Sample Education Essay Paper on Contemporary Issues in Student Personnel

Contemporary Issues in Student Personnel

Q.1: Do identity Centers divide rather than unite?

Identity centers are locations and establishments with institutional support that offer services and programs for members of typically and historically underrepresented and disempowered groups in education environments such as universities and colleges. Such groups include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, women, and minority ethnic, religious, and racial groups. I think that rather than uniting students, identity centers undermine unity by promoting the self-segregation of underrepresented groups in higher education institutions. Identity centers influence balkanization among students through the creation of space from other student groups, effectively alienating members from other students (Magolda & Magolda, 2013).

Often, identity centers have separate buildings, areas, or rooms, while specific staff, commonly with corresponding identity features, serve or train members. These programs and activities exclude students from other backgrounds, who often feel resentful and deprived of opportunities to engage in and benefit from the programs and activities. The exclusive nature of these centers and their membership prevents free interactions and relationships among students of diverse backgrounds (Magolda & Magolda, 2013). Students of other backgrounds feel deprived of opportunities to interact with diverse others, in effect undermining the objective of efforts to promote understanding and accommodation among students of different abilities and racial, religious, sexual orientation, and ethnic groups.

Q.2: In an age of consumerism, what are the implications of giving students what they want?

On one hand, fulfillment of students’ desires in an age of consumerism promises positive influence in terms of empowering them to decide and pursue activities and programs that enhance value in their academic and professional development. In effect, this would enrich the college experience of students, and hence promote their motivation in studies. However, on the other hand, a consumerist approach in the operations of educational institutions carries the risks of emphasizing quantity at the expense of quality and satisfaction of entertainment and comfort at the expense of essential learning outcomes. One aspect of such risk concerns the empowerment of aggressive student engagement in political and administrative elements (governance) of universities and colleges’ operations. Such engagement has little direct impact on educational performance, which is the primary objective of students in the institutions. A consumerist model would involve consideration of education as a commodity for the student to purchase according to personal desires rather than the real world expectations and standards of different professions. Consumerism would imply collective student involvement in the running of educational institutions, including in decision-making processes, designs of educational curricula, and control of the learning environment (Carey, 2015). It would involve promotion of commercial relationships that are hostile towards efficient fulfillment of important endeavors by the institution and its faculty to deliver quality programs for effective student development.

Q.3: In an age of accountability, how do you know you are doing a good job as a professional?

Accountability concerns an individual’s answerability or responsibility for the accomplishment of an objective or task. The modern age of accountability involves demands in three areas: performance of responsibilities, fulfillment of objectives, and personal actions and choices. In essence, excellence in accountability concerns modelling personal behavior and practices in ways that enhance achievement of objectives and increased quality in such achievement. This means that the professional has to understand personal responsibilities, required actions, and targets competently, along with the choices and actions that are ethical, as a foundation for accountability. Accountability involves a professional’s application of the full extent of personal ability and potential in performance of all personal commitments and responsibilities according to professional values and standards (Levitt, Janta, & Wegrich, 2008). A professional’s accountability is evident in fulfillment of these commitments and requirements in such a way that he/she can offer valid and practical reasons to justify all actions and decisions and accept liability for any mistakes and errors.


Carey, P. (2015). Student Engagement and the Threat of Consumerism: Testing Assumptions. International Journal of Advancement in Education and Social Sciences 3(1). Retrieved from:

Levitt, R., Janta, B., & Wegrich, K. (2008). Accountability of Teachers: Literature Review. Technical Report for the General Teaching Council of England. Retrieved from:

Magolda, P., & Magolda, M. (2013). Contested Issues in Student Affairs: Diverse Perspectives and respectful Dialogue. Sterling: Stylus Publishing LLC