowing such links to stand on their
own line or provide an ordered or unordered list of links in HTML.

Meta Tags
Meta tagshelp search engines find and index your web pages.
Meta tags provide:

1. A brief description of the content

2. The edit date and name of the author or authoring department 3. Keyword
search terms for indexing.


Meta tags
For beta/test pages please include the following code in the <head> of
the document:

A robot will not index this document, nor analyze it for links.

Validate code in Bobby, W3C, etc.


Archive old pages on the EM Network Drive or on your department/personal hard
drive. Each department will have space allocated for archival of old pages.

Do not leave old web pages on the web server. Old pages are still “live” and
can be found via search engines and old links/bookmarks.


OSU training sessions

OSU Publications

Web sites

Krug, Steve. Don’t Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. Indianapolis : New Riders, 2000.

Veen, J. (2001). The art & science of web design. Indianapolis, IN : New Riders.

Theory to practice

Theory to practice: Real to virtual, the new environment.


The introduction of the World Wide Web introduced a new environment to college
and university campuses. The Student Affairs Web Specialist (SAWS) at Oregon
State University (OSU) is a new graduate assistantship position which strives
to ensure that students have a quality experience with online services at OSU.
One of the challenges facing the SAWS is the incorporation of student development
theory into practice. The main theories presented are from Maslow, Sanford,
Schlossberg, Chickering, and Astin. The attempt is made to showcase examples
of web site initiatives which use student development theory directly or indirectly.

Role of student development

The OSU Student Affairs Web Specialist (SAWS) graduate assistantship is a new graduate
student position. Part of OSU Enrollment Management, it was created to increase
the overall quality of the OSU Student Affairs web presence. Additionally,
the SAWS position is in charge of implementing increased web functionality,
usability, and accessibility. There is little interpersonal contact with students
but recent web statistics show that virtual contact is taking place on a daily
basis. However, the SAWS position sees students as virtual visitors who provide
statistical percentages and technical informatics instead of one-on-one personal
interactions. The perceived benefit of increased web services is that students
will have improved access to information. Web services assessment is incredibly
challenging as the results of information access are difficult to track. How
do you create a model for growth and learning based on web services statistics?

According to Evans, “Student development theory provides the basis for the practice
of student development” (Evans et al, 1998, p. 5). The difficulty therein
then, is the relationship of student development theories with new technologies.
How can theories which predate the web be used to access virtual interaction? It
would seem that the main developmental component to the SAWS position is information
access. The primary objective of the SAWS position is seemingly to increase
student online satisfaction. However, this objective does not seem to be based
on any assessment data.

Student development theory translated into practice

As stated earlier, the position of the SAWS does not easily adopt student
development theory. Even the Person-Environment theories exist in the real,
brick and mortar student affairs world. The difficulty then resides in the
flexibility of the selected theories in relation to how they make the leap
from real to virtual. Thematically, the theories are in order from basic needs
to the more concrete concept of involvement.


The basic needs which Maslow speaks of in his theory of human motivation can be loosely
translated from the real to the virtual (1954). The first level in Maslow’s
hierarchy are the physiological needs. These needs typically focus on the needs
of the body. The virtual body has needs which cannot be overlooked. A fast
internet connection or the proper hardware can be as impactful to the web user
as a water would be to a marathon runner.

Safety needs are the next set of needs and are typically characterized by the need
to feel safe and to be stable. A web site and its pages can be orderly or chaotic.
A user may drift away from a web site due to a lack of consistent navigation,
poor accessibility, or because of an anxious experience. An additional issue
arises with the need for universal design. Wording, style, and navigation can
affect the user experiences of your audience. Designing for nontraditional
students can be quite challenging and it may be necessary to test a web site
with a wide range of users.

The next level focuses on the need for belonging and love. Love may be a difficult concept
to relate to the web and the SAWS position but the need for belonging can be
thought of in terms of the intended relationship between a user and a web site.
For example, perspective international students are seeking a new learning
community when they search for a college or university. A web site can make
them feel welcome. The writing style, cultural appropriateness, and truly universal
design can all contribute to a heightened sense of belonging.

After the need for belonging has been addressed, Maslow focuses on the esteem needs
(1954). Maslow states that individuals have a need for “mastery and competence” (1954,
p. 45). Web sites are complicated. It can take months to create and design
a fully functional web site. It only takes a minute for a user to feel incompetent
when they are using a web site.

The final need according to Maslow is the need for self-actualization (1954). It is improbable
that this need will be nourished by a web site. It is more agreeable to say
that the earlier needs will all be assisted through quality web sites and services
which in turn could enable a conscious or unconscious move towards self-actualization.

By being intentional and aware of users’ needs the SAWS can create web sites which
facilitate information exchange and contribute to a stimulating learning environment.


It could be said that the web is an environment which affects student success. Sanford ’s
writings regarding challenge and support, supports the concept that one’s
environment can be both challenging and supportive (as cited in Evans et al,
1998, p. 5). Web sites can challenge users with inconsistent navigation, inaccessible
pages, and outdated content. The ideal web site would support users in all
facets of their experience. It is unclear if challenge can be a positive element
to a web site. Usability is defined as “the effectiveness, efficiency,
and satisfaction with which users can achieve tasks in a particular environment
of a product. High usability means a system is: easy to learn and remember;
efficient, visually pleasing and fun to use; and quick to recover from errors” (
It would seem that challenge would nullify support thus making Sanford ’s
theory difficult to translate to the web. An example which could support Sanford
might be the interaction of a blind student with a web site. The initial challenge
is the fact that the information is on the web. The student has to be able
to get online, use a screen reader, and accomplish the task of information
retrieval. Support could be in the form of accessible, screen reader “readable” text
or the inclusion of an alternative means to access the information.


