Master's students in College Student Affairs participate in a professional development workshop

College Student Affairs (M.Ed.)

NOTE: The College Student Affairs (M.Ed.) program is being placed into moratorium at the end of the Spring 2024 semester and is no longer accepting students.

Degrees & Offerings
  • M.Ed.
Department
College
Program Contact
M.Ed. Educational Leadership and College Student Affairs, Professor
illustration of Carver Hall

With increased attention on the value of a college degree, a need has developed for experts who can help students navigate the challenges of higher education and promote their successful degree completion.

 

Program Details

  • Program Delivery - Offered through a combination of in-person and online coursework.
  • Coursework - Program includes 12 courses (36 credits). Courses include experiential exercises, applied projects, and internships.
  • Faculty Expertise - Personal, dedicated faculty with lengthy careers in student affairs work.
  • Who Should Apply - Great fit for students from ANY UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR! But most common undergraduate majors include psychology, sociology, education, social work, and communications.
  • Make a Career Out of Making a Difference - Help college students succeed in and out of the classroom - and beyond. Become an expert at helping college students navigate the challenges of higher education and help them reach greater heights. 
  • Program Focus - Our College Student Affairs master鈥檚 program blends faculty expertise with scholarship, practical experiences, and opportunities to fully engage with the student affairs profession in a strong, inclusive student community.
  • We need people who can make a difference - Do you like to work with college students? Do you like being involved and engaged on your college campus? Do you want to build dynamic, engaging, and supportive college environments? Are you interested in helping college students succeed outside of the classroom? Do you want to promote college student learning and development?

We face a changing society.

Faced with the pressing need for distance learning, virtual student out-of-classroom experiences, and readily available online interactions with CSA professionals, our program prepares you to help meet the needs of busy college students facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of the pandemic. This cutting-edge approach is balanced by our core philosophy of providing hands-on experience to address the growing demand for attention to learning in all areas of the college experience along with creating a dynamic, inclusive, and supportive campus experience with exemplary collaboration skills and conflict management communication. 

What we offer

  • Personal, dedicated faculty with lengthy careers in student affairs work
  • CAS standards-compliant curriculum for students from any academic major
  • Strong, inclusive, supportive student community and alumni network
  • Variety of field experiences at 果冻传媒官网, locally, and nationally
  • Support for campus and professional engagement
  • Faculty commitment to lowering students' costs by utilizing Affordable Educational Resources (AER) for high-quality course materials

Courses and Curriculum

NOTE: The College Student Affairs (M.Ed.) program is being placed into moratorium at the end of the Spring 2024 semester and is no longer accepting students. The College Student Affairs program in the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership degree offers a unique blend of coursework that prepares students for careers as student affairs educators. Courses may be available face-to-face, on-line, or in hybrid/multi-modal format. Students can earn the 36-credit degree in four semesters as a full-time student (9 credit hours per term) and may begin the program in the fall or spring semesters. As a key element of the program, students complete 6 credits (two semesters of 3 credits) of supervised Field Experience.

Total Credits Required = 36 (9 Core credits + 6 Research Core credits + 21 CSA credits) 

Core Coursework 鈥 9 credit hours

EDLD 500 - Introduction to Educational Leadership- 3 credits

EDLD 501 - Organizational Behavior and Program Development- 3 credits

CSA 524 - Ethical, Legal and Leadership Issues in CSA 3 credits

Research Core鈥 6 credit hours

EDLD 590 - Educational Research and Writing- 3 credits

CSA 523 - Assessment and The College Student Experience- 3 credits

College Student Affairs track 鈥 21 credit hours

CSA 505- Professional Helping in College Student Affairs- 3 credits

CSA 521- Student Development Theory- 3 credits

CSA 522- Foundations and Functions of CSA- 3 credits

CSA 515 - Small Group Leadership - 3 credits

CSA 525 - Multicultural Counseling- 3 credits

CSA 599 - Field Experience in CSA- 6 credits (3-credit course completed twice)

CSA Program Check Sheet

CSA 505 - Professional Helping in College Student Affairs: Exposes students to components of professional helping with a focus on the college student and their setting. Incorporating active use of helping skills through role playing, students will apply a three-stage helping model to interactions with college students. In addition, students will examine student mental health disorders, culturally responsive helping, reflective practice, crisis counseling, and legal and ethical issues. Primarily an in-person course, some sessions may be offered via distance education.

CSA 515 - Small Group Leadership in Student Affairs: Examines leadership of small groups that occur in student affairs and higher education. Topics include group development and dynamics, culturally competent group leadership, legal and ethical issues, power considerations, facilitation techniques, planning, and assessment. Students will also explore leadership of experiential activities, committee and task groups, and student organizations.

