The M.S. in College Student Affairs is designed to prepare students for the expanded roles and responsibilities of student affairs professionals in today's diverse college and university educational environments. Students will learn and experience the practical application of the knowledge base and skill sets of student affairs administration and conflict analysis and resolution in higher education organizational settings. The program is designed for students who are interested in a career in student affairs, and for those currently working in student affairs who seek to advance their own personal knowledge and professional credentials. The M.S. program consists of a 15 course (45 credits) sequence that places emphasis on two core concentrations, Conflict Analysis and Resolution and Student Affairs in Higher Education.
* Students in DCAR who are counting a concentration in Organizations and Schools using College Student Personnel Administration courses towards their degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution will not be able to complete the M.S. in College Student Affairs as an additional degree.
The M.S. program is offered in both residential and distance learning formats. The flexible distance learning formats allow mid career working adults and those unable to attend the residential program, to study college student affairs in a creative, rigorous, and structured fashion. Students enrolled in the distance learning program participate in Residential Institutes on the Fort Lauderdale campus twice per year, as well as online Web-based courses. Each RI is 5 days long. Currently the RIs are held in February and late September or October. Please visit the Residential Institute page for current information.
Students may enroll full or part time, taking six to nine credit hours per term. Students who enroll in 3 courses per term can expect to complete the program in five terms. Part-time students can expect to complete the program in three years. Summer attendance is mandatory.
Master's students are provided NSU computer accounts including email and Blackboard, but must obtain their own Internet service providers, use their own computer systems and have a usable web camera. Online students use the web to access course materials, announcements, email, distance library services, subscription library databases, and other information, and for interaction with faculty and fellow students. Online, interactive learning methods are based on the use of Blackboard as a course management system. Online activities facilitate frequent student-to-faculty and student-to-student interaction. They are supported by threaded discussion boards, white boards, chat rooms, email, and multimedia presentations. In addition, Blackboard enables students to submit assignments online in multimedia formats and to receive their professors' reviews of assignments online in the same formats.
The following courses are required for the master's program in College Student Affairs.
To complete the M.S. in College Student Affairs, students must complete a total of 130 hours of practicum. Students are responsible for documenting practicum hours, and must have these hours verified and signed by an on-site supervisor. The practicum experience is designed to provide students with an experiential opportunity to utilize student affairs theory and practice within a diversity of professional settings. Students will have the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts within a practical framework.
Students complete two practicums during their course of study. Practicum I offers students the opportunity to explore a breadth of student affairs functions and gain exposure, knowledge and experience in the variety of programs and services that make up a college/university division of student affairs: residential life, housing, career services, student union, student activities, leadership development, recreation and wellness, volunteer services, special events, judicial programs and the office of the dean of students.
Practicum II will offer students the opportunity to gain in-depth exposure, knowledge and experience in a selected area of specialization in student affairs that supports their professional goals and prepares them to work in a professional student affairs position. Practicum II has a specific focus on career development in the College Student Affairs profession. Practicum experiences may take place at Nova Southeastern University or another college or university.
Some practicum sites require a background check before the practicum placement can begin. Generally the background check is at the student's expense and should be done as soon as possible before the practicum term.
In addition to successfully completing all course work, and obtaining the required practicum hours discussed above, students must pass a comprehensive examination to be awarded the M.S. in College Student Affairs. When a student has completed all coursework and practicum hours, has maintained a minimum of 3.0 GPA with no "incomplete" grades, and is a "student in good standing" with no disciplinary actions pending or disciplinary tasks to complete, the student will be eligible to take the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive exam is an assessment of the student's ability to integrate the knowledge and skills gained through course work and the practicum experience. The exam tests the student's written ability to critically analyze and apply conflict assessment, theory, and research methodology to hypothetical conflict situations. The exam also tests knowledge of material specific to the academic curriculum.
The comprehensive exam is offered three times a year: in January, May and August. The exam has two sections; students must answer two questions from each section.