It can be assumed that a lack of online services can lead to marginalization. Schlossberg
states that, student persistence can be enhanced through movement from a sense
of marginality to mattering (1989). Perhaps the web can be used to make students
feel that they matter in the same way that a good experience with a real person
can. Schlossberg ponders whether or not a community can be formed on campus “that
allows all students to find a place of involvement and importance” (1989,
p. 6). Perhaps a community can be created on the web which would allow for
everyone to be involved? The SAWS is currently working on the beginnings of
a university web portal. By default, all students would use this portal. This
could provide numerous virtual rituals which would “provide a sense of
mattering” (Schlossberg, 1989, p. 6).


According to Astin, “student involvement refers to the amount of physical and psychological
energy that the student devotes to the academic experience” (1984, p.
297). Fortunately for the SAWS, students can be involved with the web at any
time and on any day if they possess the necessary skills and equipment. One
of the primary challenges for the SAWS is getting student affairs personnel
to realize the idea that the web is always “on.” Students can invest
massive amounts of time in a web site. Involvement on the web is less controlled
and does not follow the same patterns of traditional office engagement. Student
affairs personnel have a tradition of tracking office visits and tailoring
services based on visits and feedback. Astin writes gives the example of a
university building a new library and then failing to assess its usage (1984).
This occurs frequently with web sites. The SAWS has implemented a web statistics
program which should lead to web site changes based on user traffic. Online
surveys can also be utilized to assess student engagement.

Theory to practice in action

The previous sections give some relevance to the application of student development theory
in relation to the SAWS. To further illustrate this application, I will give
two examples of theory and its practical use.


The SAWS has been given the task of researching the implementation of a university web
portal. Web portals are becoming increasingly popular as a primary means of
providing online support to students. In essence, a web portal creates a new
campus environment. According to Evans et al, “Chickering argued that
educational environments exert powerful influences on student development” (1998,
p. 40). A web portal can minimize the enormity of a campus environment and
provide opportunities for all students to access consistent services. Esteem
needs can be strengthened through the intentional creation of a user friendly
and accessible portal. The portal would provide students an online space where
they could access student records, e-mail, registration tools, Blackboard,
library records, and a multitude of customizable user oriented functions. The
portal would also provide a common place for all students to share a daily
announcement or bulletin. Campus wide rituals could be taking place in a new
virtual space. The goal would be that the new web portal would be a component
in a university wide retention program. Unfortunately, student development
theory is currently not in the conversations which have taken place regarding
the web portal. Perhaps it is there in the actions rather than the words which
have been said?


The SAWS was put in charge of the development of a new web site for perspective international
students. To better understand the perspectives of a perspective international
student, university marketing conducted a focus group, with first year international
students, which generated several themes. The main themes were: sense of community,
design consistency, images of campus, resident/non-resident student interaction,
and clarity of content. As I mentioned before, Maslow believed that all people
have the need to be safe or have a lack of chaos and to belong (1954). The
focus group students were expressing their needs and it is unknown if they
are aware of Maslow’s work. The need to belong was clearly expressed
and the safety needs could be related to the images of campus or the request
for design consistency. Images of campus that are visually appealing that showcase
student interactions could create a heightened sense that the university community
is welcoming and safe. A web site design that offers consistent and clear navigation
would lessen anxiety for the student user. Utilizing Sanford ’s challenge
and support theory, the challenge for the perspective international student
is the distance traveled, the cost of attendance, and the differences in culture.
The SAWS has the responsibility of ensuring a supportive web site which offers
the first experience with the university.

Challenges and opportunities with theory to practice

As stated previously, “computer affairs” make the transformation of theory
into practice a challenging task. It is very challenging to think about using
student development theories in the day-to-day operations of a workplace. It
has been my experience thus far that most of the theoretical texts provide
little if any practical usage examples. When the web was created, a new campus
environment was created. I do not think that there has been sufficient work
in web theory application or development because of the newness of the environment.
It will take highly technical knowledge combined with student affairs experience
to create new web centered student development theories. The current theoretical
texts are narrowly focused on the typical undergraduate experience. How can
theory to practice on the web truly be achieved?


Astin, A. (1984). Student involvement: a developmental theory for higher

Journal of College Student Personnel , 25(4), 297-308., (n.d.). retrieved Nov. 18, 2004, from

Evans, N., Forney, D., & Guide-DiBrito, F. (1998). Student development
in college:
theory, research, and practice . 1st ed. San Francisco
: Jossey-Bass.

Maslow, A. H. (1954) A theory of human motivation. In Motivation and personality
(pp. 35-58). New York . Harper and Row.

Schlossberg, N. K. (1989). Marginality and mattering: key issues in building
community. New Directions for Student Services , 48, 5-15.


