HESA students
Meet members of The Vermont Connection.

The University of Vermont's Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration (HESA) graduate program is counted among the top programs in the country preparing student affairs professionals to collaboratively transform higher education. 

The program welcomes full-time and part-time students with various levels of experience and backgrounds and enrolls approximately 15 students each year to promote strong and enduring relationships with fellow colleagues, award-winning faculty, and campus partners. Educators committed to the future of the nation’s higher education system challenge UVM HESA students to make their graduate education an unparalleled learning experience.

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HESA Program Mission, Core Values, and Learning Outcomes

Mission Statement

To develop practitioner scholars through academic and professional preparation whose commitment to reflection and social justice will transform higher education and student affairs in the spirit of The Vermont Connection.

Core Values

Academic and Professional Preparation

Through partnerships between faculty and student affairs professionals, we promote excellence through academic and professional rigor. We cultivate the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the profession through the synergy between classroom and experiential learning as conceptualized by philosopher and UVM alumnus John Dewey.

Social Justice

We are committed to pursuing social justice as both a process and a goal to dismantle individual, institutional, and societal oppression. Grounded in the ethos of HESA, UVM, and the profession, we strive to transform student affairs for more equitable and inclusive opportunities in higher education.

Reflection

We foster reflection of self, others, and contexts as a critical component of growth in professional practice. Through critical consciousness we strive to improve higher education and student affairs with an aim toward promoting individual, institutional, and societal change.

The Vermont Connection

The Vermont Connection is a collegial network of former and current students, faculty, and student affairs professionals with the shared vision of uplifting community through relationships. The spirit of The Vermont Connection weaves together the history, present, and future of UVM HESA. 

Learning Outcomes

The four program learning outcomes embrace the ACPA/NASPA professional competencies expected of emerging professionals in higher education and student affairs administration. Our program outcomes reflect our mission statement and our four core values:

  1. Academic and professional preparation
  2. Social justice
  3. Reflection
  4. The Vermont Connection

According to our learning outcomes, students will:

  1. Understand, analyze, and apply the evolving body of scholarship and knowledge that guides student affairs practice.
  2. Develop, analyze, and apply professional skills and values that guide student affairs practice.
  3. Recognize, analyze, and act upon individual, institutional, and societal inequities in the pursuit of social justice and inclusion.
  4. Synthesize knowledge, practice, and social justice and inclusion of self, others, and context.

Abenaki Land Acknowledgement

Land Acknowledgment

The UVM HESA Program acknowledges that the University of Vermont rests upon the traditional territory of the original inhabitants of this land—the Abenaki people—and the State of Vermont now occupies the lands of the Mahican and Pennacook tribes. We acknowledge that Indigenous Peoples were forced to leave Vermont during the 1600's, and eastern tribes were displaced by colonial expansion.

We also recognize that these tribes are not extinct. With the exception of the descendants of the native peoples who fled to Canada, hid, or assimilated into white colonial society, few live in present-day Vermont. Since many Abenaki people retreated into Canada to avoid attack, the British considered them Canadian, but in fact the Abenakis were original natives of New England. Many familial groups that remained in Vermont were eradicated in the early 20th century through forced sterilization and pregnancy termination policies, with over 3,400 reported cases of sterilization. This was performed under the auspices of the “Brandon School of the Feeble-Minded” and the “Vermont Reform School” and was documented in the “1911 Preliminary Report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeder's Association to Study and Report on the Best Practical Means for Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the Human Population.

We also recognize and acknowledge UVM’s problematic relationship with the land’s native descendants. Historically, Abenaki funeral urns were discovered and relegated to the custodianship of the institution, but human remains held in these urns were discarded and funeral “goods” traded by the institution to a museum in Uppsala, Sweden in exchange for a collection of folk art from northern Europe (Moody, 2011).

As we convene as members of The Vermont Connection to learn and collaborate in the interest of advancing educational equity, we recognize the Indigenous descendent communities on which university property rests and honor their loss.