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Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership

  • Total Credit Hours: 39
  • Degree Format: Hybrid

About

The Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership Program allows students to develop as scholars and professionals through a blend of classroom learning and practical experience. Students are immersed in the operations of academic affairs as well as student services in the higher education field. Faculty members will maintain commitment in the areas of service and research for the sharing of knowledge and will provide leadership to students. Students will experience learning that will enhance the appreciation and knowledge of diversity in the classroom and workplace including numerous hands-on experiences.

The VSYOU Difference

The Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership program offers students a blend of classroom learning and practical experiences as they grow as scholars and professionals involved in the operations of academic affairs and student services in higher education.

Diverse Coursework

Courses expose students to a range of learning and development theories; explore the history of American higher education and discuss being a higher education professional on today’s diverse campus, Students will also interpret financial and organizational structures, evaluate institutional effectiveness, and analyze educational research.

Experiential Learning

Students are encouraged to pursue diverse internship experiences that will enable them to translate theory into practice as they develop a personal philosophy of higher education. Read more about graduate assistant and internship opportunities.

Career Outlook

According to the Department of Labor Statistics, "Employment of education administrators is expected to grow by 12 percent between 2006 and 2016, about as fast as the average for all occupations, primarily due to growth in enrollments of school-age children. The number of students at the post-secondary level is projected to grow more rapidly than other student populations, creating significant demand for administrators at that level. A significant portion of the growth will occur in the private and for-profit segments of higher education ... "

Admissions Requirements

Required Documents Admission Requirements
Online Graduate Application
  • Application Fee $35 (cred or debit card and e-checks accepted)
  • Apply Online

One Official Transcript from each institution where you have previously enrolled (undergraduate and graduate).

(Transcripts of coursework completed in-residence at VSU will be obtained by the Graduate School

  • Must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally- accredited institution.
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 Scale. GPA will be calculated on all attempted undergraduate coursework in which a letter grade was awarded.

Graduate Record Exam
or 
Miller Analogies Test

GRE or MAT scores are required.

Recommended minimum scores for GRE:

  • Verbal score of 425/148
  • Quantitative score of 425/140

Recommended minimum score for MAT is 375.

GRE and MAT scores are only one of the factors considered in admissions decisions.  These test scores are not the sole criteria for admission.

Career Goal Statement A written statement (250-500 words) describing your interest in the program and post-degree plans. The written statement must demonstrate articulation, writing skill, and goals consistent with the outcomes of the degree program.

In your statement, please address the following areas:

  • Generally speaking, why do you seek to earn a master's degree in Higher Education/Student Affairs?
  • What are your career goals and how does earning a master's degree in Higher Education/Student Affairs at VSU relate to these goals?
  • Why do you wish to attend the Higher Education/Student Affairs Program at VSU in particular?

Three Recommendations

(General Recommendation Form Required)

Recommendation letters from professionals familiar with your professional and/or academic work.
VSU Medical Form
  • The form must be completed and signed by the student/applicant.
  • This form must be received prior to enrollment, NOT prior to admission.
  • Applicants who are currently enrolled, and those who attended VSU in the past, are not required to resubmit the Medical Form 
Verification of Lawful Presence

(For applicants who believe they qualify for in-state tuition or a residency waiver.)

  • This is not required for individuals who do not qualify for in-state tuition or a residency waiver.
  • This must be received prior to enrollment (if applicable), NOT prior to admission.
  • Citizenship documentation is needed for any applicant who wishes to be considered for in-state tuition.
  • Complete list of accepted documents and information on residency

See additional admissions requirements by visiting the VSU Graduate School.

Course Sequence

AREA A: REQUIRED CORE COURSES (33 HOURS)

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
RSCH 7100 Research Methodology in Education 3
LEAD 7840 History and Philosophy of Higher Education 3
SAHE 7870 Student Personnel Services 3
SAHE 7860 Student Development Theory 3
LEAD 7800 Organization & Governance 3
LEAD 7820 Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 3
LEAD 8300 Social Context in Education 3
LEAD 7650 Leadership Issues in Higher Education 3
SAHE 7880 Counseling in Student Affairs 3
LEAD 7810 Finance and Budgeting in Higher Education 3
LEAD 8710 Critical Issues Capstone 3