Student Affairs Web Specialist Overview:

The Student Affairs Web Specialist will assist OSU Student Affairs departments
in developing a web presence and services that facilitate access for all students,
including students with disabilities. The purpose of the position will
be to increase student awareness of Student affairs programs and increase students’
self-service opportunities via the web. While this position will serve
all Student Affairs departments, it will be housed in the Student Orientation
and Retention (SOAR) office, providing a professional home and affiliation


1. Meet with Student Affairs departments todetermine web needs,
in order of priority as determined by the Student Affairs Technology Committee.

2. Build appropriate web presence and services for departments, in accordance
with University design standards.

3. Advise Student Affairs departments on web design and service delivery.

4. Maintain close contact with University Publications to ensure alignment
with OSU guidelines for Web design.

Evaluation of Duties and Supervision:

The Student Affairs Web Specialist will be supervised by Bob Bontrager, Assistant
Provost for Enrollment Management and Jim Day, Enrollment Management Information
Technology Manager. In addition, a significant direction will be provided
by the Student Affairs Technology Committee.

Terms of Appointment:

This position is a 12-month, .49 FTE appointment. Admission to the College
Student Services Administration (CSSA) graduate program at Oregon State University
is required. Renewal of the assistantship for a second year is contingent
upon satisfactory performance and favorable evaluation

Student Health Professionals: Selected Competencies

Student Health Service Professionals: Selected Competencies

The Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education provides a framework and guidance for 28 functional areas in student affairs (Miller et al, 2003). Each functional area has a list of competencies which guide student affairs professionals in all aspects of student life. One area of student life is the college health program. Typically this program has included both clinical and preventative health services. According to Komives, Woodard, and Associates, “The primary purpose of student health services is to provide immediate medical assistance to students who are ill or injured; student health services also encourage individual good health and provide leadership in promoting the concept of a healthy campus” (2003, p. 349). The importance of health to college students has been cited in several publications (as cited in Benjamin and Robinson, 1998).

For the sake of brevity, I will focus this paper around three student health professional competencies: budgeting, assessment/evaluation, and teaching/learning. The clinical aspects of college health are too broad for a paper of this nature. In order to conserve space, health education and health educators will be the primary focus. A historical context will be provided to showcase similarities of yesterday’s professional with the modern practitioner.

Dr. Edward Hitchcock, director of physical education at Amerherst College, is credited as being the first person to establish a formal college health program (The American College Health Association: A Brief History, 2001). In 1861, Hitchcock “created a health and physical education program that attempted to fill what he saw as the college’s role in combating the failing health of nineteenth century students” (Sloane and Sloane, 1986, p. 271). According to Sloane and Sloane, Hitchcock was the creator of health education and the role of the health educator (1986). Hitchcock’s programs focused on educating students “of the need for a nutritious diet and against the dangers of drinking and smoking” and “offered information on reproductive health…” (Sloane and Sloane, 1986, p. 271) Hitchcock offered a new, holistic approach which focused on a student’s well being (Christmas and Dorman, 1996). 40 years after Hitchcock’s initiation of college health, the University of California developed the first “comprehensive student health program (as it might be defined today), providing both medical care and infirmary care…” (Turner and Hurley, 2002, p. 4).

In 1932, William Hughes wrote a guide for student health professionals, entitled, “The Administration of Health and Physical Education for Men in Colleges and Universities.” Hughes developed a model for a student health service and included information on the financial aspects of student health (1932). According to Hughes, student health services should be funded by general university funds and from student fees (1932). The budgetary needs of a student health program were simple in that the funding primarily provided for staff salaries and supply costs. However, early administrators had to be fiscally responsible with their budgets. According to Weaver and Frederick, if student fees monies were not able to cover the costs of student health programming, it was “usually advisable for the college to make suitable appropriations from general college funds to maintain the health service program” (1947, p. 38). Insurance provided some students with health care but historically, “well recognized values are associated with health serviced practice and teaching which are impossible to duplicate through the usual insurance programs” (Weaver and Frederick, 1947, p. 38).

Assessment and Evaluation
Assessment and evaluation have been part of health education since the inception of the field. According to Stewart and Tipple, “A student-centered…program of health education for every student is a vital part…” of the college level experience (1954, p. 106). It is further stated that health education “assists materially in the development of the potential capacities of each student” (Stewart and Tipple, 1954, p. 106). These statements require validation and thus assessment and evaluation. Stewart and Tipple speak of using scientific methods of evaluation to justify health education programming (1954). One of the main goals for assessing student health programs is to see if student knowledge of health has increased. There were a variety of ways which student health professionals could assess student success including: “questionnaires, health interest inventories, student health autobiographies, and summaries of student health records” (Stewart and Tipple, 1954, p. 110). In 1937, assessment evolved from a process which considered the “adequacy of personnel, facilities, equipment and administrative provisions…” to a process which gave “primary consideration to the effects of health teaching and health service programs in terms of their adequacy in meeting the needs of the student body” (National Conference on College Hygiene, 1937, p. 45).

Teaching and Learning
In the early 1900’s, student health education programs were focused on student learning (National Conference on College Hygiene, 1937). Health education sought to develop the mind and body of the student and this form of education was considered as “one of the most difficult teaching assignments in the college curriculum” (National Conference on College Hygiene, 1937, p. 36). Constantly changing information, a lack of interest from students, and resistance to change provided health educators with a challenging teaching assignment (National Conference on College Hygiene, 1937).

