What is MA in Higher Education Student Affairs?
Grand Canyon University’s Master of Arts in Higher Education Student Affairs degree program prepares professionals for a career in student affairs administration at higher education institutions. Coursework is designed to ensure that graduates of this program understand how student affairs administrators directly contribute to the social development, academic success and overall well-being of students.
The study of student affairs provides an understanding of leadership as service to positively influence the educational community. By identifying student and organizational needs, student affairs professionals can develop goals, create and implement plans for achieving those goals, assess results, and evaluate effectiveness and efficiency. Further, students will learn to manage resources and seek new opportunities that support the institution’s mission and vision in this master’s in higher education student affairs degree. This field also emphasizes cultivating collaborative relationships with students, families, colleagues, school professionals and community members to promote a supportive, challenging and modern higher education environment, student growth and professional advancement.
Graduates from this MA degree program in higher education student affairs will possess:
- Foundational knowledge that encompasses student development theory
- The history of student affairs, leadership, community and student engagement, organizational structures and processes
- Understanding of topics relevant to the major service areas within student affairs
- A focused knowledge of operations management, campus community, health and safety and crisis management
- Competence in areas of spiritual life, housing, legal aspects of student affairs and campus partnerships—comprehensive areas that affect impactful practices of an educational community and outcomes of individual students
Earn Your Master’s in Higher Education Student Affairs Degree at GCU
The MA in Higher Education Student Affairs is perfect for professionals looking to have deep impact within various student populations in postsecondary settings. Establishing and maintaining positive relationships through servant leadership is a focal point throughout the program, as relationship building helps better meet the needs of postsecondary students. In addition, students will learn about crisis management and intervention, operational resource management, and laws and ethics; these subject matters prepare graduates to make sound decisions within a higher education setting.
Also, as a Christian university, GCU programs are values-oriented and based on a Christian worldview, so students can develop personal ethics and servant leadership practices that are relevant to student affairs. This Master of Arts in Higher Education Student Affairs degree empowers students to lead with kindness, compassion and justice for making the greatest difference.
Topics Covered in a Student Affairs Master of Arts Degree
Coursework from this master’s degree in higher education student affairs includes:
- Servant Leadership
- Student Development
- Developing Student Leaders
- Culture and Team Building
- Laws and Ethics
- Operational Resource Management
- Crisis Management and Intervention
- Community Development and Engagement
In the College of Education, courses are led by experts in their respective fields who share their knowledge and experience in all areas of higher education student affairs.
In order to gain experiences within higher education student affairs departments, students will be required to complete 100 hours of practicum/internship hours in the last three courses of their program of study. These experiences will directly relate to the concepts learned throughout the program and help inform a culminating capstone course. During an on-campus internship, students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in leadership, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. Students must have access to an institute of higher learning to complete program assignments.
Prepare for a Career in Higher Education and Student Affairs
Graduates may pursue high-level occupations such as education administrator, academic affairs administrator, academic affairs vice president, academic dean, dean or registrar. This graduate degree program serves as an ideal next step in career advancement for teachers and education professionals who wish to take on a leadership role at the administrative level.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.