CSA 522 - Foundations and Functions of College Student Affairs: Provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of college student affairs and its role in American higher education. This course examines the underpinnings of the college student affairs profession specifically, and higher education generally, including history, philosophy, roles, and functions. Students will also explore institutional and student demographics; analyze the influence of mission, curriculum, and organizational type on the nature of student affairs work; and consider essential partnerships with stakeholders in CSA work.

CSA 521 - Student Development Theory: Examines and critiques college student development theories and how the college experience shapes the formation of one鈥檚 identity.  In keeping with our scholar-practitioner model, this course also applies these theories and models to current college students and considers their use in student affairs administration. This course is foundational to the Educational Leadership and College Student Affairs graduate program and aligns with the Council for the Advancements of Standards.

CSA 523 - Assessment & The College Student Experience: Provides a comprehensive examination of the experiences of post-secondary students including the nature and characteristics of the population, the effects and outcomes of college, the roles and responsibilities of student affairs practitioners in measuring programmatic outcomes, and step-by-step procedures for assessing student learning.

CSA 524 - Ethical, Legal, and Leadership Issues in College Student Affairs: Examines and critiques an array of contemporary issues in college student affairs specifically and higher education in general. This course emphasizes the ethical, legal, and leadership issues present in real case studies and how these concepts relate to and influence college student affairs practice.  

CSA 525 - Multicultural Counseling Competency: Focuses students' attention to the presence of personal resistance, biases, prejudices, stereotypes, judgmental thought processes, and racist tendencies in society and how that affects practicing counselors and student affairs professionals. The development of knowledge and understanding regarding characteristics and concerns of diverse populations, the attitudes and behaviors affected by dominant group membership, and the individual and group approaches/interventions appropriate within the multicultural helping settings will be explored.

CSA 530 - Special Topics in Higher Education: Provides graduate students with in-depth instruction and student research within selected areas of interest not available in other courses.  Topics may include a continuation of coursework beyond what is offered in a selected course or an intensive look at a topic such as Title IX, campus safety, higher education governance crises, equity and access to education, under-represented populations, and multicultural competence.  Requires extensive reading and development of the students' ideas on the topic, and expression of those ideas in written and oral form.  Students may take this course up to two times with different topics

EDLD 500 - Introduction to Educational Leadership: Provides students with rudimentary foundations regarding the functions and tasks of educational leadership. Issues include leadership theory; the evolving school and college setting; the meaning, development, and work of school and college administrators; educational systems analysis; school and college personnel administration; and career ladders in educational administration.

EDLD 501 - Organizational Behavior & Program Development: Explores the various attributes and impacts of organizational behavior with a core focus on effectively creating programs and leading change within an organization.  Main topics included are: vision, mission, communication, conflict, renewal, accountability, power, building capacity, change, culture, emotional intelligence, and professional development.  Using needs assessment data for action planning for effective program implementation is established.  

EDLD 590 - Educational Research & Writing: Examines various concepts, theories, and methods related to research in an educational setting.  Students will review, analyze, and critique existing qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research.  Students will also develop and refine their educational writing through course assignments and completion of a comprehensive, professionally relevant literature review.
 

Admissions Information

Applicants must satisfy the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies.  Standardized tests are not required for admission to the College Student Affairs program.

A complete application includes:

  1. A completed graduate school application. Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts (minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA for full admission. Provisional admission may be possible with a GPA between 2.7 and 2.99.)
  2. A 500-word admission essay. A core value of the College Student Affairs program concerns the ability to reflect on our academic endeavors, our practical experiences, and our progress toward professional competence. The essay provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your current abilities as a reflective practitioner. Please choose either prompt A or prompt B and respond in the form of a well-written essay of no more than 500 words. Move beyond description and critically reflect on the meaning of the experience.

    Prompt A: Describe an experience that influenced your development in college, what you learned from that experience, and how you might use that lesson to support current college students.

    Prompt B: Provide insight into an important life experience that may be mentioned in your application materials (as a line in your resume, for instance, or an academic struggle you faced) but deserves further explanation.

    With thanks to Miami University and the University of Connecticut for their essay prompt ideas.
  3. A current resume
  4. Contact information for two references 鈥 Provide the names, titles, relationship, and contact information for a person who can address the applicant鈥檚 ability to complete graduate-level work (typically a faculty member) and the second from someone who can speak to the applicant鈥檚 potential as a student affairs educator.
  5. An interview with a CSA faculty member to discuss your professional goals, evaluate your academic record, and clarify program philosophy and requirements.