AREAS B & C: INTERNSHIP AND ELECTIVE (6 HOURS)

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
LEAD 7921 Internship in Higher Education 3
TBD Guided Elective. Must be approved by advisor 3

Internship Requirement

Students must complete one guided internship as part of the Higher Education Leadership Program. Students may choose to do a second internship as their guided elective course. An internship typically lasts one semester or the equivalent of 150 hours of work on a supervised project. Campus offices and/or personnel are excited to work with Higher Education Leadership interns to envision and develop experiences tailored to the future career aspirations of those students. Interns should keep in mind, however, that the experience is as fulfilling as the efforts they put into integrating learned theories with the assigned duties. Faculty encourage students to engage in an established internship experience or to develop and seek approval for a new internship opportunity with any on-campus department or external institution.

The successful student intern will:

  • Apply theory to student affairs work
  • Recognize and learn to work with campus culture
  • Establish a professional network
  • Develop personal outlook on student affairs
  • Understand professional responsibilities

Steps to securing an internship

Students should secure internships at least six weeks prior to the semester they wish to engage in the experience. The advanced planning ensures that the student, site supervisor and faculty advisor are sufficiently prepared, which often leads to a more meaningful experience for everyone involved. Prior to the start of the semester, the student and his or her site supervisor should collaborate to define a project, timeline, work schedule and expectations. Use the following checklist to prepare for internship experiences:

  1. Identify a person willing to serve as a site supervisor.
  2. Contact this potential supervisor and set up an initial meeting.
  3. Meet with the potential site supervisor to discuss internship parameters and mutual expectations. Come to the meeting with project ideas and goals. Parameters include but are not limited to start and end date of the internship, daily duties, office hours, and/or project completion criteria.
  4. Following the initial meeting, complete both the Internship Agreement Form, outlining all parameters discussed, and the Internship Expectations Form.
  5. Meet with the site supervisor to review the documents and obtain his or her signature. Review the Responsibilities documents (Internship Student and Site Supervisor) together.
  6. Submit signed copies to the faculty internship coordinator. Students should submit all paperwork by the end of the semester PRIOR to the internship (e.g. submit paperwork for Summer internships by end of Spring semester).
  7. Following approval from the faculty internship coordinator, register for the appropriate internship class: LEAD 7921 (Required) or LEAD 7922 (Guided Elective).
  8. Begin your internship on the specified date.
  9. Complete the all academic requirements of the internship course and all responsibilities of the internship experience as agreed.
  10. Schedule an exit interview with your site supervisor to review the Internship Agreement Form. Provide the site supervisor with a copy of the Site Supervisor Evaluation Form to complete and review with you during the exit interview.
  11. Complete the Self Evaluation of Internship Form and submit all documentation as outlined in the internship course.

Professional Opportunities

  • Internship Opportunities

    The Higher Education Leadership emphasis offers internship opportunities in a variety of fields from the athletic department to campus wellness. Internships through the college are designed to meet each student's specific academic interests. To find out more, speak with your advisor.

  • Job Placement

    Job Search

    Check out the below Web sites and resources to find the latest jobs in higher education leadership.

    Preparation

    • VSU Student Success Center: The SSC offers workshops and online resources to hone those interview skills. For more information or to make an appointment, call the SSC at 229-333-7570 or visit their website.
    • VSU Career ServicesThe office provides career development and awareness, experiential learning, and professional employment opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and alumni.
    • Resume-Help.org: Search hundreds of free resume samples, cover letter writing tips, and interview dos and don'ts at this helpful site.
  • Professional Organizations

    Higher Education professionals are a diverse group of individuals with the common goal of promoting academic achievement and student development at colleges and universities throughout the world. Below are a few organizations dedicated to supporting professionals in the many functional areas of higher education.

    Academic Advising

    • National Academic Advising Association: The NACADA is the leader within the global education community for the theory, delivery, application and advancement of academic advising to enhance student learning and development.

    Athletics

    • National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics: The NACDA serves as the professional association for those in the field of intercollegiate athletics administration. It provides educational opportunities and serves as a vehicle for networking, the exchange of information, and advocacy on behalf of the profession.
    • The National Collegiate Athletic Association: The NCAA is a voluntary organization through which the nation's colleges and universities govern their athletics programs. It is comprised of institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals committed to the best interests, education and athletics participation of student-athletes.
    • National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association: NIRSA is the leading resource for professional and student development, education, and research in collegiate recreational sports.

