Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) Leadership Concentration Courses

The HESA Leadership concentration focuses on developing students who are committed to the centrality of diversity and inclusion in higher education, for entry- and mid-level positions in higher education. The HESA curriculum emphasizes a practitioner-scholar model to combine a student development and leadership theory core with two required individualized field experiences. Distinctive to HESA is the individually designed Diversity Cognate. The HESA curriculum meets CAS Standards for Masters-Level Student Affairs Preparation Programs and students develop the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators through the completion of the 39 credit hours of coursework, field experiences, and the Performance Driven Leadership Portfolio.  Additional information about the mission and goals are available on current students section of site.

Printable version of HESA courses and descriptions of courses

Suggested rotation of courses for admitted HESA students

New Multi-year plan of HESA courses (revised, Spring 2019)

6890 Global Perspectives with Dunn

I.  Leadership core

Section total: 7 credits

II. Specialty core in Higher education and student affairs

Section total: 21 credits

III. Field experience

  • EDLD 6580: Field Experience in Higher Education and Student Affairs, 3 credits with advisor approval. A 300-hour supervised field-based internships with an online seminar.  Students currently working full-time in appropriate higher education/student affairs position may be eligible to waive up to 150 hours of the Field Experience required clock hours as determined with the faculty advisor and with completed waiver application.

Section total: 3 credits

IV. Diversity cognate

  • The WMU higher education and student affairs program was founded on and continues to emphasize issues of inclusion and access to higher education for historically marginalized and/or underserved student populations in higher education. One way this is actualized is through a required and individually designed diversity cognate comprised of six credit hours selected by the student with help from an advisor. 
  • Diversity cognate courses. 6 credits, with advisor approval. Courses for the diversity cognate should meet the stated goals of helping prepare students to work with and serve historically marginalized and/or underserved populations in higher education. Sampling of previous courses have included: Asian American Students in Higher Education (H.E.), Global perspectives in H.E., LGBT Students in H.E.,

    Students with Disabilities, Social Justice Mission of Community colleges, Hispanics and Latinos in H.E., White privilege and White identity, Women in Leadership, First-generation college students, other hot-topics courses as well as courses offered by other departments, and study abroad*.

*Study abroad experiences focusing on stated goals of the HESA diversity cognate and with advisor approval may fulfill this requirement. Courses offered by HESA on a rotating basis are: Exploring H.E. Canada and Exploring H.E. in Singapore & Malaysia.

Sample list of diversity cognate coursesStudy abraod pre departure

Section total: 3 credits

V. Capstone experience and Electronic pdl portfolio development

  • EDLD 6792: Capstone Seminar, 2 credits, 100 supervised field-based hours, plus hybrid seminar, plus portfolio completion. Participation in a shorter (100-hour) advanced practicum experience coupled with a seminar course; and, development of an electronic portfolio representing all academic work and professional experiences during the master's program.

Section total: 2 credits

Program total: 39 credits