Reflection Essay: Chickering's Theory Of Identity Development

As a child, I dreamt of becoming a teacher. When we are young we have life goals that appear to be attainable at the time, but we never think of the obstacles and hardships we will face in order to achieve those goals. I am the first in my family to graduate college, so when it was time to apply for colleges I had no familial assistance. My college experience began at Medaille College in the fall of 2010. Medaille is a small, private, predominately white institution (PWI) in Buffalo, NY. In high school, I didn’t apply to any large institutions. Medaille was ten minutes away from my home, so it was very convenient at the time. After my first semester, I realized that Medaille was not the college for me. The school was expensive, lacked diversity, …show more content…
Once I transferred to Buffalo State, my college experience was enhanced and I began to develop competence. Author Chickering developed a theory of Identity Development in 1969 that identified the developmental and environmental issues college students face on a daily basis that influenced development (Evans et al., 2010, p.65). Chickering theory has seven vectors that students can deal with simultaneously. The first vector in Chickering’s theory is developing competence. I took courses that forced me to use my mind, forced me to think, and ultimately, I was able to develop the three competencies Chickering identified in his theory. Intellectual competence, physical and manual skills, and interpersonal competence are the three competencies Chickering identified. The second vector in Chickering’s theory is managing emotions; a vector that I am still working on as a graduate student. February 1, 2013, my great-grandfather passed away. It was the beginning of the spring semester of my junior year, and I missed a week of classes to go to NYC for the funeral. Once I came back, I wasn’t focused at all. I knew that my grandfather would have wanted me to stay on top of my studies, so I …show more content…
Atkinson, Morten, and Sue’s minority development model identifies five stages that I went through as an undergraduate student. This model was developed in the late 1970’s but was revised in 2003 and renamed the racial and cultural identity development (RCID) (Evans et al., 2010, p.255). As a freshman at Medaille I was in the first stage, conformity. I did not want to learn about my culture, I conformed to stereotypes, and identified with white culture. Once I transferred to Buffalo State I moved to the next stage, dissonance. Attending AASO and PASO meetings was very transformative and made me question white culture. I became interested in learning more about my own culture. I registered for a sociology course, African American family with Dr. Ron Stewart. The class became one of my favorites, so I decided to minor in sociology. The next semester I registered for an elective course African Americans and Civil Rights with Dr. Felix Armfield. I was well into the third step of RCID, resistance and immersion. I was in search for my cultural identity, I wanted to know everything about black history. In the spring of 2014, Dr. Armfield died unexpectedly in a fire, and I was honored that I was able to take a course with him. He helped me move to the next stage of RCID, introspection. I was able to find a balance between being black and being American. That is the

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