    Fraternity and Sorority Affairs

    • Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors: This group of Greek professionals unified to increase awareness of the value of the fraternity/sorority experience and to advocate for shared governance, infrastructure inclusiveness and community service.

    Housing

    • Association of College and University Housing Officers - International: Join or read more about the ACUHO-I, an organization composed of thousands of housing professionals from more than 900 colleges and universities in 22 different countries, who serve approximately 1.8 million students worldwide.
    • The National Orientation Directors Association: For more than 40 years, NODA has provided education, leadership and professional development in the fields of college student orientation, transition and retention. The international organization of professional administrators, students, faculty is committed to its core values of community, diversity, integrity, learning, scholarship and service.

    Judicial Affairs

    • Association for Student Conduct Administrations: This organization provides higher education leadership students interested in judicial affairs with professional connections, conferences and the latest information about trainings and theories.

    Multicultural Affairs

    • National Association for Multicultural Education: This organization brings together individuals and groups with an interest in multicultural education from all levels of education, different academic disciplines, and from diverse educational institutions and occupations.

    Student Affairs

    • NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education: With more than 11,000 members at 1,400 campuses in 29 countries, NASPA is the foremost professional association for student affairs administrators, policy and practice and affirms the commitment of student affairs to educating the whole student and integrating student life and learning.
    • ACPA - American College Personnel Association: ACPA is the leading comprehensive student affairs association that advances student affairs and engages students for a lifetime of learning and discovery. ACPA, founded in 1924 by May L. Cheney, has nearly 7,500 members representing 1,200 private and public institutions from across the U.S. and around the world.
  • Suggested Readings

    Higher Education is a broad, ever-changing field influenced by a variety of intellectual, moral and political theories and approaches. Students in the master's program will be exposed to the field's latest, most influential readings in classes; however, additional reading is encouraged. Below is a suggested reading list for those who want to explore theories and perspectives not addressed in class.

    Educational Leadership

    Cunningham, W., & Cordeirno, P. (2006). Educational leadership: A problem-based approach, Third Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

    Reinhartz, Judy, & Beach, Don M. (2004). Educational leadership: Changing schools, changing roles. Boston, MA: Pearson/Ally and Bacon.

    Sample, S. (2002). The contrarian’s guide to leadership. Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass.

    Higher Education Finance

    Barr, M. & McClellan, G. (2011). Budgets and financial management in higher education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Paulsen, M. B. & Smart, J. C. (Eds.). (2008). The finance of higher education. New York: Algora Publishing.

    St. John, E. P. & Parsons, M. D. (Eds.). (2005). Public funding of higher education: Changing contexts and new rationales. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Sheila Slaughter (with Gary Rhodes). Academic capitalism and the new economy: Markets, state and higher Education. The Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Student Development

    Evans, N., Forney, D. S., Guido, F. M., Patton, L. D., & Renn, K. A. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice (3rd edition). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    McClellan, G.S., & Stringer, J. (Eds.). (2009). The handbook of student affairs administration (3rd edition). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Pascarella, E., & Terenzini, P. (2005). How college affects students: A third decade of research. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Higher Education Politics

    Gladwell, M. (2002). The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference. Boston: Back Bay Books.

    Kingdon, J. W. (2003). Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies. New York: Longman.

    Lemann, N. (1999). The big test: The secret history of the American meritocracy. New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux.

    Walberg, H. J., & Bast, J. L. (2003). Education and capitalism: How overcoming our fear of markets and economies can improve America’s schools. Stanford: Hoover Inst. (available for free download at http://www-hoover.stanford.edu/publications/books/edcap.html)

    Legal

    Olivas, M. (1997). The law of higher education. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    History

    Cahn, S.M. (2011). Moral problems in higher education. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

    Heineman, K.J. (2001). Put your bodies upon the wheels: Student revolt in the 1960s. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee.

    Lucas, C.J. (2006). American higher education: A history (2nd ed). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 

    Thelin, J. (2004). A history of American higher education: New York, NY: Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Journals and Newspapers

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