Present Day
College health programs have evolved considerably since 1861. Accreditation plays an important part in this area. Health educators are increasingly becoming Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES). 80% of all colleges and universities in the United States have “some organized arrangement for advancing [student] health” (Miller et al, 2003, p. 83). The principal associations for college health are the American College Health Association and the American Public Health Association. Budgeting, assessment/evaluation, and teaching/learning continue to be areas in which college health practitioners need to have proficiency.

The economic climate in which college health programs exist is one that is filled with uncertainty and opportunity. Funding sources are no longer limited to university general funds and student fee revenues. Grant funded programs can now supplement or increase overall service offerings (Turner and Hurley, 2002). College health programs can have multi-million dollar budgets especially when health education services are incorporated into “multi-specialty clinics” which offer services to “students, faculty, staff, spouses, dependents, and in some cases, the general public” (Turner and Hurley, 2002, p. 43).

Assessment and Evaluation
Assessment and evaluation are extremely important to a practitioner in a college health program. Turner and Hurley state that the evaluation of student health services should include the following questions: “How many students are utilizing the services? Are students satisfied with the services received? Are the program objectives being accomplished? Are the objectives being accomplished in the most cost-efficient manner?” (2002, p. 65). According to Hayden, college health programs should “plan on assessment”, “carry out evaluation of plans”, “interpret results of program evaluation”, and “infer implications from findings for future program planning” (2000, p. 7).

Teaching and Learning
College health educators are by default, teachers. They teach a specialized topic which can have a major impact on student success (Damush, Hays, and DiMatteo, 1997). According to Miller et al, a college health program “must provide evidence of its impact on the achievement of student learning and development outcomes” (2003, p. 86). Furthermore, a college health program and its practitioners “must be based on theories and knowledge of learning and human development” (Miller et al, 2003, p. 87). According to the International Association of Student Affairs and Services Professionals (IASAS), college health programs should provide “information on health issues specifically involving the college age student, e.g., sexually transmitted diseases, stress, diet, depression” (2001, p.41).

Future directions
In 1998 the college health education Competency Update Project (CUP) was started by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. The project will have an impact on the “professional preparation, certification, and professional development” of college health practitioners (NCHEC – About NCHEC – CUP, 2002). The competencies for the college health program practitioner are constantly evolving and changing with the needs and requirements of the students that they serve.


American College Health Association, (2001). The american college health association: a brief history. retrieved Nov. 21, 2004, from ACHA: History Web site:

Benjamin, M., & Robinson, J. (1998). Service quality, encounter satisfaction, and the delivery of student health services. Journal of College Student Development, 39(5), 427-437.

Christmas, W. A., & Dorman, J. M. (1996). The “storey” of college health hygiene. Journal of American College Health, 45(1), 27-35.

Damush, T. M., Hays, R. D., & DiMatteo M. R. (1997). Stressful life events and health-related quality of life in college students. Journal of College Student Development, 38(2), 181-190.

Hayden, J. (2000). The health education specialist: a study guide for professional competence. 4th ed. Allentown, PA: NCHEC.

Hughes, W. (1932). The administration of health and physical education for men in colleges and universities. New York City, NY: Bureau of Publications: Teachers College, Columbia University.

International Association of Student Affairs and Services Professionals. (2001). The role of student affairs and services in higher education: a practical manual for developing, implementing, and assessing student affairs programmes and services. R. Ludeman (Ed.).

Komives, S., Woodard, Jr., D., & associates. (2003). Student services: a handbook for the profession. 4th ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Miller, T. (Ed.). (2003). The book of professional standards for higher education. 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education.

National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, (2002). Nchec – about nchec — cup. retrieved Nov. 21, 2004, from

National Conference on College Hygiene. (1937). Health in colleges. Proceedings of the second national conference on college hygiene. New York, NY: National Tuberculosis Association.

Sloane, D. C., & Sloane, B. C. (1986). Changing opportunities: an overview of the history of college health education. Journal of American College Health, 34, 271-273.

Stewart, E., & Tipple, D. (1954). How student health can be influenced through health education. Proceedings from the fourth national conference on health in colleges (pp. 106-116). American College Health Association.

Turner, H., & Hurley, J. (2002). The history and practice of college health. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky.

Weaver, M., & Marty F. (1947). Objectives, finances, housing, and equipment, staff, services, and records. A health program for colleges (pp. 27-39). National Tuberculosis Association.

Student Development Autobiography #2

I am amazed by the amount of learning and growth that has occured since I wrote this paper. I was really struggling with Janet Helms’ Model of White Identity and now I completely understand what she was saying!

Student Development Autobiography #2

The events leading up to my move to Oregon, and the months of rigorous academic work for my graduate program, have provided what I hope will be an interesting snapshot of my present day development. While searching for relevant theories to apply to my graduate experience I found that most of the theories we have studied focus primarily on traditional undergraduate development. Having written about my undergraduate experiences in the previous autobiography I have found the process of reflection to be considerably more challenging for this assignment.

