Goals and Learning Outcomes

Program goals

  • To prepare professionals who have working knowledge of how student development theory is used in practice and how practice serves to inform future theory development
  • To prepare graduates to discuss research relevant to their selected areas of work, contributing to knowledge production at a level appropriate to their experience
  • To prepare administrative leaders and personnel who are comfortable working with diverse people in positions that require them to respond to department/unit situations while taking into consideration how their decisions impact other systems within an institution

Learning outcomes and academic content

The overall academic content of the program has been structured to enhance the students' ability to think reflectively, work independently and collaboratively with others, as well as be able to investigate and analyze situations in student affairs specifically and higher education in general, both verbally and in writing using technological aids where appropriate. More specifically, upon completion of the program graduates should be able to perform the following:

  • Define the role and function of student affairs work in higher education within philosophical and historical frameworks, as well as the broader context of higher education;
  • Articulate the current status of the field and discuss contemporary issues facing the profession;
  • Articulate an understanding of how student development theory (e.g., psychosocial, cognitive-structural, typologies, and person-environment interaction models) is used in practice;
  • Discuss leadership principles and strategies used in practice;
  • Demonstrate in behavior and practice the rudiments of effective leadership;
  • Interpret research significant to the profession and conduct related scholarship at an elementary level;
  • Identify factors affecting human and organizational behavior;
  • Translate theoretical knowledge about the development of individuals and organizations into meaningful practice;
  • Articulate an understanding of how various systems of oppression (e.g., racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, ageism, etc.), impact student development and the role of advocacy in student affairs work; and
  • Develop multicultural competency that enables engagement with diverse students and others with effectiveness and confidence.