Serving the Developmental and Learning Needs of the 21st Century Diverse College Student Population: A Review of Literature

Elena Sandoval-Lucero


The seminal theories that describe human development during the college years were developed several decades ago using research conducted with homogenous groups of college students that resemble the demographic characteristics of 21st Century college students in very few ways. The current population is more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, age, socioeconomic status, academic preparation, immigration status, and disability than the college student population has ever been in the history of higher education. This review highlights recent research on how the current diverse population of college students interacts within the campus environment. The review considers the current research on how college affects 21st century college students, and how students develop in terms of career, cognitive, and psychological development during the college years. Also important to consider is the kind of social and cultural capital that diverse college students bring to college that helps them achieve academic and career success.

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Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology   ISSN 1927-0526 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0534 (Online)

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