In psychology, one of the most mentioned hypothesis is the hierarchy of needs theory. Abraham Maslow developed the theory in the year 1943. According to the theory, human needs are arranged in a hierarchical form. As such, the needs ascend from the lower to the highest. These basic needs when placed in ascending order of importance are physiological needs, security needs, affiliation needs, self-esteem needs, and self-actualization needs.
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Maslow postulated that once a set of needs is satisfied it stops being a motivator. As a psychologist, I have been hired by Shenandoah University to make sure its students’ needs are being met according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The results of my evaluations are highlighted in this paper.
Maslow’s theory postulates that until the physiological needs are met to the point of supporting life, other desires will not motivate people. Physiological needs include food, water, warmth, and shelter. Through my studies, I found out that the university satisfies students’ physiological needs. For instance, the university’s catering department provides a wide range of quality services.
The department offers multiple different meals to meet the specific needs of every student. The quality of food offered to the students cannot be doubted. Catering department members receive training in regular basis to enhance their skills. In relation to meals, the prices of food have been an issue for most students. Most students assert that the prices of food within the university hotels are overpriced.
In this regard, the university should review the food prices offered within their hotels and possibly extent food discounts to the needy students. On the other hand, the university’s nine residence halls accommodate 900 students. These halls are categorized by class ranks. The rest of the students are housed in the nearby community halls. Based on my evaluation, the students’ psychological needs have been met by the university.
In ascending order of importance, security and safety requirement is a second need identified by Maslow. Security and safety requirements comprise of needs to be free from physical dangers and fear of losing personal property. The university’s security department is mandated to meet these needs. The department recognizes that the students’ safety within the university and the community is paramount.
In this regard, the department works collectively with the community members to ensure that all safety and security issues are addressed. Around the campus, security patrol is carried out seven days a week. Usually, students’ activities within the university and outside the campus place the security officers in direct conflict with the community members.
With these challenges, the security department has a committee that resolves such issues with the highest degree of professionalism. Through my evaluation, I never encountered any security issue in the university. Therefore, I can affirm that the students’ security and safety needs are met by the university.
The third important hierarchy requirement identified by Maslow was affiliation need. According to Maslow, humans are social beings that need to interact and feel accepted by their colleagues. During my evaluation, I noted numerous ways students could associate in the university. As such, there are several extra-curriculum activities organized by the university with the aim of meeting the students’ affiliation needs.
For instance, the university has joint programs with the United Methodist Church that enhances student leadership and social responsibilities. Through these programs, students can organize mission trips and community projects giving them a chance to interact with their fellow students and the community members.
Annually, more than 300 theatre performances are held in the university to allow students appreciate their cultural differences. Similarly, through these performances students are given chances to associate freely. In accordance with my evaluations, the university meets the students’ affiliation needs.
Equally, the fourth requirement identified by Maslow was esteem needs. According to his theory, once people satisfy the affiliation needs they need to be appreciated by others and appreciate themselves. Through my evaluations, I realized that the university outdoor activities promote self-awareness and self-esteem. However, I noted that some few students had issues with their self-esteem.
These students avoided the company of other students and preferred to be in isolation. Concerning this, the university counseling department together with the students’ welfare associations should identify these students and help them develop and enhance their self-esteem.
Finally, the fifth requirement identified by Maslow was the need for self-actualization. According to Maslow’s theory, this need is the biggest need in the hierarchy. If an individual meets this need, he or she will be able to maximize one’s potential. One of the main goals of the university is to enhance the students’ potentials.
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During my evaluations, I noted that the university had integrated some common units in all the courses to help students attain their self-actualization. Through these courses, students are guided to exploit their potential. To confirm on the effect of these initiatives, I carried out a research on the former students’ performances.
In my research, I noted that most of these older students were having successful careers and were highly valued in the job market. Based on this analysis, I can affirm that the university meets the students’ needs of self-actualization.