Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) Leadership Program
The HESA concentration is offered in-person in Kalamazoo with opportunities to take some electives online. HESA operates like a cohort-based program with most students starting in Fall semesters. Students from all undergraduate majors are welcome and HESA works well for both full-and part-time students.
The 39-credit hour curriculum combines a student development and leadership theory core, diversity and inclusion electives, and two individualized field experiences. Curriculum and experiences highlight intercultural development and advocating for historically marginalized and underserved student populations in all areas of professional practice. Complete your HESA leadership ePortfolio emphasizing professional competencies, in lieu of thesis or exams. Graduate assistantships (GA) are available in multiple areas focused on student development and higher education.
- Full-time students typically complete the program in two years.
- Part-time students are welcome and complete the program at a pace that works for them. Typically part-time students are those who are already working full-time in higher education positions. If taking one class per semester (including summers) the program can be completed in three years. This flyer for full-time working professionals provides some highlights.
Why HESA at Western Michigan University?
- 100% of HESA students complete field experiences (internships and capstones) that lead to jobs (in 2022 students received paid field experiences across the globe)
- 92% of HESA graduates are full-time employed or actively engaged in their career field (2015-2021 data from WMU Post-Graduation Activity Survey)
- 100% of your skills are transferrable to areas across higher education and beyond; HESA focuses on Professional Competency Areas
HESA at WMU is a cohort-based program providing you an individualized experience that includes:
- Choice of diversity cognate courses with advisor support
- Involved faculty who know you and are focused on your success
- Emphasis on intercultural development through coursework and co-curricular engagement and personal coaching in the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)
- Global engagement opportunities through courses and study abroad focused on higher education in Malaysia, Singapore and Canada
- Choices of experiences such as co-teaching, research, or presenting at conferences
- Opportunity to interact with administrators and intern at several local public, private and community colleges
- Create your HESA Leadership ePortfolio for future employers, highlighting competencies and transferable skills
- We are the only institution in the U.S. that includes an optional co-curricular designation known as the WMU Signature. Pathways include: Teaching & Student Success, Leadership, Health & Wellbeing, Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice, and more!
- Funding sources available to attend conferences and support research
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"In every class so far in the program I've been able to learn and apply it directly to my position."
Are you looking to make a difference in the lives of others? Are you passionate about education? Are you committed to diversity and inclusion and seeking and entry- and mid-level positions in higher education. Students from all undergraduate majors are welcome. We welcome applicants considering full-or part-time attendance. GA positions are available for full-time students. Employees working in higher education at WMU or other college campuses encouraged to apply.
- Applicants are encouraged to review the website and our mission and reach out to discuss your interest prior to applying at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- HESA applications are for Fall start. The application process is online. Find us under Master of Arts in Educational Leadership - the concentration is higher education and student affairs.