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  • Student Services: A Handbook for the Profession
  • Maureen E. Wilson
Student Services: A Handbook for the Profession. John H. Schuh, Susan R. Jones, Shaun R. Harper, et al.. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011, 570 pages, $80.00 (hardcover)

First published in 1980, Student Services: A Handbook for the Professionhas been a mainstay in graduate preparation programs. The focus of the book has remained on helping practitioners provide strong educational experiences for college students. As in the previous two editions edited by Susan Komives and Dudley Woodard, new editors John Schuh, Susan Jones, and Shaun Harper grappled with the title, noting that "student services" is outdated and rarely used to describe contemporary practice in student affairs. However, they retained the title "to be true to the roots" (p. xii) of the book.

This book represents a generational shift. Nobody who contributed to the first edition authored a chapter in this one (or the last). Only George Kuh and Schuh contributed to the second and all subsequent editions. In all, 12 writers return from the fourth edition and half them brought in a co-author. Whereas only the final chapter was previously co-authored (by the editors), 18 of 31 are jointly written here and 35 people are writing for Student Servicesfor the first time. In contrast to the fourth edition in which all of the authors were widely-known and held a doctorate and most were faculty or senior administrators, the current writers include early-career scholars and practitioners, some without doctorates, and several without high-level administrative experience. The group is also more racially diverse.

Regular users of the textbook will find a very familiar structure to the fourth edition. The book contains six parts. The first three follow the same order, sometimes with revised titles. Part 4 has been shuffled with one chapter splitting into two and others relocated to or from other sections. Parts 5 and 6 are largely the same with one chapter moving into each section and another moving out. Additionally, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) professional practice standards and the American College Personnel Association's (ACPA) ethics statements have been cut. As both are easily accessible online, that is a reasonable way to cut 20 pages of text to help manage the cost of the book. Indeed, this volume has 154 fewer pages. It is also available for download to electronic readers at a lower cost than the hardcover version.

Part 1 provides a historical and contemporary context for student affairs practice. In the first chapter, John Thelin is joined by Marybeth Gasman to present a historical overview of American higher education. The chapter follows Thelin's framework from the last two editions, with updates as necessary. In chapter 2, Kimberly Griffin joins Sylvia Hurtado to focus on institutional variety (vs. diversity in the 4th ed.), including Carnegie classifications and institutions serving specific populations (e.g., HBCUs). This chapter has been shortened and topics such as for-profit institutions have been cut. The third chapter has been renamed "Campus Climate and Diversity," and has three authors new to the book, Mitchell Chang, Jeffrey Milem, and anthony lising antonio. While covering some similar territory, it is substantially different and has a greater focus on application of a multidimensional framework to improve campus climates for diversity. [End Page 169]

Professional foundations and principles are the focus of part 2 and with just one author returning to the section, readers will find differences. Gwendolyn Dungy and Stephanie Gordon wrote the chapter on the development of student affairs, using a structure similar to the last edition. In chapter 5, Robert Reason and Ellen Broido discuss philosophies and values of the profession. They draw heavily the history and literature of student affairs to situate these concepts well for readers new to the field. Fried returns with her chapter on ethical standards and principles and includes good cases for discussion. Another new contributor, Gary Pavela, has written the chapter on legal issues and focuses on civility, troubled students, and risk management. Although he presents very important concepts, some may miss the inclusion of topics such as sources of the law, constitutional and civil rights...


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