About the Program
The focus of the field of student affairs is students—serving, supporting, and challenging them in the out-of-classroom environment, and helping them maximize the educational and developmental benefits of their college experience. The skills and special training of student affairs professionals offer three invaluable contributions:
- To the institution – Student affairs serves as the primary vehicle for attaining the institution’s mission within the co-curriculum.
- To the students – Student affairs serves as a source of co-curricular services and activities in support of both their curricular education and their personal growth and maturation.
- To both the institution and its students – Student affairs is one of the few dominant integrative forces on the campus that strives to interpret the institution holistically to its students according to their individual needs and aspirations.
Full-time traditional students complete the College Counseling and Student Development program in two years. Classes are held on a weekly basis utilizing the university’s eight-week session schedule. Students pursuing this option who are employed three-quarters time or more will take longer to complete their degree.
Core Values and Beliefs
- Servant leadership is a liberating force that enables individuals and organizations to be their best;
- A Christian worldview enables leaders to serve organizations with compassion, integrity, and purpose and leads to a commitment to social justice and an appreciation for human diversity;
- A strengths perspective enables leaders to become more effective by utilizing their individual talents and strengths as well as those of the people and organizations they serve;
- The development of human talent is the primary purpose of graduate study;
- Academic rigor is produced when students are challenged to reach their individual potential and supported throughout the process of doing so;
- Students are best served when they are expected to assume ownership for their own learning and their development as professionals.
Because the specific roles of student affairs practitioners vary greatly across functions and institutional types, this graduate program seeks to prepare student affairs educators who have a generalist perspective of the profession and possess the basic competencies necessary to be successful in a wide range of circumstances. Specifically, upon completion of the graduate program, students should be able to demonstrate competence in these areas:
- Moral, Spiritual, and Ethical Foundations
- Values, Philosophy, and History
- Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
- Law, Policy, and Governance
- Organizational and Human Resources
- Social Justice and Inclusion
- Student Learning and Development
- Advising and Supporting
Graduates of the M.S. in College Counseling and Student Development program pursue career opportunities in residential life, career development, campus ministries, admissions, counseling, academic support services, student activities, student financial services, service-learning, athletics, judicial affairs, special student services, counseling and testing, and many other cocurricular campus programs.