Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration (Master of Education)
The Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration (HESA) program prepares professionals to apply human development, organizational, foundational, multicultural and administrative principles to work with college students. Working closely with faculty and in-place practitioners, graduate students in the program are challenged to experience an unparalleled learning experience.
Graduates from the HESA program pursue national and international careers as professionals in colleges and universities, as well as in fields related to higher education. Professionals in this field serve as policy makers, advisors, student service providers, researchers, programmers, consultants, and administrators. Common to each functional area in student affairs and higher education is the goal to design opportunities conducive to students' growth and development.
The curriculum, including courses, practica internships, and professional practice opportunities with the university and local institutions, integrates conceptual theory with administrative practice. Students gain an understanding of the student affairs profession, social justice, college student development, history of and trends within U.S. higher education, organizational theory, and professional ethics. Social justice and pluralism, realities of American life and U.S. higher education, are emphasized in the HESA program. These emphases are expressed through course and experiential opportunities highlighting the diversity of people, experiences, perspectives, and structures.
The HESA graduate program enrolls approximately 18 students per year in the full-time two-year program. Part-time enrollment is also an option over a three- or four-year period. The small cohort size encourages strong and enduring relationships among students and faculty. A wide spectrum of undergraduate majors, geographic locations, previous experiences, and cultural backgrounds are represented in the class cohorts. These diverse perspectives enrich the educational environment and expand social awareness.
An array of 60 practicum internships, 25 graduate assistantship placements, and paid and volunteer professional practice opportunities help students integrate their conceptual knowledge with student affairs and higher education practice. Assistantships are housed in Judicial Affairs, academic deans’ offices, the Center for Cultural Pluralism, ALANA Student Center, Honors College, Center for Health and Wellbeing, Office of Student Life, Orientation, Greek Life, Leadership and Civic Engagement, and Residential Life. The assistantship application process (December 15 deadline) is separate from the admissions process but interviews, upon invitation, for both are held concurrently in the spring of each year. Practica experiences (three selections during the course of the degree) are available within university and local college offices.
Students are urged to hold either a full-time position in college and/or student affairs administration, if a part-time student; or a twenty credits per week professional practice opportunity (e.g., volunteer position, graduate assistantship), if a full-time student. Assistantship stipends cover tuition for twenty credits of study each year and a bimonthly stipend.
Courses required for the M.Ed. degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs (EDHI) include: EDFS 302, EDHI 297, EDHI 361, EDHI 362, EDHI 375, EDHI 383, EDHI 385, EDHI 395 and EDHI 396. Forty credits (including required classes, six credits of EDFS, and one EDHI elective) are required for the M.Ed. degree.
There is also a Higher Education concentration in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies doctoral degree (Ed.D.) that requires core courses (see Educational Leadership Ed.D.) and a program of studies focusing on the administration in higher education.
(Please visit our HESA website for HESA program information.)
Inquiries regarding this program should be addressed to Professor Deborah Hunter, 208 Mann Hall, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont 05405.