Caribbean Student Services Practitioners’ Contributions to Higher Education’s Mission


  • Stephanie Bent


institutional work, student services practitioners, holistic development


Although student services has existed in the Caribbean as a professional community since the 1990s, few written theories describe the nature of student services work in the Caribbean. A lack of theories can pose challenges for socialising new student services practitioners into the profession. Using a decolonising methodological approach, I use this qualitative study to answer the research question: “How do student services practitioners use their understanding of holistic development to serve the purposes of higher education in the Caribbean?” Student services practitioners use their holistic development philosophy to develop students’ employability and contribute to students’ academic success. They also advocate for making their institutions more student-centred. These findings demonstrate student services practitioners engage in institutional work enacting agency to identify strategies to shape institutional practices (Lawrence, Suddaby, and Leca 2011).