University of Illinois at Chicago
To paint a clear picture of why I am here in Oregon I feel it is necessary to look back at my time in Chicago as a student affairs professional at the University of Illinois at Chicago. My tenure at UIC lasted for more than 2 years. My task was a simple one, market and promotes the UIC Wellness Center’s services and programs. I soon became aware that the environment at UIC was becoming toxic for my professional development. I was involved in several campus committees, participated in intramurals, and was involved with planning a lot of campus events, but something was wrong. I felt like I was being marginalized. Maslow states that secrecy, censorship, dishonesty, and blocking of communications are all threats to basic needs. I definitely felt threatened. I do not wish to focus on the negative experiences of my previous job but I felt it was necessary to include a small bit of information as these were the grounds for my search for something else. I started searching for graduate programs and found that the OSU CSSA program seemed to be a good fit. Perhaps this need for something else could be assigned to one of Maslow’s “needs.” I could have been striving for self actualization at both conscious and unconscious levels. Part of me was looking ahead at my continued growth but there was still an undetermined future in Oregon. I feel it is necessary for me to include an aside to my transition from Chicago to Corvallis: I took the GRE and received poor marks. According to Astin, the GRE is significant as a post test of future graduate student performance. He is assuming that everyone takes the GRE immediately after they graduate from college. I do not feel that my GRE scores reflect my academic ability.

I arrived in Corvallis, Oregon at the end of August. It was lonely in Corvallis as I had left my peer groups and family behind in the Midwest. Fortunately I had the CSSA orientation to attend only a week after I arrived. Orientation was amazing. We were challenged, literally by the OSU Challenge Course. Our program leaders planned a 2 day orientation that created a priceless support structure to form. I read somewhere, perhaps in Chickering, that a cohort can become a family away from family. I whole heartedly agree with this.

Graduate Assistantship
Two weeks after my arrival in Corvallis, I began my graduate assistantship. My assistantship was the result of my telephone interview for acceptance into the CSSA program. The need for my technology/student affairs skills was very high. Everyone I met that first week said to me that they were glad I was here and that they needed me to “fix things.” Unlike my previous experiences at UIC, I felt that I mattered and that my skills were in high demand. My assistantship provided me with ample opportunities for professional growth. However, it soon became apparent that my role of “fixer of all things techie” would not be very fulfilling. I became marginalized because I mattered too much. I felt that I alone was responsible to make things better. Plus, I was not having any contact with students. Fortunately I was housed in the student orientation and retention office. Realizing my need for support, the staff in the student orientation and retention office encouraged me to volunteer for non-techie programs. I was able to participate in a campus preview event and several new student events. I was very appreciative of the fact that I was able to participate in a few campus rituals. Schlossberg would have approved! According to Chickering and Reisser, “signs of discomfort and upset are not necessarily negative” (1993, p. 479). They state that positive development and learning can occur when such difficulty arises. I would disagree. My early assistantship learning and development was retarded by a lack of support. It is ironic that it seems that you can matter too much which in turn causes marginalization. Jessica White states that, “the role of the techie can be a very isolating one in student affairs” (2004).

School started and I quickly became aware that being a graduate student was going to be challenging. Longwell-Grice states that “older, returning, non-traditional students” are more successful when they develop a “narrow focus on academics” (2003, p. 50). I think graduate students develop this focus out of a need to persist. I have not been able to involve myself in anything other than CSSA work and my assistantship. According to Astin, I will probably not persist due to low levels of involvement. Thankfully I was working at OSU for two weeks before school started. This allowed me to explore the campus and seek out forums for involvement. Although the rigor of my current situation dictates that I will have to have tunnel vision for the remainder of the fall term I am optimistic that I will be able to be more involved in the future academic terms. The challenge is time. Time is a finite commodity which determines the level of support that I can embrace.

Personal Life
To say that my personal life was affected by my decision to attend graduate school would be the largest understatement of my life. I quit a well paying job and moved over two thousand miles. This radical life change has forced me to reevaluate my own sense of self. I seem to have several dimensions of identity which I am dealing with. I am: white, heterosexual, a student, a professional, tall, a techie, and sensitive. Jones and McEwen’s model of multiple dimensions of identity looks like an atom. I feel that my “electrons” are spinning out of control. I find it very hard to focus on my studies while being a good professional at my assistantship. According to Widick et al, the demands of a new environment such as graduate school can cause a reexamination of one’s identity. I cannot help but agree with this as a real statement which personally is valid. One aspect of my identity which I am struggling with is the idea that as a white person, I have aspects of racism which are part of my being white. Helms states that white people must move towards an abandonment of their racist tendencies. I was completely flummoxed by this concept. I disagree with Helms because I have never thought of myself as a racist nor have I exhibited racist traits. If Helms were conducting a study which involved my entire family then, yes, racism would emerge as a core family identity dimension. Throughout my entire adult life my family has frustrated me with their uninformed biases. I have struggled with them and yet they seem to need me in their lives. Tinto talks of Native American students and the difficulties they sometimes face when they leave their families when they leave for college. I am part Cherokee but not enough that it is part of my identity so I guess Tinto’s generalization that educated white parents will reward a child for going off to school is incorrect. My parents have college degrees but do not understand why I would “leave them” for school. I appreciate my CSSA cohort family because they are the antithesis of my real family. According to Tinto, students need to interact with their peers to increase their persistence. I have both consciously and unconsciously utilized my cohort as a support structure and in some ways have fulfilled needs for friendship as described by Maslow. The cohort provides me with academic, social, and personal support. The CSSA cohort is, in my opinion, the catalysts for my persistence. They are the ultimate supporters of me.

I wrote in the first autobiography that I was utilizing graduate school as a means to further my need for self actualization. I think that statement is no longer valid. My “electrons” are pulling me in directions that I cannot see, for who can see their own developmental future? I can try to relate my development to the theories I have read but in the end it seems that no one knows what will happen.

The faux presentation

What would be the most appropriate professional organization conference
at which to present?

