Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dorothy (Dot) Finnegan


The prescriptive characteristics that have been assigned to the entire Millennial generation, suggest that the student population inhabiting college campuses today is neither demographically or experientially diverse. Current generation theory ignores specific environmental and regional influences, like those acknowledged in Bronfenbrenner's ecological paradigm and Mannheim's generation theory, and places a greater emphasis on the impact social movements and historical events have on generational development. to evaluate the accuracy of this Millennial characterization and to learn if immediate environment and region of the country influence trait development, 21 traditional aged college students from three different geographic regions of the country were interviewed. The results demonstrate that immediate environment does impact character development and that while historical and social events may create a generational consciousness, clusters of personality traits are discernible and create unique regional personas. These regional traits and the ecological paradigm in which students are raised should inform and direct Student Services on college campuses. If specialized needs based on environment and demographics can be identified, student affairs practitioners can provide more targeted and relevant services and programs thereby increasing the likelihood for student satisfaction and academic success.;Key words: Ecological paradigm, Generation, Millennial, Regionalism, Student Services.



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