Curriculum Overview

HESA Students Facing the LakeThe Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate program curriculum is deliberately designed to encourage learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom; address the interests, skills, and aspirations of each student; and prepare students for leadership roles in higher education institutions.

The program curriculum reflects the educational policy of philosopher John Dewey, University of Vermont class of 1879. Central to Dewey's philosophy are the links uniting the learner with others in the educational environment. These links are emphasized in three areas of the UVM program: between theory to practice; University and its environment.

Theory to Practice:  Professional Practice Requirement


The core curriculum and practice opportunities combine to integrate conceptual knowledge with administrative practice. With the assistance of a faculty advisor, each student builds an experience to meet his or her interests and professional aspirations. The core curriculum enables students to gain understandings of the student affairs profession, student development, pluralism, history of American higher education, and administration of colleges and universities.

Each student is required to fulfill a minimum number of hours (an average of 20 hours per week beyond the practica hours) devoted to practice.  The practice requirement can be fulfilled in a number of ways:  extended practica, internship placements (including summer positions), assistantships, full-time positions, and/or other opportunities as determined by the student in conjunction with the faculty advisor and approved by the HESA faculty.  Students are required to meet with their faculty advisor to work through the practice agreement on a case-by-case basis.

Non-credit opportunities for practice:

Summer or Academic Year Internships are positions acquired by the students.  Summer internships are typically held in the summer between the first and second year of study.  These positions, both paid and unpaid, are offered by professional associations (e.g., ACUHO-I, NASPA) and higher education institutions.  These positions offer an opportunity to the student to explore functional areas within student affairs and higher education.

Full- or Part-Time Positions are often held by HESA students, particularly students attending HESA on a part-time basis.  If the position is one within a higher education and/or student affairs settings, it may fill the practice requirement of the program.  Summer paid positions such as orientation, conference and meeting services, and other related areas may fill the professional practice requirement.

Extended Practica are opportunities for students to fulfill their professional practice.  In this option, students can extend their 9 hour a week practica to 15 or more hours.  The practica credit allocation would remain at 2 and all other aspects of the practica requirements would remain the same.

Committee Work on a Volunteer Basis is another means to fulfill the practice requirement.  HESA students often fill a wide variety of committee positions at the University.  Examples include the President’s Commissions (on Diversity and Inclusion; on Racial Diversity; on LGBTQA Equity; on the Status of Women; and on Social Change), staff search committees, and the Graduate Student Executive Council.  Committees provide HESA students a wide range of experience with higher education issues and may fulfill the practice requirement.
Class of 2012 Graduation
Graduate assistantships are 10 hour (for half assistantships) and 20 hour (for full assistantships) per week positions held by some full-time HESA students. These assistantships represent a wide array of higher education and student affairs functional areas such as First Year Experience, the LGBTQA Center, ALANA Student Center, the Davis Center, Center for Cultural Pluralism, and Honors College or student affairs departments such as Residential Life, Orientation, Center for Heath and Wellbeing, Leadership and Civic Engagement, and Student Life. Remuneration for the assistantship includes a tuition waiver (10 and 20 credit hours per year for half and full assistantships respectively) and a semi-monthly stipend.  Full assistantship positions fulfill the practice requirement of the HESA program.  Half assistantship will be supplemented with additional hours from the other categories.

Credit opportunities for practice:

Practicum internships offered by over 60 University and local administrative office sites, enable students to integrate theory with professional practice. During these practicum internships, nine hours per week are dedicated to an administrative office of the student's choosing. Students negotiate a project(s) or set of responsibilities to be completed within the time frame of the semester-long practicum. By selecting a different practicum site over three semesters, students develop professional skills as well as learn about a specific student affairs or higher education functional area.

Upon approval of the HESA faculty, selected extended practica (e.g., 15 hours per week) with the approval of the practica supervisor may be used to fulfill the Professional Practice Requirement.

Students, Faculty, and Alumni/ae

HESA Students at Deb's Farm

The Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration graduate program enrolls approximately 18 students per year in the two-year program. This small size encourages strong and enduring relationships among students and faculty. The class cohorts represent a wide spectrum of undergraduate majors, geographic locations, previous experiences, and cultural backgrounds. These diverse perspectives enrich the educational environment and expand social awareness.

Students are guided academically and professionally by a faculty adviser. The six core faculty members represent a diverse combination of former practitioners and career-long faculty who possess a range of experiences within higher education. Together, students, faculty, and program-affiliated practitioners contribute their unique perspectives and high expectations to the HESA program.
An integral part of the University of Vermont HESA program is the strong support of its alumni. The Vermont Connection, a student-produced scholarly journal, features articles by former and current students, administrators, and program faculty. The students' activities in relation to the journal promote professional community among alumni, students, and local administrators. See Alumni page.

The following courses comprise the 40 credit hour program of study required for completion of the master's degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration. The course sequence varies depending on the student's enrollment status (e.g., full- or part-time) and enrollment in summer classes.

*Note: EDHI courses are those that have a higher education focus, and EDFS courses are foundational courses within the College of Education and Social Services.


Full-Time Two-Year Sequence of Courses (without summers)

Semester One


Credits

EDHI 385

The Student Affairs Profession

3

EDHI 361

The (Un)Changing Academy

3

EDHI 397

Module:  Legal Issues in Higher Education

1

EDHI 395

Practicum

2


Total Credits

9

Semester Two


Credits

EDHI 362

College Students in the U.S. (Student Development I)

3

EDHI 375

Cultural Pluralism in Higher Education

3

EDHI 395

Practicum

2

EDFS

Educational Foundations Elective

3


Total Credits

11

Semester Three


Credits

EDHI 380

Student Development II

3

EDHI 380

Introduction to Research Methods in Higher Education

3

EDFS, EDCO, EDLP

Elective chosen from an approved list

3

EDHI 395

Practicum

2


Total Credits

11

Semester Four


Credits

EDHI 396

Capstone:  Theory and Practice

3

EDHI 383

Higher Education Administration

3

EDFS XXX

Second Educational Foundations Elective

3

 

Comprehensive Exam

0


Total Credits

9


TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS

40


Comprehensive exam: During the last semester of study, students will take part in a comprehensive academic experience before a committee of HESA faculty and practitioners.


Educational Foundations: All students in the College of Education and Social Services are required to take 6 credits of EDFS courses.


Multicultural requirement: The College of Education and Social Services requires that graduates of all undergraduate and graduate programs fulfill a multicultural requirement as defined by the individual program. EDHI 375, Cultural Pluralism, meets that requirement in the HESA program.




Part-Time Sequence

Part-time students take 3 to 4 years to graduate and pursue their course of study (including all of the courses listed above) as determined with their academic adviser.  Part-time students may substitute a specifically designed academic experience as a substitute for the third practicum.