SHU Launches Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs


FAIRFIELD, Connecticut—Sacred Heart University has established a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs for people who want to work with students on a university campus.

Sara Connollyvice-dean of Isabelle Farrington College of Education and Human Developmentled efforts to obtain faculty approval for the degree and oversees the preparation of course materials and online placement.

Graduates would be fit to pursue jobs in higher education, especially in the field of student affairs. “New graduates often work in residential life, campus operations, academic advising, Greek life, student leadership, career development, enrollment management and financial aid, or as steward or registrar,” Connolly said.

Students must pass 12 courses (36 credits) to graduate, although one course is waived for those holding a graduate assistant position or working full-time in higher education. “The program is completely online and asynchronous, allowing students to gain experience while earning their degree. Students who take two courses in each eight-week term can complete in one year,” Connolly said.

The Social Justice in Higher Education course is particularly important because it prepares students to work on a college campus with diverse groups of individuals. “The course enables students to examine the role of higher education in American society using a social justice framework informed by critical theory,” Connolly said. “Students examine the societal influences that enable inequality in higher education, apply a social justice lens to higher education practices and policies, and conduct research on access or equity in higher education .”

Connolly said the Council for Advancing Standards in Higher Education suggests that a high-quality higher education and student affairs program have an in-depth study of theories that deal with race, culture, of ethics, of gender, of abilities, of sexual identity, of the intersection of several identities. and learning styles. SHU’s curriculum implements this study in the curriculum with courses such as Student Development Theory, Global Perspectives in Higher Education, Today’s Student, and Social Justice in Higher Education .

Students also take three courses from SHU’s counseling program while learning about history, finance, governance, and demographics in higher education today. “Student development theory is an important component of the program, as is hands-on, on-the-job experience (through an internship),” Connolly added.

The degree is an important addition to the teacher preparation, instructional leadership, and counseling degrees that Farrington College already offers. “We are currently preparing K-12 classroom teachers and leaders, as well as licensed counselors. Offerings aimed at preparing student affairs officers for college campuses are a natural extension of our current educational offerings,” Connolly said.

To learn more, visit the master of arts in higher education and student affairs webpage.


About Sacred Heart University

As the second largest independent Catholic university in New England and one of the fastest growing in the United States, Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers nearly 90 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs at its campus in Fairfield, Connecticut. Sacred Heart also has satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland and offers online programs. Over 9,000 students attend the University’s nine colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, media and arts; social work; computer science and engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education and Human Development; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; Dr. Susan L. Davis, RN, & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; and St. Vincent College. The Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions because it was created and run by lay people. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward-thinking thinkers who embrace change – in their own lives, professions and communities. . The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Top 387 Colleges – 2022 Edition“Best Northeast” and Best Business Schools – 2021 Edition. Sacred Heart is home to award-winning NPR-affiliated radio station WSHU, a Division I athletics program, and an impressive performing arts program that includes a choir, orchestra, dance, and theater.

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