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Statement of Guiding Principles and Beliefs

Student affairs professionals frequently hold specific beliefs and values that shape their perspectives on their professional employment. The values and beliefs of a student affairs professional enable them to effectively adjust to evolving circumstances and, thus, empower them to assess the areas in which a student needs growth. This is crucial since student affairs professionals frequently substantially impact a student’s development throughout their educational journey. Upon introspecting my purpose and ideals, I encountered two distinct interpretations that resonated with me, and I perceive that they both interrelate in their unique manners. As a student affairs professional, I have cultivated my own beliefs via my personal experiences as a student and the ethical standards and values I uphold.

Empowerment in Education (Empowering Learners)

Empowerment in education refers to cultivating students’ confidence to bring about constructive transformation and actively participate in moulding their educational milieu. This principle closely corresponds with the ideas of self-efficacy and agency, highlighting the significance of students perceiving themselves as being in charge of their learning process (Bandura, 1997). Educators are encouraged to challenge entrenched standards to implement this guiding concept gradually. This entails shifting towards student-centred learning methodologies that grant students greater autonomy and options in their educational encounters. Placing trust in students is essential since it fosters an atmosphere where students can independently oversee their behaviour and academic progress. The second philosophy caught my attention due to its emphasis on aiding the students in achieving their utmost efficiency by clarifying their objectives, enhancing their study techniques, speech patterns, personal appearance, manners, etc., and fostering their growth in religious, emotional, and social aspects, as well as in other nonacademic personal and group relationships (Beaumont, 2010). This aligns perfectly with my values of adaptability and progress. This text primarily elucidates the notion of guaranteeing academic success for students while fostering a sense of belonging in their current environment. Cultivating a sense of belonging will motivate individuals to form connections outside the confines of the educational setting, as it fosters a sense of self-value through affiliation (Beaumont, 2010). As this fundamental idea becomes established, it motivates educators to accept and support various requirements, offer customized assistance, cultivate positive connections, and view mistakes as chances for personal development. Teachers have a crucial role in transmitting knowledge and fostering empowered, critically thinking individuals ready for active participation in society.

As student affairs specialists, we are responsible for ensuring that students adapt and develop effective study habits. Various variables contribute to a student’s lack of effective study habits or personal motivation in academics, as each student has a unique academic experience (Beaumont, 2010). From my personal philosophical perspective, student affairs professionals must ensure that students are provided with the necessary resources tailored to their individual needs. Additionally, these professionals should assist students in their personal growth by fostering professionalism and facilitating progress, enabling them to thrive academically. Beaumont, 2010 examines the ideologies behind enhancing students’ extracurricular activities, boosting their social lives and interests, and cultivating vibrant and meaningful engagement (Beaumont, 2010). These ideals addressed in the readings align closely with my values. By fostering a unique sense of belonging among our students, we can increase their propensity to engage in activities within and outside of their academic environment.


Leadership is a fundamental notion that directs my professional practice. Drawing on the principles of transformational leadership and genuine leadership, I believe that effective leadership is based on authenticity and the capacity to motivate and enable others. Initially, when I began formulating my future goals, I lacked clarity regarding the specific position I aspired to hold in student affairs. My perspective on which group of students stands out has remained relatively consistent throughout my education. Based on my understanding and contacts, I believe it would be intriguing to establish a link to deliver resources to students undergoing a distinctive collegiate adventure.

Throughout my educational journey, I have actively engaged in numerous leadership roles. My objective is to offer valuable resources to kids who may lack awareness of the intricacies of the school experience and how they can proactively prepare for their educational pursuits. I am particularly intrigued by these two domains as I believe individuals in either field may not always possess comprehensive knowledge about their various choices. Moreover, I owe my current position to the invaluable support and resources provided by fellow student affairs professionals and peers during my time at previous educational institutions. Furthermore, I have developed a growing fascination with leadership among students in the pre-collegiate age group. I have only had limited exposure to this region, but the little experience I gained further intensified my interest. Over the following few months, I plan to explore many options in different areas of student affairs in order to choose my specific educational focus that aligns with my greatest passion. I am influenced by Jones (2005), who highlights the profound impact of leadership rooted in values and a dedication to the comprehensive growth of persons when discussing spirituality in education. The belief in leadership is consistent with the broader framework of student affairs literature, which underscores the significance of leaders in establishing inclusive settings and fostering student achievement.

Holistic Support

In 1937, the American Council on Education (ACE) initially generated a study that outlined a series of principles for professionals in student affairs, several of which I have implemented in my current position in student affairs. In their article “The Student Personnel Point of View,” Williamson et al. (1949) also explore the objectives of personnel work and the fundamental principles that student affairs professionals adhere to. Williamson et al. (1949) and the ACE report (1937) emphasised the concept of orienting a student to their college environment. This aligns with my personal ideals of open-mindedness and courage. To succeed, a student must embrace new ideas and be brave enough to venture outside their familiar boundaries. They must be prepared to adjust to their surroundings and actively seek knowledge about their new surroundings (ACE, 1937, p. 3). When students are acquainted with the setting in which they will reside, study, and maybe work, they are more inclined to flourish socially and make academic progress. Before commencing their college journey, it is crucial to acquaint students with the available resources to make an informed decision that aligns with their individual needs (Williamson et al., 1949, p. 4).

