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Alexander Astin

Alexander W. Astin (born May 30, 1932) is the Allan M. Cartter Professor of Higher Education Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also Founding Director of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. He has served as Director
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John LeMasney

on 30 July 2009

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Transcript of Alexander Astin

Accomplishments Alexander Astin Agenda:
Biography
Accomplishments
What Matters
Findings
Ideas Biography What Matters Ideas Findings He is also Founding Director of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA

Address : <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Astin> He has served as director of research for both the American Council on Education and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Address : <http://www.salzburgglobal.org/2009/includes/FacultyPopUp.cfm?IDSPECIAL_EVENT=448&IDRecords=27579>p Alexander Astin is Allan M. Cartter Professor of Higher Education and director of the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Address : <http://www.salzburgglobal.org/2009/includes/FacultyPopUp.cfm?IDSPECIAL_EVENT=448&IDRecords=27579> born May 30, 1932

Address : <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Astin> He is the founding director of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program, an ongoing national study

.Address : <http://www.salzburgglobal.org/2009/includes/FacultyPopUp.cfm?IDSPECIAL_EVENT=448&IDRecords=27579> Dr. Astin has authored 20 books and more than 300 other publications in the field of higher education

Address : <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Astin> A recipient of awards for outstanding research from more than a dozen national associations and professional societies

Address : <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Astin> He is a member of the National Academy of Education and has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the recipient of ten honorary degrees.

Address : <http://www.salzburgglobal.org/2009/includes/FacultyPopUp.cfm?IDSPECIAL_EVENT=448&IDRecords=27579> Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University

Address : <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Astin> A 1990 study in the Journal of Higher Education identified Dr. Astin as the most frequently-cited author in the field of higher education

Address : <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Astin> In 1985 readers of Change magazine selected Dr. Astin as the person "most admired for creative, insightful thinking" in the field of higher education

Address : <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Astin> What Matters in College? Four Critical Years Revisited (1993)
Address : <http://www.salzburgglobal.org/2009/includes/FacultyPopUp.cfm?IDSPECIAL_EVENT=448&IDRecords=27579> His current research focuses on student outcomes; educational policy and reform; the civic role of higher education; and the role of values, consciousness, and spirituality in higher education.

Address : <http://www.salzburgglobal.org/2009/includes/FacultyPopUp.cfm?IDSPECIAL_EVENT=448&IDRecords=27579> Dr. Astin earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park
Address : <http://www.salzburgglobal.org/2009/includes/FacultyPopUp.cfm?IDSPECIAL_EVENT=448&IDRecords=27579> Astin collected longitudinal data on 24,847 students at 309 different institutions and determined the influences of a host of institutional characteristics on the students' college experience. The data include 146 input variables that characterize the entering students, including demographic measures, information about parental education and socioeconomic status, precollege academic performance measures, and self-predictions of a number of outcome variables; 192 environmental variables relating to institutional and faculty characteristics, including measures of the size and type of the institution, faculty demographics and attitudes, institutional emphasis on research, and the nature and extent of student-faculty and student peer group interactions; and 82 outcome variables, including measures of academic achievement, retention, career choice, self-concept, patterns of behavior, self-reported growth in skills, and perceptions of and satisfaction with the college experience.

Address : <http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Columns/Astin.html> The quality of the college experience is strongly affected by student-faculty interactions. The frequency with which students talk with professors outside class, work with them on research projects, assist them in teaching, and visit their homes, correlates with student grade-point average, degree attainment, enrollment in graduate or professional school, every self-reported area of intellectual and personal growth, satisfaction with quality of instruction, and likelihood of choosing a career in college teaching [pp.383-384 in What Matters].

Address:<http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Columns/Astin.html> Astin's findings indicate that smaller may indeed be better. Smaller enrollments and lower student/faculty ratios both correlate with satisfaction with instructional quality, enrollment in graduate school, interest in college teaching careers, and self-reported increases in overall academic development, cultural awareness, writing skills, critical thinking, analytic and problem-solving skills, leadership skills, public speaking ability, and interpersonal skills [pp. 326-329, What Matters...]. The better showing of smaller institutions is undoubtedly due in part to the greater incidence of personal student-faculty contacts at such institutions, suggesting the desirability of trying to increase such contacts at large universities.
Address : <http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Columns/Astin.html> "...the student's peer group is the single most potent source of influence on growth and development during the undergraduate years."[p. 398, What Matters...] Frequency of student-student interactions (including discussing course content with other students, working on group projects, tutoring other students, and participating in intramural sports) correlates with improvement in GPA, graduating with honors, analytical and problem-solving skills, leadership ability, public speaking skills, interpersonal skills, preparation for graduate and professional school, and general knowledge, and correlates negatively with feeling depressed [p. 385]

