Student Affairs

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.Ed. in Student Affairs, students are expected to have developed and be able to demonstrate the professional knowledge and competencies described below. The selection of these specific learning outcomes was informed by a review of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education’s (CAS) (2003) “Standards and Guidelines for Masters-Level Graduate Programs for Student Affairs Professionals.” These outcomes inform the development of relevant curricular and internship learning opportunities as well as provide students, faculty, and supervisors with a valuable self-evaluation, feedback, and professional development tool.

 

1. Social Justice Education & Transformative Student Affairs Practice

Graduates should be able to:

A. Advance the full and equal participation of all groups in the university community and society, where individuals are safe, self-determining and interdependent.

B. Design democratic and empowering educational programs and learning environments that foster understanding and respect for diversity and cultivate the active engagement of others (students, faculty, colleagues) in social change.

C. Design, conduct, and/or interpret institutional assessment activities that examine all forms of discrimination and use these research findings to inform professional practice.

D. Demonstrate a critical understanding of higher education and the student affairs profession and their role in promoting social justice.

E. Embrace individual and organizational conflict as opportunities to transform the academic community through the identification and resolution of pressing institutional and social problems.

2. Foundations of Higher Education and Student Affairs

Graduates should be able to:

A. Reference historical and current documents that frame the philosophical foundations of the profession and communicate their relevance to current student affairs practice.

B. Articulate the inherent values of the student affairs profession as stipulated in key professional documents in a manner that indicates how these values guide practice.

C. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of student affairs and its functions within higher education.

D. Demonstrate knowledge about and the ability to apply a code of ethics or ethical principles sanctioned by student affairs professional organizations such as the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

E. Articulate the role and value of multiculturalism in the student affairs profession and apply multicultural theories in professional practice.

3. Student Development Theory

Graduates should be able to:

A. Demonstrate an understanding of and the ability to apply theories of intellectual, moral, identity, psychosocial, career, and spiritual development within the context of a multicultural campus and/or society; the intersection of multiple identities; and learning styles throughout the late adolescent and adult lifespan.

B. Demonstrate the ability to assess the learning and developmental needs of students across all college-going age groups.

C. Demonstrate the ability to create learning and developmental opportunities informed by relevant theories.

D. Demonstrate knowledge of the differential strengths and applications of student theories relative to student age, gender, ethnicity, race, culture, sexual identity, disability, spirituality, national origin, socioeconomic status, and resident/commuter status.

4. Student Characteristics and Effects of College on Students

Graduates should be able to:

A. Demonstrate knowledge of how student learning and learning opportunities are influenced by student characteristics and by collegiate environments.

B. Apply knowledge of student characteristics in the design and evaluation of student learning experiences.

C. Understand the complexity and diversity of curricula and co-curricular learning environments.

5. Individual and Group Interventions

Graduates should be able to:

A. Design and evaluate effective educational interventions for individuals and groups.

B. Demonstrate knowledge and skills in interpersonal and group communication that reflect a commitment to multiculturalism and the ability to communicate with diverse audiences.

C. Demonstrate the interpersonal skills essential for addressing individually, as well as collaboratively, crisis and conflict resolution situations.

D. Recognize student leadership and group development issues and effectively utilize methods of intergroup relations to promote student learning and success.

E. Demonstrate an understanding of the current issues affecting students’ ability to achieve and provide both advocacy and intervention skills as necessary for the situation.

6. Organization and Administration of Student Affairs

Graduates should be able to:

A. Identify and apply leadership, organizational, and management practices that assist institutions in accomplishing their mission.

B. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills essential for working and leading in a multicultural environment.

C. Actively participate in the processes of planning, budgeting and fiscal management, assessing outcomes, and coordinating campus and community relations.

D. Create opportunities for collaboration of appropriate departments, understand and mitigate as needed the interactions of student affairs staff, and model the qualities of a student affairs leader.

7. Assessment, Evaluation and Research

Graduates should be able to:

A. Demonstrate knowledge of basic quantitative and qualitative methods used in the study of student learning and development.

B. Demonstrate knowledge of student learning and outcome assessment models, environmental and organizational assessment techniques; and program evaluation.

C. Read and critique research that informs the field of student affairs.

D. Demonstrate ability to use assessment, evaluation, and research data to inform practice and administrative decisions.

E. Design and conduct a research study, assessment study, or program evaluation, and be able to effectively communicate the results of the study using a variety of media (e.g., written, oral, electronic).