Whole Learning: Student Affairs' Challenge to College Curriculums


  • Paul William Eaton Louisiana State University


Student Affairs Curriculum, College Curriculum Discourse


Discussions and understandings of college curriculums are focused almost exclusively on the academic experience.  Such framing of discourses on college curriculums began in the 17th century and continue through today’s increasing focus on strict academic disciplines and linear, hierarchical structuring of the university experience.  The development of student affairs departments on American college campuses occurred as a challenge to rigidifying conceptions of curriculum and learning experiences in the college environment.  Throughout the field’s history, student affairs has existed for the purposes of challenging colleges to think more expansively about the college curriculum, pedagogical practices, and student learning – beyond the academic or vocational to a “whole” education.  This challenge has developed in the philosophical and guiding statements of the student affairs profession, as well as in the programs and initiatives that raise discussions or offer education not being examined in the traditional academic college curriculum.


Author Biography

Paul William Eaton, Louisiana State University

Paul Eaton is a doctoral student in Educational Leadership & Research at Louisiana State University.  His research interests include higher education and student affairs, the challenge of student affairs to curricular discourse on college campuses, and the impact of technology on the college student experience, particularly identity and meaning-making. Additionally, he is interested in the application of complexity theory to education.  publication of ACPA-College Student Educators International.