Case Studies on Ethics for Student Affairs

5 May 2017

Case Studies on Ethics for Student Affairs her research on ethics and learning communities, among other areas. The knowledge possessed and presented by these highly qualified professionals melds seamlessly in oice and style in creating an applicable and comprehensive paradigm. Whereas previous student services writings addressed ethics and ethical decision making thoroughly, Case studies stands out for the breadth of recent knowledge accumulated from more than 50 graduate students and new and mid-level professionals.

The editors do not make any pretention that the text is anything but a compilation of potential in-class-based group discussion formulas based on case studies. In that regard, the first two chapters are fairly broad and direct: Chapter One provides a general overview of professional student affairs ethics within the rubric of rofessional development and identity. Adequate, but not extensive, attention is paid to a cursory literature review. The foundation of Chapter One entails an explanation of an ethical rubric that relies on an individual’s resources of “background beliefs, character or beliefs, and virtue” (Hamrick & Benjamin, 2009, p. ). The use of these resources in combination, according to Hamrick and Benjamin, leads to greater understanding within a particular institutional culture and the overall profession. The chapter, therefore, provides a sound basis for setting the stage for the main focus of the remainder of the book. Chapter Two identifies specific strategies and approaches for analyzing the presented ethical case studies and provides a sample case study with the applied approach explicated by the editors.

The framework includes identifying relevant situational characteristics; analyzing the situation; consulting ethical principles; identifying and consulting relevant ethical standards; recommending actions and strategies; and appraising the decision (Hamrick & Benjamin, 2009, pp. 18-20). The best portion of the chapter, however, entails the thorough discussion presented by the sample case study. The case study, similar to he ones presented later in the book, is fairly brief (three or four full paragraphs) and describes major characters and situations.

Some details are presented and the main issue is framed to appear at the end of the presentation. The requisite do and why? ” appears at the end to prompt discussion. question “What should Drs. Hamrick and Benjamin have utilized their extensive knowledge as editors and authors to crystallize the case studies into the sections for Chapters Three through Seven: academic student services; enrollment services; residence life; student co-curricular and Greek life; and mentoring and professional advancement.

Although the examples are far ranging and informative, with major issues and hypothetical characters identified, the text would have been better served by utilizing the same approach as Chapter Two: picking out a smaller number of examples and providing a more detailed case analysis for those examples. Additionally, the only exposition given after each of the examples in the text was the formulaic question: what should the main character do and Media Review: Maybe I Should . .. Case Studies on Ethics for Student Affairs why? One could imagine that specific case studies, such as the cleverly named An

Arrested RA Development or Treading Water in the Candidate Pool, would have been worthy of their own full chapter. Although the examples utilized are variations of real-world experiences, I could not help but wonder if there would have been added value in presenting ethical dilemmas that were presented previously in the public realm. Many of the details surrounding these experiences are not as well known or presented as in this text. However, many of the outcomes have already been decided. It would have been interesting to present some of those examples within the same ubric as the sanitized case studies.

There are three appendices presented: one for the ACPA, NASPA, and CAS Professional Ethics statements; one that provides an additional ethical exercise; and a final one that provides suggestions and useful information for instructors and facilitators. The most useful appendix is the first one, which provides the gold standard for our professional ethics. A subject index provides an easy guide for cross-referencing the examples by case title, constituent group targeted, the broad issue addressed, institutional type, population type, and page location in the book.

The placement of the subject index would have been better served at the beginning of the text rather than at the end. The text succeeds as a standard text or workbook and would be best utilized in a group setting. It can also be used individually as a reminder of how a person utilized similar skills in similar past situations or in how to deal with present or future incidents. As entering, new, or seasoned student affairs professionals, we can all certainly appreciate the ability to apply not only our skills and abilities but our ethical stances in solving everyday issues.

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