A Historical Analysis of Student Development in the College Residence Hall Environment
History reveals that residence halls have been both the hallmark and the annoyance of higher education. Because of the complexities associated with fulfilling a commitment to have residence halls become a meaningful part of a student's education, student affairs professionals have had to become more sophisticated in their approaches to structuring these environments and more analytical in assessing the value and direction the hall environment and the student services that take place there. The history of residence halls has been driven by reacting to other influences in history. In the early stages of development, the residence halls were promoted as an important student development tool, in recent years they have been regarded on many campuses as a service provided for students. This historical research traces the birth of the residence hall as well as the important aspects of student development that take place there. It examines ways that residence halls influence students, and methods of advancing the growth and development of students living in the residence halls through the services the institution provides. This research found specific trends occurring in the student development field that will enhance student satisfaction with his/her residence hall environment. The research supports the hypothesis that students will continue to demand and require more services and programs that address the specific trends related to student development in the residence hall setting. A discussion of these trends and implications for the future of residential living concludes this research.
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