NASPA – National Conference


Originally, I was going to send this proposal to Educause for their Spring
Conference. I came to the conclusion that I would be “preaching to the
choir”. The folks at Educause already are on board with many of the concepts
which I will discuss below. I believe my student affairs technology ideas need
to be presented at NASPA so that senior student affairs practitioners can adopt
them. Technology needs to be discussed at every level and across a wider range
of audiences.

When is the next conference?

March 19-23, 2005

What is the deadline to submit program proposals?

September 10, 2004

What is the theme of the conference?

Imagine and Explore the Future

How does the presentation relate to the theme?
My presentation embraces a new paradigm, the idea that the virtual web is
just as important as the brick and mortar office and that student affairs
websites need to adopt standards.

What method can programs be submitted?
Programs can be posted electronically via a web form.

Program title:
The Student Affairs Website: It’s time for a framework.

Name of presenter, including name of institution:
Eric Stoller, Oregon State University

Program abstract:
This session will emphasize the importance
of and reasons for utilizing web standards. Websites and the functionality
they provide have become as important as brick and mortar services. The need
for web standards is important in this age of nontraditional students, recruitment
initiatives, and budget uncertainty. The need for dedicated web programmers,
designers, and usability specialists will also be addressed.

Program Overview
Many of us wear many hats. One hat or role that some student affairs
professionals have is the function of the student affairs webmaster. Once
a website plan has been established, it becomes necessary to follow a process,
which enables user-friendly access for all stakeholders. This presentation
will present a framework for student affairs professionals who are looking
for a technical document written in a non-technical manner.

Responsibilities of Web Publishers
As a web publisher, you are responsible
for the content of your pages. You must ensure that your content is up to date
and is grammatically correct. Macromedia Dreamweaver has a built in spell checker
located in the “Text” menu
(Shift + F7).

Content Maintenance
Pages must be accurate and up-to-date. Establish an updating system and identify
specific individuals to help maintain content validity.

Websites should be accessible to users with visual, hearing, mobility, and
cognitive disabilities. The guiding principle is that all sites must meet
or exceed Section 508 (Priority 1) standards for accessibility.

Interface Consistency
Web Pages should maintain a consistent “look and feel”.

Page Components
Web pages should include the following:
university branding, search capability, and cascading style sheets for universal

Contextual Titles
Titles are used by search engines to identify pages when users
search. Additionally, if two or more pages have the same title, they cannot
be differentiated by users or the "Favorites" capability of a browser.
Page titles also aid users who are using screen readers.

Site statistics
Website statistics can be monitored using a variety of options. These numbers
should play a vital role in how your site functions. Most web statistic options
include the ability to monitor referrals and the most “popular” pages
on a site. It is important for a website to be updated and upgraded in order
to meet the needs of your audience. Once those needs are determined through
proper web statistics, content can be created or updated to match.

Site Directory Structure :

Unlinked/Landing pages
Place all non-public\landing\temporary test pages in the root directory.
The only html files in the root should be current pages or pages which fall
into the aforementioned category.

Directory rules

Do not use capital letters. Use lowercase for all file names. Try to limit
the use of #’s and _’s. Use clear naming conventions: applications.html
instead of apps.html

Technical Notes:

A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be
provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc",
or in element content).

ALT tags is short for alternative tags.  ALT tags appear when you place
your mouse over an image.  They also appear when an image does not load
or is not allowed to load.  This provides a hint to a user reading from
a text only browser or one on a slow connection. Screen readers also use
the ALT tags when reading to the visually impaired.  ALT tags are very
easy to add to your pages.

Do not use frames. Frames are not universally accessible. The content of frames
may not be searchable by search engines.

Descriptive links
Instead of denoting a link with the words "Click here" or similar
phrase, be descriptive when providing links; for example: "more information
about online applications." Consider allowing such links to stand on their
own line or provide an ordered or unordered list of links in HTML.

Page dimensions
Pages should be no larger than 740 pixels wide x 440 pixels high to fit on
an 800 x 600 screen without scrolling. This ensures that someone on a 15 inch
monitor can use your website as well as someone with a monitor that is 22 inches
in size.

Meta Tags
Meta tags help search engines find and index your web pages.
Meta tags provide:

1. A brief description of the content

2. The edit date and name of the author or authoring department 3. Keyword
search terms for indexing.


Meta tags
For beta/test pages please include the following code in the <head> of
the document:

A robot will not index this document, nor analyze it for links.

Validate code in Bobby, W3C, or Cynthia

Do not leave old web pages on your web server. Old
pages are still “live” and
can be found via search engines and old links/bookmarks.


Web sites

Krug, Steve. Don’t Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.
Indianapolis : New Riders, 2000.
Veen, J. (2001). The art & science of web design. Indianapolis
, IN : New Riders.


