Virginia Tech®home

About the Higher Education and Student Affairs Program

a racially mixed group of students study together

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Higher Education and Student Affairs (HED) Program educates entry-level professionals about the essential knowledge, skills/experiences, and dispositions necessary for practice in higher education.

Graduate students are prepared to work as student development educators and administrators in higher education. Specifically, students may expect employment in residential programs, campus activities, career planning, judicial programs, counseling, admissions, financial aid, student orientation, multicultural services, and related campus programs.

A small cohort experience ensures individual attention and shared learning, opportunities to specialize in one area, or explore many areas, of student affairs through assistantships, practica and summer internships, and a solid grounding in program assessment and evaluation. Our students plan both fun and educational activities through the Higher Education Advisory Council (HEAC).

Students are strongly encouraged to collaborate. Our students are actively engaged in the profession. Over 90% held memberships in one or more professional associations, 88% participated in professional development activities, 42% presented one or more conference programs, 39% held leadership positions in professional associations, 24% were writing for publication, and 10% published manuscripts in professional journals before graduating.

Graduates will be eligible for employment in positions at colleges and universities in residence life, student activities, student success, academic advising, new student orientation, leadership development, diversity and inclusion offices, and career and professional development, and advocacy and crisis management, among others.

The Higher Education and Student Affairs (HED) Program provides entry-level professionals with the essential knowledge, skills, values, and dispositions necessary for a wide variety of student affairs positions in higher education.  The HED program is designed to meet the standards for master's level preparation in student affairs of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). Additional information can be found on the M.A.Ed. program guide (linked here).

we look down on a woman sitting before a computer taking notes. she is right handed

WHAT YOU'LL STUDY

Graduate education is concerned with enhancing the broad spectrum of talents in students. Some of these talents are addressed by structured, in-class activities determined primarily by faculty, while others are addressed by out-of-class activities that often are student-directed. Both types of learning opportunities are incorporated into each student's Plan of Study. Faculty serve as teachers, advisors, colleagues, and mentors to students.

The master’s curriculum consists of courses in four areas: Foundations, Research, Concentration, and Cognate, and centers on four tenets: professional practice, scholarship, professional involvement, and service.

A total of 48 credit hours is required for the master's degree. Given the delivery of the curriculum, students are required to register for classes during at least one summer term. You will complete courses such as introduction to student affairs profession, theories of college student development, higher education in the United States, higher education law, and assessment in higher education.

Course Descriptions

EDHE 5105:Theoretical, practical, and policy issues in the assessment of student learning outcomes. Principles for evaluation of co-curricular or higher education-related programs, services, or facilities. Assessment of student learning outcomes in those programs and activities. Pre: Graduate standing. EDHE 5106: Application of theoretical, practical, and policy issues in professional education settings such as administrative or service delivery department in higher education. Development of assessment plans, collection and analysis of data, evaluation of findings, and preparation of final assessment reports. Pre: 5105.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Prerequisite(s): EDHE 5105

Supervised work experience within a higher education setting. Application of classroom knowledge to the workplace setting in higher education including assessment and evaluation, program development and execution, research, personal development and career planning. Pre: Graduate standing.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture, Online Lecture

History, philosophy, and goals of the student affairs profession in American higher education. Standards and contexts for student affairs, including scholarly literature related to students and student organizational culture, ethical principles, and professional and quality standards. Pre: Graduate standing.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Theories of college student development. Foundational, integrative, and social identity theories, fundamental criticisms of well-known student development theories, identification of current student populations affected, and applying theories to student affairs practice and personal development. Pre: Graduate standing.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Study of the characteristics and attitudes of traditional and nontraditional college students; effect of the college environment on students.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Prerequisite(s):

Corequisite(s):

Study of human resource management in education. Emphasis on recruitment and selection, orientation, supervision, staff development, performance appraisal, and separation. Application of a human resource development perspective guides research and assessment of current and future practices. Pre: Graduate standing.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture, Online Lecture

Selected topics in administration, counseling, adult and continuing education, research and evaluation, and community college and other domains of higher education. Emphasis is on interactive discourse on topics not typically included in regularly scheduled courses. (Maximum 3C per course).

