Graduate preparation programs serve as a primary site for training new student affairs practitioners. However, scholars perennially raise concerns about the effectiveness of such graduate training and the readiness of new student affairs practitioners for the field. Whereas existing graduate preparation scholarship relies almost exclusively on a socialization framework, alternative theoretical frameworks oriented toward student learning can offer new insight into training individuals to do student affairs work. Utilizing existing literature on student affairs graduate preparation and cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), this article offers a conceptual model of student affairs graduate preparation as sociocultural activity systems. This model maps dimensions of the coursework and fieldwork environments that graduate student navigate during their training and highlights the sociocultural contradictions that emerge within and between each of these environments. Finally, the article provides discussion of how the conceptual model can guide future research on graduate training and strengthen student learning and development within training programs.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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