Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) Leadership Concentration


Application for 2020-2021

We look forward to reviewing applications for the class of Fall 2020. The priority deadline is December 15, 2019. Prospective HESA master’s students are encouraged to reach out to the HESA program to discuss your interest at elrt-hesa@wmich.edu, and local students are highly encouraged to visit a class or meet with our program graduate assistant. For information on admissions, visit the admissions requirement section.   

HESA Leadership Interview Days 2020 will be held Thursday, February 20 through Friday, February 21, 2020. All students who apply by the priority deadline are eligible to participate in HESA Interview Leadership Interview Days. This 2-day program is designed to introduce admitted applicants to WMU, HESA and the greater Kalamazoo community; in addition students can apply and interview for graduate assistant positions. For more information about HESA Interview Days visit our admissions section of the website. 

Program Description

The higher education and student affairs (HESA) concentration in the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program focuses on developing reflective practitioners for entry- and mid-level positions in higher education. The program emphasizes a practitioner-scholar model to combine a broad-based student development and leadership theory core with required individualized field experiences. Distinctive to the program is an emphasis on the centrality of diversity and inclusiveness in higher education. One of the ways this is actualized is through a required and individually designed diversity cognate. Learn more about the higher education and student affairs leadership concentration.

prospective students

HESA students visiting Sunway University in Malaysia Summer 2018

Are you considering applying to graduate school in higher education and student affairs? We consider the application process an educational one and encourage prospective students to explore the profession of student affairs as well as find out more about our HESA program to ensure a good fit. Various sections of our website have information about exploring the professionprogram mission and goals, admissions requirementscourses and answers to frequently asked questions. For more information, contact: elrt_hesa@wmich.edu

Application information

To ensure priority and full review of your higher education and student affairs application (certificate and cohort), and to be eligible for higher education and student affairs leadership interview days, please complete all parts of your application and make sure they reach us, including references, no later than Dec. 15 of each year. All applicants, including WMU graduates, are highly encouraged to submit an "unoffical" transcript from the institution where the undergraduate degree was awarded-this is in addition to the required official transcript request. Applicants can submit this material in the online WMU application system. This will speed up the review of your application due to the extended time needed to process official transcripts.  Generally, students who apply by the deadline will be notified by late January. 

Course information

Program information for current students

Frequently asked questions

In frequently asked questions you can learn more about the program, career opportunities, interview days and more!

More information

For inquiries about the higher education and student affairs program, please contact the faculty coordinator, Dr. Ramona Lewis, at elrt-hesa@wmich.edu.


The HESA alumni are around the world. We love to hear from you. Alumni information, contact forms, opportunities to get involved and the HESA alumni newsletters are below.

Spring 2019 HESA newsletter

Spring 2018 HESA newsletter

Fall 2016 HESA newsletter

HESA students do amazing things! If you would like to support HESA student scholarships, programs and community development, we would love to hear from you. Visit the HESA MyWMU page to give now.

Paul and Phyllis Griffeth Endowed Student Affairs Scholarship

The Paul and Phyllis Griffeth Endowed Student Affairs Scholarship is selected by the HESA faculty and awarded to a student who demonstrates Outstanding Promise as a Student Affairs Professional. As a master's student, individuals will demonstrate this potential for success in the profession by maintaining at least a 3.25 GPA, by fully participating in classes and representing the department well, by participating in student affairs activities and work while attending school, and by attending professional student affairs conferences. Students who demonstrate outstanding promise as student affairs professionals will take measured risks that hold the potential of expanding their skill sets and knowledge about students and working in higher education. Exceptional students will also engage in professional presentations, research and writing. 

View past recipients


  • Dr. Ramona Lewis, faculty specialist II, higher education and student affairs (HESA) faculty program coordinator
  • Dr. Eric Archer, assistant professor, Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
  • Dr. Wanda Hadley, assistant professor, Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
  • Dr. Donna Talbot, professor and chair, Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

Part-time faculty