College Can Last Forever - NACA 2013

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College Can Last Forever: Exploring Graduate Programs in Student Affairs. Presented at the National Association for Campus Activities National Convention, February 2013. Presented by Joe Cimino (@joecims71) and Natalie Keller Pariano (@NatKP).

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  • Have students shout out their ideas of what Student Affairs is first, then show the areas.
  • Have students shout out their ideas of what Student Affairs is first, then show the areas.
  • Do I need to go? -Most entry level jobs in Student Affairs do require a Master ’s degree -There are some positions that do not require a degree – i.e. some job descriptions might say “Master’s preferred”, typically you’ll find these in Hall Coordinators -Having an advanced degree is the norm at this point, but not necessarily a necessity for a first job. However, for career advancement a Master ’s is pretty typical Should I go now? -stay in the academic groove -start career now v. later -allows you to feel out right away if Student Affairs is the best career fit Can I wait until later? -helps prevent burnout if you ’re exhausted -Make some money to potentially help pay for school or expenses -something to be said for having some non-university experience -helps confirm your career plans
  • Are there advantages to going to graduate school full time? -More programs are full time than full time -Generally it allows you to focus all of your attention on studying and working in the field Would a part time program be a better fit for me? -some full time programs will admit part-time students who need to work and can only take one or two classes each semester – this is a popular option for people with full-time university positions -you can potentially work full time while studying part time -you can also get your feet wet in the discipline without diving right in
  • Where do I want to study? -Do you want to study on campus or via Distance Education (DE)? How do I learn best? -Most evidence to date is showing there is little difference between the educational outcomes of distance v. classroom education, but the experience is different for learners -Can you use email and the telephone to keep in touch with classmates? Do you prefer in-person interaction with others?
  • Can I afford graduate school? -Do you have student loans from undergrad? -What will your expenses be? (rent, food, utilities, books, travel (professional & home), professional dress, computer, car, etc) Do I want to limit my search to schools that offer assistantships? -Many schools will offer assistantships, much like internships, that will help to cover some expenses such as possibly a tuition waiver and stipend -There are a myriad of programs out there – some that offer assistantships and others that do not, some people decide to only look at programs that offer assistantships for obvious economic reasons Will I need to apply for loans? -Even if you pursue an assistantship or job, it ’s possible you might need loans. This is something you will have to calculate on your own. Where do I want to live? -Where in the country do you want to live? Do you care? -I am not a person who enjoys desert climates for longer than a week, so I knew I wasn ’t going to be somewhere that didn’t have four seasons -Location and Cost are not mutually exclusive – you may want to live somewhere, but you need to decide if you can afford to live there – cost of living in certain locations -Do you want to be close to family or friends? Where is the closest airport? Can you afford to fly often? -Area demographics
  • Its important to look at the curriculum and programs of study when considering graduate programs. Some programs might emphasis theory or emphasize practice, but it ’ll be important to find one that has a mix of both. There are some descriptors you might see in regards to curriculum - administrative emphasis, student development or counseling. Look at course titles and descriptions - pay specific attention to program requirements to make sure the coursework matches with your personal interests and preferences. This is especially relevant when considering the electives. Is there a research requirement? This can oftentimes be an intimidating requirement - learning how to do qualitiative and quantiative research, look at and analyze statistics. Some people in our field, me included, consider themselves to be people-oriented and not numbers oriented - so if you feel like this is an area you need to work on, make sure you have the opportunity to take a research course in your program. Some programs require you to write a thesis or a seminar paper. This includes a certain level of research and a great deal of writing. I highly recommend looking for a program like this if you ever thing you might want to pursue a Ph.D. You ’ll need the practice in writing a thesis and doing the research down the road. If it ’s hard for you to discern right now what your priorities are in terms of a curriculum, ask some professionals you admire about their graduate programs curriculum. Knowing what they found to be the most helpful or most important in their course of study might be helpful to you.
  • Do your research on the faculty - who are they? Have they had anything published? What are their research interests? What specialized areas do they have expertise in? There may be opportunity for you to assist them in research of those areas, or at least benefit from their expertise in your areas of interest. Class Style: what are the classes like? Are they based on lectures, discussions, group or individual projects, seminar? Are there many exams? Are there in class presentations? This information isn ’t something that you can necessarily just look up on the internet - but you can contact current students in the program
  • Campus: -In a program with a diverse student body, faculty and student affairs staff, you will be able to share experiences with a diverse group and enhance your interpersonal skills. -Diversity of the people in your program will add the breadth and depth of your experience - -Does the program have courses in multicultural student development theory or LGBT student -Are there students in the cohort or in the staff/faculty that you can relate to?
  • Assistantships -Many schools require all full-time students to have an assistantship on campus This means, if you were admitted into the program you would be guaranteed an assistantship. -Assistantships generally require 20 hours of work per week during the semester. These experiences can range from working in an office to serving as a graduate residence hall director. -As noted before, many people will look specifically for graduate programs that offer assistantships both for the financial benefit they offer in terms of a living stipend and for the opportunity for practical experience they offer. -Some assistantships also come with tuition waivers or scholarships to help ease the cost of going to school -Compensation varies significantly for these assistantships, even on campuses, so that is something you want to consider -If you feel very strongly about spending your assistantship in a certain functional area, you will want to research what assistantships will be available when you start your course of study -You might consider choosing a functional area that you are already passionate about, but also gain new experience
  • Do you want to be at a similar institution as your undergrad? A different kind all together? Does it feel right to you? Only you can determine the personal fit
  • College Can Last Forever - NACA 2013