Address : <http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Columns/Astin.html> Many of the study findings specifically point to the benefits of cooperative learning-students working in teams toward a common goal. Frequency of group work has positive correlations with most areas of satisfaction, all self-ratings, and all areas of self-reported growth except foreign language skills. Tutoring other students-which may be done formally but also occurs in a natural way when teams of students work and study together-has positive correlations with all academic outcomes and with choice of careers in college teaching [p. 387, What Matters...]Address : <http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Columns/Astin.html> As Astin notes, "Classroom research has consistently shown that cooperative learning approaches produce outcomes that are superior to those obtained through traditional competitive approaches, and it may well be that our findings concerning the power of the peer group offer a possible explanation: cooperative learning may be more potent...because it motivates students to become more active and more involved participants in the learning process. This greater involvement could come in at least two different ways. First, students may be motivated to expend more effort if they know that their work is going to be scrutinized by peers; and second, students may learn course material in greater depth if they are involved in helping teach it to fellow students." [p. 427] Address : <http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Columns/Astin.html> A number of results illustrate how emphasis on research at an institution affects the quality of that institution's instructional program. Astin's conclusion is that "Attending a college whose faculty is heavily research-oriented increases student dissatisfaction and impacts negatively on most measures of cognitive and affective development. Attending a college that is strongly oriented toward student development shows the opposite pattern of effects." [p. 363] Address : <http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Columns/Astin.html> A disturbing finding is that majoring in engineering correlates negatively with students' satisfaction with the quality of their instruction and overall college experience and positively with feeling overwhelmed and depressed. "Clearly, these findings indicate that the climate characterizing the typical institution with a strong emphasis on engineering is not ideal for student learning and personal development." [pp. 360-361] Address : <http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Columns/Astin.html> In the concluding chapters of [What Matters], Astin proposes possible solutions to the educational quality problems raised by his study, suggesting that the first step is having an institutional leadership that understands the problems and is willing to do something to deal with them. "As long as faculty in the research universities are expected simultaneously to perform research, teaching, advising, university service, and outside professional activities, teaching and advising will continue to receive low priority." He proposes negotiated contracts with faculty members that would provide for a better institutional balance among the different functions of the professoriate [p. 421]. He also suggests that curricular planning efforts will pay off better if they focus less on formal structure and content and put more emphasis on pedagogy and other features of the delivery system [p. 427]. Address : <http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Columns/Astin.html> Alexander Astin (What Matters in College: Four Critical Years Revisited, 1993) stated "the student's peer group is the single most potent source of influence on growth and development during the undergraduate years" (p. 398). Moreover, Astin asserts that "student's values, beliefs, and aspirations tend to change in the direction of the dominant values, beliefs, and aspirations of the peer group." He further emphasizes the importance of identification and affiliation as conditions of qualifying as a "peer group".Address : <http://www.niu.edu/chhs/healthhouse/index.shtml> http://convention.myacpa.org/metrodc09/images/programs/Alexander_AstinSM.jpg "Let me first explain what I mean by involvement, a construct that should not be either mysterious or esoteric. Quite simply, student involvement refers to the amount of physical and psycho- logical energy that the student devotes to the academic experience. Thus, a highly involved student is one who, for example, devotes considerable energy to studying, spends much time on campus, participates actively in student organizations, and interacts frequently with faculty members and other students. Conversely, a typical uninvolved student neglects studies, spends little time on campus, abstains from extracurricular activities, and has infrequent contact with faculty members or other students."

from Alexander Astin's Theory of Student Involvement He married Helen Stavridou on Feb. 11, 1956. They have been colleagues at UCLA since 1973 and have collaborated on many research projects. They have two sons, John Alexander and Paul Allen, and three granddaughters, Erin, Amalia and Ila. Related to both John Astin (Addams Family) and Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings)

Address : <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Astin> Recent Publications:
What matters in college? Four critical years revisited. Jossey-Bass, 1993.
An Empirical Typology of College Students. Journal of College Student Development, January 1993.
The Future of Higher Education: Competition or Cooperation? Learning, Spring 1993.
Diversity and Multiculturalism: How Are StudentsAffected? Change, April 1993.
College Retention Rates Are Often Misleading. The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 1993.

Address : <http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/members/aastin> Summary of Student Involvement Theory

I have presented a theory of student development, labeled the student involvement theory, which I believe is both simple and comprehensive. This theory not only elucidates the considerable findings that have emerged from decades of research on student development; it also offers educators a tool for designing more effective learning environments. Student involvement refers to the quantity and quality of the physical and psychological energy that students invest in the college experience. Such involvement takes many forms, such as absorption in academic work, parti- cipation in extracurricular activities, and interaction with faculty and other institutional personnel. According to the theory, the greaterthe student’s involvement in college, the greater will be the amount of student learning and personal development. Front the standpoint of the educator, the most important hypothesis in the theory is that the effectiveness of any educational policy or practice is directly related to the capacity of that policy or practice to increase student involvement. The principal advantage of the student involvement theory over traditional pedagogical approaches (including the subject-matter, the resource, and the individualized or eclectic theories) is that it directs attention away from subject matter and technique and toward the motivation and behavior of the student. It views student time and energy as institutional resources, albeit finite resources. Thus, all institutional policies and practices—those relating to non- academic as well as academic matters—can be evaluated in terms of the degree to which they increase or reduce student involvement. Simi- larly, all college personnel—counselors and student personnel workers as well as faculty and administrators—can assess their own activitiesin terms of their success in encouraging studentsto become more involved in the college experience. Presented by John LeMasney
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