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Educational Leadership
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Program of Study


Program Distinction 
The CSPA program features a distinctive graduate experience which requires core course work, a professional portfolio, and a final research project integrated within a 39 credit curriculum. The CSPA curriculum is distributed across "core four" competencies:

(1) Student Development

This competency is adapted from the ACPA/NASPA competencies (2010). This addresses the concepts and principles of student development and learning theory. This includes the ability to apply theory to improve and inform student affairs and teaching practice. Students explore student populations and theories in EPFR 514.

(2) Social Justice & Inclusion

This competency is adapted from the ACPA/NASPA competencies (2010) in which they define two important concepts of social justice and inclusion. They define social justice as the equitable distribution of resources so that all individuals are safe and secure both physically and psychologically. ACPA/NASPA (2010) defines inclusion as a process that challenges the normativity of dominant groups by recognizing all groups and populations as diverse relative to one another. The CSPA program adheres to these professional definitions of social justice and inclusion in the practice of student affairs and higher education administration. Student explore this theme in EDAD 504 and social justice in EPFR 522.

(3) Advising & Supporting

This competency is adapted from the ACPA/NASPA competencies (2010). This addresses the knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to providing advising and support to students and groups through intrusive and developmental approaches. Students explore this theme in EDAD 574, EDAD 524, and EPFR 516.

(4) Research & Assessment  

This competency is adapted from the ACPA/NASPA competencies (2010). This focuses on the ability to design, conduct, critique, and use various AER methodologies and the results obtained from them, to utilize AER processes and their results to inform practice. Students engage in applied research in EPFR 503 and EPFR 506.

The CSPA program requires a research core sequence  of Assessment and Program Evaluation, Research Methods in Higher Education, and Final Project. Students develop an individualized final research project focused on contemporary or historical issues in higher education through the authorship of a master’s paper which serves as an integrative capstone experience. This final research project is a one year research sequence supervised by a full-time faculty member. 

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For admissions information please visit Admission Requirements >>


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