1st Edition

Cultivating Trauma-Informed Practice in Student Affairs

By Tricia R. Shalka Copyright 2024
    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    Offering a multi-tiered approach to supporting college students who have experienced trauma, this book considers how trauma manifests for post-secondary college students and how colleges and universities can implement trauma-informed practice in student affairs.

    Author Tricia R. Shalka offers knowledge about trauma and its trajectories to help ground trauma-informed practice, before translating this knowledge into specific strategies that span a spectrum of individual and systems-level efforts in colleges and universities. The story of college student trauma is presented through several different lenses, including discussions around the research literature, what the author’s research participants offer, and the author’s own personal experience with trauma. Drawing on these diverse perspectives, Shalka initiates a journey of reflection and (re)connection that will ultimately inform an understanding of the challenges college student trauma survivors encounter and what it means to embrace trauma-informed approaches in student affairs supportive of student success and well-being-centric organizations.

    Written in an approachable and conversational style, this book introduces new concepts to consider when working toward building a trauma-informed practice in student affairs and as such will assist student affairs practitioners, university administrators, and college-level educators in supporting students.

    Introduction  1. What Is Trauma?  2. What Might It Be Like for a College Student to Experience Trauma?  3. What Does It Mean to be Trauma-Informed?  4. Personal Practices for Trauma-Informed Student Affairs Work  5. Supporting Students Who Have Experienced Trauma  6. Supporting Student Leaders Who Care for Others  7. Organizational End Goal: Equity-Focused Systems of Wellness and Care  8. Toward a Trauma-Informed Student Affairs Practice


    Tricia R. Shalka is an associate professor of higher education at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education & Human Development, USA.

    The text is a preparation ground for coming to terms with the intensities of trauma and responding to the urgent imperative for trauma-informed practice. Consistent with Dr. Shalka’s commitments to generating language, skills, and dispositions for practitioners, educators, and students, the text is a forum on care as she lovingly, which is to say, deliberately and compassionately, calls forth humanizing ways of being.

    Wilson Okello, Assistant Professor of Higher Education, The Pennsylvania State University, USA


    Given the ongoing presence of trauma for college students, the importance of Shalka’s book cannot be overstated. Cultivating Trauma-Informed Practice in Student Affairs speaks to a necessary shift in educational praxis and serves as a timeless reminder for educators to embody a person-centered ethic of care in an educational landscape increasingly animated through the dehumanizing logic of racialized capitalism.  

    Z Nicolazzo, Associate Professor, Trans* Studies in Education

    I have been changed by Dr. Tricia Shalka's writing and will be a better student affairs educator because of the gift of her work.  She has written a must-read for all educators committed to creating cultures of care. She calls us to act by helping us understand that there is an imperative for trauma-informed student affairs practice. Given that the majority of college students have already been exposed to trauma, and more will be impacted while in college, the need to act is now.  Read this book for it is a masterful and compassionate blueprint on the principles, practice, skills, knowledge and ways of being that foster environments that create the conditions for students to thrive.  Become a trauma-informed practitioner --- our students are depending on us.

    Patty Perillo, Vice President for Student Affairs and Affiliate Faculty, Higher Education, Student Affairs and International Education Policy, University of Maryland, USA