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 3

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture, Online Lecture

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Independent Study

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Lecture Hour(s):

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Research

Antecedents of public policy affecting education in the United States, and the relationships between policy making and implementation and educational administration.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Advanced graduate study of the governance and administration of the modern, contemporary university in the United States with a focus on the research literature in the field.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Diversity of institutions of higher learning is examined through variations in the respective goals and purposes of distinct types of institutions and examined through variations in the constituencies served by different types of institutions and their differential impact on students and faculty.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Financing higher education. Emphasis on examination of the revenue source and patterns of funding and the roles of federal, state, and local governments in the fiscal support of higher education. Methods for the determination of institutional resource allocation, program and financial planning, and the internal allocation and effective use of resources.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

College and university leadership and administration. Focus on executive leadership, governance, development, research, outreach and engagement. Pre: Graduate standing.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture, Online Lecture

Study of educational organization theory and behavior. Emphasis will be given to understanding institutional structures and cultures in their educational, social, economic, and political contexts with a view toward organization improvement, development, and reform.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Conceptualize and write elements of a research proposal suitable for a doctoral dissertation including topic selection, literature reviews, conceptual frameworks, research questions/hypotheses, and select research techniques appropriate for gathering data. Pre: EDRE 6605, EDRE 6606, and EDRE 6524.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture, Online Lecture

Prerequisite(s): EDRE 6605, EDRE 6606, EDRE 6524

Study of institutional conditions that determine effectiveness including effects of institutions on student learning and personal development. Includes assessment of general education, the academic major, affective student learning, retention, employment suitability, and other aspects of student life related to teaching and learning.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Advanced applied research and/or evaluation study in one or more educational institutions or agencies. The student is graded on the basis of the design of the study and ability to conduct the study and report the results. (Maximum 12C).

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 12

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 12

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Planned program of advanced clinical practice in education through assignment under direct supervision of outstanding practitioner for periods of up to two semesters. (Maximum 24C).

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 24

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 24

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Lecture Hour(s):

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Research

NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FACULTY

Dr. Price smiles for the camera, relaxed and happy, wearing a blue plaid shirt which is open over a t shirt. He is poised and confident
Claire K. Robbins, Associate Professor and Doctoral Program Leader & Certificate Program Leader
David Alexander leans causally on a balustrade
Sharrika Adams, Assistant Professor of Practice, Master's Program Leader
Jodie L. Brinkmann, Assistant Professor of Practice and the Program Leader, smiles broadly at the camera. She wears a formal black dress with a pearl necklace
Chase Catalano, Assistant Professor
Dr. Cash poses formally with a beautiful smile, wearing a green blouse, a pearl necklace. Her brown hair is short and nicely styled
Tonisha Lane, Assistant Professor

AFFILIATED FACULTY

Emerita and Emeritus Faculty Members

Don G. Creamer, Professor Emeritus, Higher Education
Joan B. Hirt, Professor Emerita, Higher Education, School of Education
Patricia Hyer, Affiliated Faculty; Associate Provost Emerita, University Provost’s Office
Steven M. Janosik, Associate Professor Emeritus, Higher Education, School of Education
Edward F. D. Spencer, Affiliated Associate Professor; Vice President Emeritus for Student Affairs

THE COHORT MODEL

The program operates on a cohort model. Members of a given cohort attend all of the same classes in the same sequence and pursue common plans of study.

The benefits of a cohort model are many. The cohort model is designed to facilitate social interaction, collaboration, and the formation of a supportive learning community.

Students in cohorts learn from and help each other with the successful completion of coursework and professional networking. Students who participate in cohort models generally report a strong sense of belonging and are more likely to complete their programs of study in a timely manner.