Professor N. Swerdlow
English 28 (12:10-1:35 MW)
February 13th 2013
In the article “The Seven Vectors: An Overview”, the author, Arthur Chickering, introduces his theory, the seven vectors. The seven vectors consist of Developing Competence, Managing emotions, Moving through autonomy towards interdependence, developing mature interpersonal relationships, establishing identity, developing purpose, and developing integrity. Each vector explains different developments of skills the students establish from the challenges or struggles they overcome throughout their four years in college. Chickering’s article may not only be informative and relatable to students, it can help colleges to be more understanding of what students go through and make decisions that will help students further on. Some of the skills developed from each vector will lead many students to be self aware, independent, mature individuals.
Many high school students entering college may be still in “needs for reassurance, affection, or approval” from their peers, family members, or their professors. The third vector, “moving through autonomy toward interdependence”, one of the first steps to develop emotional independence is “separation from parents and proceeds through reliance on peers, nonparental adults, and occupational or institutional reference groups”. Chickering states that it is essential for students to learn how to be emotional and instrumental independence, interdependence, as well as being responsible and self-sufficiency. For many first year students in college, they are still in that stage of needing approval or reassurance, which can be a distraction for them to develop their identity, which is why each vector are some how subsequent with one another. The fifth vector, establishing identity, one which developed identity will be comfortable with “body and appearance, gender and sexual orientation, sense of self in a social, historical, and cultural context, self acceptance and self esteem, personal stability and integration.”