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Student Affairs Graduate Programs in California

Those who are interested in working in a range of student affairs positions at colleges and universities might consider earning a master's degree in Higher Education Administration. Multiple programs in California can provide an entryway into this field.

Those who aspire to have careers in student services at colleges and universities often seek graduate education. A master's degree in Higher Education Administration is a frequent point of entry into this field. Read on to find out about the program requirements for this degree, universities in California that offer the program, as well as the typical courses available.

California Schools with Master's Degrees in Higher Education

Loyola Marymount University

One university where students can pursue the Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration is Loyola Marymount University, in Los Angeles, California. Loyola Marymount is a Jesuit university, and values social justice and reflective practice. The program at Loyola Marymount teaches those who are entering the field of higher education the best contemporary practices, as well as how to adapt to the changing roles and dynamics of colleges and universities. Students are taught by dedicated faculty as well as by administrators from the university.

University of the Redlands

At the University of the Redlands, in Redlands, students can earn a Master of Arts in Higher Education. The program focuses on providing students the skills to make informed decisions as higher education professionals. Courses include those focusing on popular culture and media representation of higher education. Students also examine issues on inequalities and privilege, and how higher education is affected by these factors.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, offers a Master of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs. In addition to coursework, students complete supervised practice experiences on USC's campus or at other nearby institutions. Students may choose to complete a master's thesis or take a capstone seminar in order to synthesize their learning in the area of higher education. Alumni can take advantage of the 'Rossier Commitment,' which provides resources to alumni who have hit a roadblock in their career by calling upon the expertise of faculty members.

University of San Diego

At the University of San Diego, students can earn a Master of Higher Education Leadership. Over the course of their academic program, students will understand the historical trends in higher education, current policy issues, and how theoretical constructs can apply to practice. A biweekly seminar helps students integrate their learning. During their program, all students take part in an international experience designed to grow their cultural competency skills.

National University

At National University in La Jolla, students can earn a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration. Courses can be taken on campus or through an online format, and are taken one at a time, in a one-month format. Students may learn about strategic management, student services, and leadership within the current higher education climate. National University was founded by a veteran, and offers significant program discounts to active members of the U.S. military and veterans.

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Common Courses

Alhough the specific classes which students need to take may vary per school and program, there are some common courses that candidates might expect to take during their master's degree program in Higher Education Administration. Some of these common courses are below.

Student Affairs Work in Colleges

In this course, students will analyze the types of student affairs programs at different types of colleges, universities, and community colleges. The theories of college student development may be considered. Basic advising and helping skills will also be developed. Factors that influence the success and retention of students at the college level may be a component of this course as well.

Legal Issues in Higher Education

Higher education administrators must be fully informed of the range of legal issues that affect their institution, including those affecting students and faculty. This course will delve into these issues as well as the ramifications which the administrator must be aware of. Case studies, federal regulations, and state laws may be considered and examined during this course.

Organizational Leadership in Higher Education

This course will focus upon equipping students with the skills necessary to become leaders in higher education organizations. Students may review case studies, consider leadership theories, and could also take part in a leadership experience. Leadership considerations in terms of human resources, budget, and instructional or program improvement may be considered.

Diversity in Higher Education

Students enrolled in this course will grow to understand the range of diversity on college campuses, including issues on race, sexual orientation, and gender. They will grow to appreciate their own and a range of other cultural groups. Programs designed to support and provide access to typically underserved students will also be considered.

Research in Higher Education

In this course, students will learn about research methodologies used by educational researchers, including both quantitative and qualitative methods. Students will leave this course able to analyze the validity of research that is presented to them. An action research project may also be available in courses pertaining to research in the field of higher education.

Master's in Higher Education Administration Program Requirements

A master's degree in Higher Education Administration can typically be completed in two years of study. The program will include coursework as well as a fieldwork component where students gain hands-on experience in working with college-aged students. Typical application requirements for Master's in Higher Education Administration programs include the completion of a bachelor's degree in any major. Students should also expect to submit transcripts, essays, recommendations, and a resume. GRE or MAT results may be considered or required by different programs.

Earning a master's degree in Higher Education Administration is a gateway into a range of student affairs and services careers. The state of California offers degree options in this field in various schools.


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