Student development is the process by which college students change intellectually and psychosocially as a result of their experiences during their time at institutions of higher learning (Rogers, 1990). Magnitude of development is mediated by the type of environment to which students are exposed, as well as the student�s level of involvement within that environment. Many environmental conditions have been linked to increased persistence amongst undergraduates in college. Interactions with various components of a typical college environment, including with faculty and staff, curricular and extracurricular activities in which the student is involved, and also where the student lives, will affect how a student develops (Astin, 1977, 1993; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). Academic self-concept, a psychosocial concept defining how a student perceives their own academic and intellectual abilities as compared to their peers (Byrne, 2002), is a particularly important developmental outcome because of its susceptibility to the influence of the college and university environment (House, 1992). Further, academic self-concept is also linked to academic performance and retention (Cokley, 2000; House, 1992; 1993; 2000; Reynolds, 1988).
This proposal outlines a study that will explore how apartment housing environments can influence undergraduate student academic self-concept. I propose a comparative study which will measure the academic self-concept of students living in outsourced college housing environment in comparison to other living environments at a mid-sized, public university in the mid-Atlantic region. In this proposal, I first present background on the current economic climate that has led many public universities to outsource the development, construction, and management of student housing will be explored. Next, I present the problem statement and study�s purpose, along with a review of the literature regarding academic self-concept and the effects of the college housing environment on student development. Finally, the methods section will illustrate the intended plan of action for the completion of this study.