    1. 1. vera:irs Fore Aff n Larams in StudentstC e Ca te Prog ollegg Gradua niversi ty rin ison U enConside r iano, D K eller Pa Natalie p itter : @natk U niversi ty Tw o, Ohio 1 in J oe Cim joecims7 @ Twitter:
    2. 2. What is Student Affairs?
    3. 3. What is Student Affairs?Student Activities Service LearningResidence Life AdmissionsMulticultural Affairs Financial AidGLBTQ Affairs Student LeadershipAcademic Support Career ServicesFraternity/Sorority Life Alumni RelationsStudy Abroad And More!
    4. 4. Why Student Affairs?
    5. 5. Why Student Affairs? Improve the quality of campus life Enhance student learning Attract & retain qualified students Provide a safe & comfortable living/learning environment Help students with personal & professional development Assist students with career decisions Meaningful work that is often challenging and fun
    6. 6. Personal Considerations Now or Later…or Never Full Time vs. Part Time Distance vs. On-Campus Cost & Location
    7. 7. Now or Later…or Never Do I need to go to graduate school? Should I go now? Can I wait until later?
    8. 8. Full Time vs. Part Time Are there advantages to going to graduate school full time? Would a part time program be a better fit for me?
    9. 9. Distance vs. On-Campus Where do I want to study? How do I learn best? What fits my life right now?
    10. 10. Cost & Location Can I afford to go to graduate school? Do I want to limit my search to schools that offer assistantships or scholarships? Will I need to apply for loans? Where do I want to live?
    11. 11. Selecting a Program Accreditation Placement Curriculum Assistantships/ Scholarships Faculty & Teaching Methods Personal Fit Diversity
    12. 12. Accreditation ACPA Professional Preparation Commission Council for the Advancement of Standards
    13. 13. Curriculum Theory Counseling Practical Experience • Research Administration • Thesis Student Development
    14. 14. Faculty &Teaching Methods• Research Interests• Specialties• Class Style• Assignments/Projects• Reading
    15. 15. Diversity• Campus• Faculty• Students• Coursework
    16. 16. Graduation & PlacementRates• How many graduate?• Where have recent graduates taken jobs?
    17. 17. Assistantships &Scholarships• Pre-Professional Work Experience• Tuition Waivers• Compensation• Available Areas• Supervisor/Office Climate
    18. 18. Personal Fit• Institution, Program, Etc.• Preferences• Overall Feel
    19. 19. Getting In• Academic Ability • Essay/Personal Statement• Standardized Tests • Interviews• Letters of Recommendation • Resumes• Experience • Quality of Application
    20. 20. Getting a Head Start• Mentors/Colleagues• Professional Organizations• Conferences• Extracurricular Activities• Campus Jobs/Internships
    21. 21. Questions?
    22. 22. FAQ• M.A./M.S./M.Ed.• Degree Names: Higher Ed, Student Affairs, College Student Personnel, Counseling• Ranking/Prestige• Undergrad Institution
    23. 23. References• Barratt, W. (2003). Selecting a Student Affairs Graduate Program. ACPA Professional Preparation Committee.• Love, P. (2003). Considering a Career in Student Affairs. ACPA Professional Preparation Committee.• Manka, G. & Stamey, C. (2008). You Mean I Can Get Paid for This? Programs In Student Affairs. NACA National Convention.

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