Curriculum & Degree Learning Outcomes

Degree Requirements

1. Core Program:

Concepts and techniques of leadership, analysis of the factors and practice of individual and group leadership as applied to educational and related environments.
Historical roots, diversity of institutions and students; philosophical foundations of the field and student success, guiding values, key legal principles and theoretical bases; functional areas within student affairs, their evolution, purpose, professional associations, standards, and current issues.

2. Twenty-one units selected, with the approval of the graduate advisor, from the following:

Major theoretical foundations of student affairs, including student personnel point of view, student development, and student learning imperative.
Four major domains of communication and leadership: interpersonal, intrapersonal, small group, and organizational dynamics. Addresses assessment of techniques and intervention strategies for each domain.
Current topics and issues critical to effective leadership in student affairs, academic mission of postsecondary education and creating a supportive learning environment for students.
Developmental relationships in postsecondary education. Major advising and coaching theories. Applications, competencies, and practices to support student success.
Current theory and practice in meeting needs of diverse learners. Leadership and administration of educational organizations as political, complex systems requiring consensus-building dynamics in a multicultural society.
Development and examination of relevant policy and impact of politics in governance and administration in postsecondary and disability-related systems; control functions of federal, state, and local agencies; influence of lay citizens and special interest groups; roles of judiciary, employee organizations and students.
Internship for prospective educational leaders to provide opportunities to integrate course learning with current administrative practices in prearranged, structured administrative settings in postsecondary education.

3. ED 690 Methods of Inquiry (3 units)

Research methods in education. Location, selection and analysis of professional literature. Methods of investigation, data analysis and reporting.

4. Research: Three to six units selected from the following:

Design and implementation of a year-long outcomes-based assessment project.
Preparation of a project or thesis for the master's degree.

â–ºThe culminating experience for PELSA students is the creation of a Reflective Learning Portfolio, which they construct across their time in the program to assess their learning and development. Before graduation, each student must complete and present a Reflective Learning Portfolio to provide formative evaluation of the student's experience.

Academic Plan

Fall Semester 1

  1. ARP 610 Educational Leadership (3)
  2. ARP 620 Introduction to Student Affairs in Higher Education (3)
  3.  ED 690 Methods of Inquiry

Spring Semester 1

  1. ARP 621 Theoretical Foundations of Student Affairs (3)
  2. ARP 747 Equity-Minded Approaches for Student Success (3)
  3. ARP 622 Communication and Group Process in Student Affairs Leadership (3)

Fall Semester 2

  1. ARP 755 Governance & Policy Development in Postsecondary and Disability Systems (3)
  2. ED 795A Research Seminar (3) 
  3. ARP 624. Advising and Coaching for Student Success (3)

Spring Semester 2 

  1. ARP 623 Seminar: Critical Leadership Issues in Student Affairs (3)
  2. ED 795B Research Seminar (3) 
  3. ARP 760 Internship Postsecondary Educational Leadership (3)


We aspire to prepare compassionate and competent educational leader-practitioners.

Program Goals

The Postsecondary Educational Leadership with a specialization in Student Affairs (PELSA) Program is committed to supporting students by preparing them to:

  1. Enter and advance in entry-level careers.
  2. Become grounded in the theoretical foundation of student learning, development, and success.
  3. Apply theory to practice to positively influence student success.
  4. Embody equity-mindedness, social justice, and mindful compassionate leadership to transform educational contexts.

Degree Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain how the theoretical foundations of student learning, development, and success can be implemented and evaluated in daily practice (Goals 1, 2, 3, 4; courses aligned with this outcome: ARP 610, ARP 620, ARP 621, ARP 747, ARP 622, ARP 795A, ARP 760, ARP 623, ED 795B)
  2. Apply self-awareness and self-regulation practices towards one's own leadership strengths and identify areas of continued development (Goals 1, 2, 4; course aligned with this outcome: ARP610, ARP 621, ARP 624)
  3. Identify varying leadership approaches and explain strategies that facilitate meaningful and productive dialogue (Goals 1, 3, 4; courses aligned with this outcome: ARP 621, ARP 622, ARP 624, ARP 755, ARP 623)
  4. Identify student success and equity issues within postsecondary education and propose leadership strategies within the context of entry-level positions to address these issues (Goals 1, 2, 3, 4; courses aligned with this outcome: ARP 610, ARP 620, ARP 621, ARP 747, ED 690, ARP 622, ARP 624, ED 795A, ARP 760, ARP 755, ED 795B, ARP 627)
  5. Engage in meaningful outcomes-based assessment of collaboratively designed student learning and development programs and initiatives within the context of entry-level positions (Goal 1, 3; courses aligned with this outcome: ARP 621, ED 795A, ARP 760, ED 795B)
  6. Utilize scholarly literature on student success to inform practices that advance access and equity in postsecondary institutions (Goals 2, 3, 4; courses aligned with this outcome: ARP 620, ARP 621, ARP 747, ARP 622, ED 795A, ARP 760, ARP 755, ED 795B, ARP 623)
  7. Communicate ideas and concepts effectively in speaking and writing (Goals 1, 2, 3; courses aligned with this outcome: ARP 610, ARP 620, ARP 621, ARP 747, ED 690, ARP 622, ARP 624, ED 795A, ARP 760, ARP 755, ED 795B, ARP 623)
  8. Employ equity-mindedness to work collaboratively with diverse group members in diverse settings (Goals 2, 3, 4; courses aligned with this outcome: ARP 610, ARP 620, ARP 621, ARP 747, ARP 622, ARP, 624, ED 795A, ARP 760, ARP 755, ED 795B, ARP 632)

Curriculum Alignment Matrix

Key: I = Introduce; D = Develop, M = Mastery representing the degree to which the course achieves this Program Learning Outcome

Learning Outcomes ARP 610  ARP  620 ARP 621 ARP 747 ED 690   ARP 622 ARP 624 ED 795A ARP 760 ARP 755 ED 795B ARP 623
 1 I D M D   D M M     M M
 2 D   I D   M D   I D   M
 3 D D I I   D M   I D   M
 4 I D D D I D M D D M M M
 5     D I       D     M D
 6 I D M D I D D M D D M M
7 D D M M I M M M D M M M
8 I D M M I M M M M M M M