The History of Student Affairs

What we currently consider to be student affairs work was being done since colleges began, however, the first actual staff member dedicated to student life issues was Harvard's Dean of Men appointed in 1870. The role included counseling on everything from personal problems, academic decisions and behavior. The role also included managerial tasks that grew to be too much for faculty alone to manage. As colleges grew and the student body began to be more inclusive, the first foundational document for the profession was developed. The Student Personnel Point of View, published in 1937 by the American Council on Education. The student affairs practitioner's role is to support, encourage and facilitate the whole student's development through their out of class experiences in a way that is intimately connected to the institution's mission while placing a high priority on community.

Source: Considering a Career in Student Affairs by Dr. Patrick Love