College student personnel work was born during a period of reform in the United States; it was and remains today a unique American invention. To understand this peculiar phenomenon, it is helpful to consider the historical and cultural climate in which it was born and developed. This book describes student affairs as a child of this reform movement and illustrates how it has retained much of this early characteristic during its continued development. The early years of college student personnel occurred during the Progressive period, but it was not until 1937 that it would receive a clearly stated philosophy when a group of educators wrote The Student Personnel Point of View. This book traces the years that followed as the field struggled to achieve identity and legitimacy. It provides clear evidence of the continuation of an experimentalist philosophy in its development. Co-published with American College Personnel Association.
Richard B. Caple is Professor of Education at the University of Missouri, Columbia.