The application process is competitive, and candidates are evaluated based on verbal communication, confidence, alignment with program goals, academic and professional potential, and other criteria. We have a rolling application deadline; completed applications are reviewed as they are received. However, early application is preferred, particularly for candidates interested in a graduate assistantship.

Applications for CSA-related GA positions are made directly to the relevant department. Completion of the application form is not necessary. You can speak with the CSA Program Coordinator for information about available GA positions.
 

Starting Academic TermPreferred Submission Date
JanuaryNovember 1
AugustFebruary 1

Candidates can upload application materials, in PDF format, into Slate. Paper versions of official transcripts can be mailed to: Graduate Admissions, 161 Arts and Administration Building, Commonwealth University - 果冻传媒官网, 果冻传媒官网, PA 17815

The College Student Affairs (CSA) program is a hybrid program that is comprised of face to face, online, and dual location/multi-modal classes.   The CSA program is currently NOT accepting any international students, as the program cannot guarantee a minimum of six (6) credits face to face per semester, which is a required to obtain a federal visa.

果冻传媒官网 Initial - B -  inside a keystone shape

Practical Learning

At Commonwealth University - 果冻传媒官网, we value our students having hands-on experience. Within the College Student Affairs program, our students strive to experience multiple institutional cultures across various functional areas and departments. As part of the academic program, students also complete two field experiences, working in a student affairs department. These opportunities provide an enriched and diverse experience that sets students up for career success.

Assistantships

A Graduate Assistantship (GA) is a financial package awarded to qualified graduate students in exchange for research or administrative duties at Commonwealth U - 果冻传媒官网. Historically, all eligible CSA students have held graduate assistantship (GA) positions. In addition to helping you fund your graduate education, a GA is a terrific way to get practical experience in student affairs, advance your skills and employment prospects, and help you figure out what sort of work setting best suits you.

Field Experiences

The field experience is a required academic, credit-bearing element of the CSA program and an important mechanism for the application of theory-to-practice. Sometimes called a practicum or internship, this is the capstone experience for the CSA program and is designed to be an educational and developmental experience. The objective is to help the student gain knowledge and skills in a student affairs area and within a postsecondary institution while putting 鈥渢heory to practice鈥 and exemplifying the scholar-practitioner philosophy. This is a unique opportunity for the student who has the benefit of guidance from a faculty member and a site supervisor who both have the student鈥檚 educational interests in mind. During the field experience students are to be thought of and treated as entry-level professional practitioners.

Our students鈥 partner with professionals at Commonwealth U - 果冻传媒官网 and other institutions to offer students a robust and professional level supervised experience.

Professional Engagement

Students are encouraged to engage with the larger field of College Student Affairs:

  • Attend a local, state, or regional, or national professional conference
  • Propose and present an educational session at a professional conference鈥攂y yourself, with a classmate, with a CSA faculty member, with a student affairs practitioner. The School of Graduate Studies provides some financial support (with a completed application) for graduate students who present at conferences
  • Volunteer for professional association committee work (sometimes called Commissions or Knowledge Communities)
  • Write a blog post or a regular blog series like 果冻传媒官网 Explore
  • Apply to become an ACPA Ambassador or NASPA G.A.P. affiliate
  • Assist a faculty member with their research

Honor Societies

Chi Sigma Alpha is a student affairs academic and professional international honor society, which promotes and recognizes excellence in academics, research, and service to the student affairs profession. The 果冻传媒官网 chapter of Chi Sigma Alpha was established in 2013, and offers a variety of social events, service opportunities, and leadership activities for its members.

The Husky Difference

97.5%
CSA Grad Alumni
are employed in higher ed within one year of graduation.
55+
Grad Assistantships
in 40 departments and four universities

Applying to Graduate Programs

Apply

  • Application Process

    Review the step-by-step application process for graduate school at Commonwealth University. (Note that Physician Assistant has a specific application through CASPA which can be located on the program webpage)

  • Begin your application online. ( Note: This link applies to most graduate programs, but if applying to Physician Assistant, please access the CASPA link on the program webpage).

  • Contact Us

    If you have questions, we have answers. Contact us today!

Explore More

  • Grad Assistantships

    Help finance your grad degree. Gain professional experience. Grow your network.

  • Earning an advanced degree is an investment in your future. See just how affordable BU's Grad School can be for you.

  • Financial Aid

    Our Financial Aid team is your guide to navigating the aid process for your graduate degree at BU.

Program Contacts