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M.S. Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

Course content

The focus of the program is on preparing graduate students to work as educators, practitioners and policy-makers in student affairs, student services and higher education. The program will help students comprehend, analyze and meet the changing needs and wants of the current college student. Students will learn how to use interpersonal skills and strategic interventions, especially as they relate to issues of equity and access, which lead to success for ALL students. Employing an Action Research Methodology, graduates of this program will be prepared to analyze current higher education practices and policies and create programs, services and interventions that generate positive impact and student success. Students will have an opportunity to complete two internships in the field.

The program is aligned with the CAS (Council on the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education) Standards and the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies.

Course Structure and Content

The program is a 42-credit program that can be completed in 2 years. Students have the option of earning a certificate in either Sustainability or Educational Technology as part of the HEPSA Program.

Students will have two internship classes and opportunities totaling 500 hours in the field. Internship 1 will focus on developing the interpersonal, listening and referral skills necessary for work in the field of higher education and student affairs. Internship 2 will focus on developing an understanding of strategic planning and institutional structure as well as planning for and creating policy changes.

All students in their first semester will take a course on Critical Action Research where they will have an opportunity to pose a question about student affairs/higher education that they would like to understand. Throughout their program they will answer that question through their course work. The capstone project will result in a publishable thesis answering that question. This process will help to position students as experts on their topic of interest as they move in to a professional or new role.

Modules include:

• The Sustainable Campus
• Issues of Power and Privilege in Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs
• Applications and Implications of Technology in Student Affairs
• Program Evaluation and Assessment
• Theories of College Student Identity Development
• Law, Policy and Equity in Higher Education and Student Affairs
• Resource Management in Student Affairs and Higher Education
• Transformative Leadership in Higher Education and Student Affairs

Visit the M.S. Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs page on the West Chester University website for more details!




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