I perceive my responsibility as a student affairs professional to encompass administrative tasks and the comprehensive development of students throughout their college experience and beyond. My overall objective is to offer many resources and assistance to foster a student’s personal and professional development. Our responsibility is to support students in fulfilling their requirements and observing the progress and growth they experience during their tenure at the institution. My guiding principle, Holistic Support, finds resonance and validation in Laura Jones’s profound insights in her seminal article “What Does Spirituality in Education Mean?” (Jones, 2005). Informed by Jones’ exploration of spirituality, Holistic Support is deeply rooted in the belief that an educator’s role extends beyond traditional academic boundaries. Jones emphasizes the need for teachers to operate from their most authentic selves, fostering an environment where true learning takes place. As I transition into a role as a Student Affairs professional, the Holistic Support guiding principle will be foundational in shaping the support systems I establish for students. Recognizing the interconnectedness of spirituality with personal health on all levels, my approach will involve creating a holistic educational environment that addresses academic needs and attends to students’ broader well-being. Incorporating spiritual elements in the realm of Student Affairs will allow me to guide students towards a deeper understanding of self, fostering a sense of purpose, meaning, and interconnectedness, echoing Jones’ emphasis on spirituality as a force influencing personal health and the health of communities (Jones, 2005).

Mentorship and Representation

I am committed to the principles of mentorship and representation, recognizing their profound impact on fostering an inclusive and supportive campus environment. Mentorship provides students with valuable guidance, and a sense of belonging, particularly for underrepresented groups (Duntley-Matos 2014)). Having mentors who share similar backgrounds and experiences can significantly impact a student’s academic and personal development. As noted by Jones (2005), spirituality in education, which includes mentorship, contributes to the holistic development of students, fostering a sense of wholeness. Representation in faculty and staff is crucial for creating a campus culture that reflects diversity and promotes inclusivity. The works of Franklin, Debb, and Colson (2017) provide insights into the predictors of academic self-concept for African-American college students, emphasizing the importance of representation in enhancing students’ confidence and intellectual identity.


I adhere to a code that guides my actions and enables me to lead a life of honesty and moral uprightness. I am dedicated to my code, even in situations where it may cause frustration to individuals in my vicinity. Adhering to this code is of utmost importance as it guarantees that individuals are held accountable to a superior set of principles and maintain authenticity towards themselves and others. Aside from the nerdy analogies (of which I have an abundance), it is crucial for me to cultivate a “code,” or a professional philosophy. This acts as my compass, aiding me in defining my desired destination, the preferred approach to work, and choices. Consider it as my personal statement. The importance of possessing a code rests in adhering to it, regardless of the circumstances; otherwise, it loses its value. The benefits of upholding my ideals are self-evident.

Organizations greatly rely on professional ideals. A clear understanding of our mission and purpose enables us to synchronize our finances with our core principles, transforming these assertions into practical directives. Otherwise, they are simply engaging in empty rhetoric. Robust, comprehensive, and manifested guides also facilitate my team members’ comprehension of my priorities and the practical implementation of my ideas. Developing a personal and professional philosophy allows me to clearly articulate my ambitions and fundamental principles. By fully engaging with the world and seeing the decision-making processes and their consequences, I get insight into what is essential to me. I prioritize my emotional response and direct that energy in a courteous, sympathetic, and productive. From a personal perspective, this could be demonstrated through responsible environmental sustainability management, promoting equal access to healthcare and social justice, or wisely conserving financial and material resources.

Having clear principles is really useful, particularly under difficult circumstances. Sharing my principles with others enables them to be mindful of my objectives. It is similar to being prepared with a concise summary of myself and my professional values, sometimes called an “elevator pitch”. The synthesis of the driving concepts that shape my educational philosophy unveils a steadfast dedication to fairness, empowerment, leadership, comprehensive assistance, mentorship and representation, and promotion of systemic transformation. These ideas are the guiding force for my professional approach, influenced by a deep comprehension of the intricacies within educational institutions. I will consistently evaluate my personal principles to ensure that my own philosophies are in harmony with those of the institution where I am employed.


Abes, E.S., Jones, S. R. & McEwen, M.K. (2007). Reconceptualizing the Model of Multiple Dimensions of Identity The Role of Meaning-Making Capacity in the Construction of Multiple Identities (PDF). Journal of College Student Development, 48(1), 1-22.

American Council on Education. Committee on Student Personnel Work, & Williamson, E. G. (1949). The student personnel point of view.

Bandura A (1997) Self-efficacy: The Exercise of Control. New York: Freeman.

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Brooks-McNamara, V., & Pedersen, L. (2006). Practitioner inquiry: A method to advocate for systemic change. Professional School Counseling, 257-260.

Duntley-Matos, R. (2014). Transformative complicity and cultural humility: de-and re-constructing higher education mentorship for under-represented groups. Qualitative Sociology37, 443-466.

Franklin, A.S., Debb, S.M., & Colson, D. G. (2017). Predictors of Academic Self-Concept for African American College Students. Journal of Black Psychology, 43(6), 636-653.

Freire P (2000) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Jones, L. (2005). What Does Spirituality in Education Mean? Stumbling Toward Wholeness (PDF). Journal of College & Character, VI (7).

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Varsik, S. (2022). A snapshot of equity and inclusion in OECD education systems: Findings from the Strength through Diversity Policy Survey.


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