Outline of the program presentation

Responsibilities of Web Publishers

Content validity
Content Maintenance

Interface Consistency

Page Components

University branding


Cascading Style Sheet (CSS)
Contextual Titles
Site statistics

Site Directory Structure

Unlinked/Landing pages
Directory rules
Technical Notes


Descriptive links
Page dimensions
Meta Tags





  • Intended learning outcomes
    It is my hope that attendees of my presentation will gain a new
    understanding of how a simple plan can be used to create a successful website.
    Through the use of technical examples that are framed in an easily understood
    manner, the audience will be shown directives which compliment their existing
    brick and mortar structures.
  • Relationship of program to conference theme
    The future involves change which historically has been a slow process
    in academia and student affairs. Today’s students move at the speed
    of light. I hope to generate momentum for the audience’s imagination
    regarding their websites. Exploration is an exciting yet challenging
    endeavor and I hope this presentation sparks the audience to effect
    change at their institutions.
  • How audience members will be involved in the presentation

I will ask for audience participation throughout the program.
At the end of the session I will allocate time for questions and answers. The
structure will be flexible so that a free flow dialogue can be established.
The framework that I will provide is not written in stone but instead is presented
as a springboard for new ideas.

Why we need tenure

Why We Need Tenure

Tenure is defined as “a means to certain ends; specifically: (1) freedom of teaching and research and of extramural activities, and (2) a sufficient degree of economic security to make the profession attractive to men and women of ability” (1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure With 1970 Interpretive Comments, 1990). I would argue that tenure is necessary for the following reasons: academic freedom, job security, and faculty/student recruitment.

To say that tenure is necessary in academia would be an understatement. Many ideas and discoveries may not have happened if without the security of tenure. Research can take many years to generate beneficial outcomes. Without tenure, many faculty would not have been able to create and communicate new thought processes which otherwise might have been censored or stifled. Alexander W. Astin stated that, “the underlying logic is really very simple: the quickest and surest way to the truth is to encourage the expression of diverse points of view and to promote active discussion and debate of these different views” (1993, p. 49). Another benefit of tenure is it allows faculty to grade students based on their achievements rather than their social status (Perley, 1997).

Tenure cannot replace a “real world” salary but it can ensure a certain degree of employed longevity. Today’s economic climate further emphasizes the need for tenure. Can you put a price on job security? Former Harvard University Dean, Henry Rosovsky says that tenure is:

A social contract in which professors achieve job security by accepting lower pay than their education, talents, and initiative would command in other fields. Faculty members have the talent and amount of time invested in their own education that would tend to make them very successful business people, lawyers, and doctors – people who make much more money than the average faculty member (Hobbs, 1997)

Some have said that tenured faculty focus more on attaining and maintaining their tenured, i.e. employed status, then actually teaching students. According to Henry Lee Allen, most tenured faculty spend roughly the same amount of time teaching as non-tenured faculty (1997).

Lastly, if tenure ceased to exist at OSU, the university would be at a distinct disadvantage in its faculty/student recruitment efforts. According to Stephen Rittenberg, vice provost for academic administration at Columbia University, “Our tenured faculty are perhaps the single most important factor determining the quality and reputation of our institution” (Karaganis).

Tenure must remain at OSU for the aforementioned reasons. If tenure were abolished at OSU and at other institutions, the faculty would “…threaten a revolt…, as well as plunge the institutions that might make the attempt into a morass of litigation” (Yarmolinsky, 1996).


AAUP, (1990). 1940 statement of principles on academic freedom and tenure with 1970 interpretive comments. retrieved Nov 03, 2004, from AAUP 1940 Statement on Academic Freedom & Tenure Web site:

Allen, H. L. (1997). Tenure: why faculty, and the nation, need it. THE NEA HIGHER EDUCATION JOURNAL, 75-88.

Astin, A. W.W. (1993). How are students affected? Change, 25(2), 49.

Hobbs, A. M. . (1997). retrieved Nov 03, 2004, from White papers Brochure, Draft 5a, December 18, 1997 Web site:

Karaganis, J. (n.d.). Scapegoating tenure, or, what the media did and didn’t learn in econ 101 . retrieved Nov 03, 2004, from Metanews: scapegoating tenure Web site:

Perley, J. E.E. (1997, April 4).Tenure remains vital to academic freedom. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Yarmolinsky, A. (1996). Tenure: permanence and change. College Teaching, 44, 115-118.

Nontraditional / Older Adult Support Services

Nontraditional / Older Adult Support Services briefing


What is an older adult student? Why are they nontraditional?
( University of Georgia — OWLs (Older Wiser Learners).

  • Traditional Definition of a Nontraditional Older Adult Student:
    25 years of age or older.
  • New views: Some have argued that the categorization
    of a student as an adult should be related to “life circumstances.” “People
    who are independent from their parents, people who have competing responsibilities
    such as work and family and community involvement—these people are
    adult learners regardless of their age.” (Tate)

OSU undergraduate students who are 25 years of age or older — 1,746

OSU’s oldest undergraduate student — 78

Eleven percent of OSU undergraduate students are nontraditional older adults.


  • Higher Education has had an adult student presence since the late 1800’s
  • Increase in Older Adult Students.
    From 1971 to 1991, adult students increased nationwide from 28% to 43%.
  • Women make up a larger percentage of adult students than men.
    From 1970 to 2000, female adult enrollments have increased by 59.2 percent
    while male adult enrollments have increased by 40.8 percent.

