Hardin-Simmons University recognizes the projected 10% growth of positions within Higher Education and Student Affairs (e.g., Housing Director, Career Counselor, Director of Residence Life, Academic Advisors, Dean of Students, Chief Student Admissions Officer, Deputy Chief Student Affairs, Chief Camp Student Activities Administrator, etc.). In the last 15 years, the career market for entry-level professionals in higher education student services positions has changed with expectations of a master’s degree for most of the positions. For a student leader seeking positions in higher education, the Master of Education in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) would provide a possible job placement (internship) in one year beginning the first summer session after undergraduate graduation.
According to the Director of Publications & Research, Academic Impressions, and a few other researchers (Cook, Marthers, Fusch, Podany, & Whitney, 2017), several trends within the core of any university involve issues related to student affairs. The growing diversity of students, student mental health issues, Title IX issues, and the need for more inclusive and equitable campuses requires the higher education administration and student affairs staff members to understand the importance of the four major frameworks of the student affairs profession (NASPA, Student Affairs in Higher Education): commitment to just and ethical behavior (integrity), the need for new and creative approaches (innovation), ensure access, voice, and participation at all levels (inclusion), and support research and scholarship to ensure that data informs practice (inquiry). Our 30-hour fully online HESA program includes courses that provide thoughtful, positive and productive learning experiences that promote ownership of understanding all student affairs competencies.
HESA students are able to maintain current employment, save money in travel/lodging expenses, and have immediate access to course requirements, assessments, and feedback from peers and faculty members. (Fully online delivery.)
HESA students begin program in Fall and have opportunities to successfully complete the eight on-line courses and six hours of internship (at an approved university/college) within two years.
The majority of the HESA faculty members are actively either employed or involved in Higher Education and Student Affairs at local/regional private and/or state universities. The faculty members add real-world connections to the theories taught within the program.
All courses and course descriptions for the Master of Education in Higher Education & Student Affairs can be found in the Graduate Catalog.
The summer courses following the normal summer session schedule with six hours in each summer session. The fall and spring include nine hours (a 16-week internship, and two 8-week courses).
Applicants for the Master of Education degree must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a minimum of 3.0 GPA in all upper-level course work (junior or senior level courses) or a minimum of 2.75 cumulative GPA in undergraduate work. Admission to the program requires the program director’s endorsement, which will be based on evaluation of the following elements:
Successful completion of the 30 graduate semester hour academic requirements, which includes the fall and spring internship (EDSA 6380/6381), successful completion of an oral comprehensive exam during the last semester of course work. The content of the exam will be determined by the comprehensive exam committee comprised of three faculty members recommended by the program director. Successful completion of a competency digital portfolio that supports the 10 Competencies within The Joint Task Force on Professional Competencies and Standards with evidence of synthesizing, analyzing, and evaluating the Higher Education and Student Affairs program.
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