Multiple Roles and Success

  • Focus learning on skills and knowledge that are applicable to life circumstances
  • Have a complex knowledge base due to age
  • Are involved with families, communities, and careers
  • Interact with faculty and peers without being ostracized

Functions of Nontraditional – Older Adult Support Services

  • Information on financial aid and admissions programs that orient students
    to campus
  • Information on child care, housing, and community resources
  • Resources to help develop familiarity with computers, math, writing, and
    other student skills

Nontraditional – Older Adult Support Services Professionals

  • No set standard.
  • Commitment to diversity
  • Orientation programs, Student Involvement, Deans of Graduate Schools
  • Generalists


  • Advising and counseling adult students individually and in groups.
  • Advocating for adult students in policy-making and design of facilities
    as well as the instructional program.
  • Working with adult students to become involved in institutional activities.
  • Arranging social activities for adult students.
  • Working with faculty to understand the different approaches that may be
    necessary when teaching adult students.
  • Conducting research into the underrepresented groups and, once identified,
    develop a range of proactive strategies that are welcoming, preparatory and
    assist in promoting success.
  • Promoting the advantages of education in the community.
  • Organizing cultural orientation/preparatory programs that assist in the
    transition into study.
  • Negotiating appropriate space for observers of religious beliefs, as well
    as rooms and support for clubs, societies, functions, and the like.
  • Initiating learning programs that are culturally diverse and meaningful.
  • Offering staff development workshops that improve awareness of nontraditional
    student needs and requisites.



  • By 2010, 38.2% of college students will be 25 years or older.
    ( National Center for Education Statistics)

Implications for Student Affairs Practitioners

  • separate registration, advising, and orientation;
  • greater availability of and access to parking;
  • more evening and weekend course offerings;
  • special assistance with financial aid and housing; and
  • better preparation of faculty and staff to meet the needs of adult students.

Organizational Examples

  • California State – Fullerton
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • University of New England
  • Penn State University


ACPA – Commission for Commuter Students & Adult Learners


Back to College:

Penn State University – Center for Adult Learner Services:

Purdue University – SPAN Program:

Oregon State University – 25+:
Oregon State University Educational Opportunities Program:

Iowa State University – Adult Student and Off Campus Resources:

ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Personnel Services Ann Arbor MI.
Benshoff, James M. – Lewis, Henry A.

National Academic Advising Association

The Role of Student Affairs and Services in Higher Education: A Practical Manual
For Developing, Implementing, and Assessing Student Affairs Programmes and
Services. International Association of Student Affairs and Services Professionals

Penn State Hendrick Conference on Best Practices in Adult Learning May 10,
2004 “Building an Adult Learning Focused Institution: Why and
How” Pamela Tate, President and CEO, Council for Adult and Experiential
Learning (CAEL)

History of UNI

University of Northern Iowa: A brief history

I attended the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) from 1997 through the summer of 2000. I experienced classes in both old and new buildings, attended campus rituals and was involved with Student Organizations. My involvement with UNI accounts for only 2 percent of the entire history of the university.

Founding and History

Founded in 1876 as the Iowa State Normal School, UNI had a dual purpose. First, the citizens of Iowa, affected by the Civil War, wanted to educate the children of Civil War soldiers/sailors. Second, Iowa needed an institution focused on the schooling of teachers. This does not mean that UNI was created without controversy. Private schools, concerned that UNI would take away their business, lobbied against its creation. “By thin margins — one vote in the Senate and two votes in the House — the bill passed” which started UNI.

“The first class at the Iowa State Normal School (UNI) was held on September 6, 1876, with twenty-seven students in attendance.” Students and faculty lived together in the school’s sole building, Central Hall. Students relied on Principal James Gilchrist’s personal collection of books for their studies and research. By 1880, 233 students had enrolled at UNI. To accommodate the college’s tremendous growth, South Hall (later named Gilchrist Hall) was erected in 1883. It contained classrooms, living space, and a chapel.

Student life was fairly rigorous:
During the week the rising bell rang at 6 A.M. Breakfast was at 7:05 with assembly and roll call at 8:40. Classes and study ran from 9 until 12:15. Dinner was served at 12:40 and classes and study resumed at 1:40 and ran until 4. The time from 4:30 until 5:40 was for students to get exercise from walking or other activities. Tea was served at 6:05. Students studied during the evening and lights were to be extinguished by 10:30. Students could ask to leave school grounds on Saturday afternoons, but the remainder of the weekend was meant for study. Principal Gilchrist led UNI for ten years. During that time, hundreds of students were “educated and taught in all parts of Iowa.”

Today, the primary mission of the University of Northern Iowa is to educate undergraduate students. The university is “Iowa’s only public university that is distinguished by its emphasis on undergraduate education.”

Major Developments
The beginning of the twentieth century was difficult for UNI as the state legislature of Iowa decided that there was to be no “duplication” or “overlap in fields of study.” The Bachelor of Arts degree, which UNI offered, was deemed too similar to a comparative program at the state college at Iowa City. Because of this “challenge”, in 1909, UNI’s name was changed to the Iowa State Teachers College. This further solidified UNI’s role as an educator of teachers. UNI would be renamed again in 1961 as the State College of Iowa and would officially be named the University of Northern Iowa in 1967.

Facts and Tidbits
Since 1910, the cost of attending UNI has risen by over 500 percent. There were a total of 89,863 living alumni as of the fall of 2003. 12,824 students currently attend UNI. 8 men have served as the University’s Presidents. The current president, Dr. Robert Koob, is an alum of UNI. UNI is home to the UNI-Dome. When it opened in 1975, the UNI-Dome “was one of only four air-supported fabric-covered large permanent structures in the world.” In addition to the UNI-Dome, UNI has two unique residence halls. Bender and Dancer Hall tower contain 13 levels and are the tallest buildings in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Reference sites: