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College Student Development

A flexible program designed to educate future student affairs professionals

Alfred University's Master’s Degree in College Student Development is a 48-hour program designed to meet ACPA and NASPA competencies. Students in the full-time option can complete the program in two years without any summer commitments. There is also a three-year part-time option.

School

Campus Locations

Main Campus - Alfred, NY

Degrees

College Student Development (MS Ed)

Program Contact

Kevin Curtin

curtink@alfred.edu

607-871-2699

Why College Student Development at Alfred University?

Career Opportunities

Work in student activities, diversity, leadership, residence life, academic supports, career development, and other entry and mid-level student affairs positions.

Practical Experience

Each student gains experience through an internship, graduate assistantship, practicum and capstone project.

Social Justice Focus

Students are prepared to enter the profession as leaders in social justice and community building.

Student-Centered Program

The College Student Development program emphasizes both the development of relationships between faculty and students as well as the relationships among students. The cohort model is particularly valued at Alfred that allows students to grow both personally and professionally throughout the entire learning experience. Alfred University student affairs staff is accessible and considered partners and collaborators in our program, so students have open-door access to practitioners as well as professors.

Affordable Graduate Study

All full-time students receive a graduate assistantship (GA) that reduces tuition by 50% in exchange for 7.5 hours of work per week, assigned by the program. Students may qualify for different and more competitive GA positions through the office of Residence Life, the Center for Student Involvement, or the department of Athletics.

Comprehensive Curriculum

The College Student Development program at Alfred University emphasizes several foundational courses in student affairs and helping relationships as well as a number of specialization courses that make our program unique. Students will get a comprehensive overview of the wide range of specialties within the profession.

Course Descriptions

CSDV 601 - Introduction to Student Affairs

3 hours. This course is an introduction and overview of student affairs functions within institutions of higher education. It emphasizes the history, professional standards and ethics in professional conduct, professional associations, organizational models, practices in a cross-section of functional areas in student affairs, and issues and trends in student affairs practice.

CSDV 607 - Foundations of College Student Development

3 hours. This course introduces students to issues and principles of practice in the profession of student affairs. Topics may include developmental tasks of college students, counseling and the college student, and practices in a cross-section of areas in student affairs, including admissions, leadership, diversity, student activities, residence life, and career development. Prerequisite: CSDV 601.

COUN 642 - Multi-Cultural Counseling

3 hours. An exploration of the considerations and issues involved in counseling persons from different cultural, religious, racial-ethnic, and gender/gender oriented groups. There is a focus on heightening an awareness and appreciation of difference.

COUN 606 - Human Development: The Lifespan

3 hours. This course acquaints the student with the interplay of psychodynamics, behavioral, sociocultural, cognitive and interpersonal theories of development. These factors are examined as they combine to explain personality and cognitive functioning across the life span. The student will learn to relate development theory and research to professional practice in educational and clinical settings.

CSDV 617 - Exceptionality: College Students with Disabilities

3 hours. The focus of this course is effective service provision for college students with disabilities. Topics include the Americans with Disabilities Act, identification of and intervention with various disabilities, development of systems of support, and faculty consultation.

COUN 636 - Principles of Counseling

3 hours. This course focuses on teaching students the process and theories of counseling. Students also spend time practicing skills directly related to the helping process.

COUN 605 - Career Development and Life Planning

3 hours. Students learn how career development theories, occupational and educational information, vocational tests, sociological and economic factors, and family dynamics all relate in helping their clients to make career and life style career decisions. Students also spend time practicing skills directly related to career counseling.

CSDV 644 – Intercollegiate Athletics in Higher Education

3 hours. This course introduces the role of Athletics in American Higher Education. Students explore issues involving intercollegiate athletics within various levels and types of institutions, including the impact of athletics on college campuses, the role of the NCAA, ethics, governance, and student athlete standards.

CSDV 657 - Practicum in College Student Development

3 hours. In this practicum the student spends a minimum of 100 clock hours at a selected college or university student affairs office prior to their internship, working under the supervision of a student affairs professional. The experience is geared toward increasing skills, introducing the student to new cultures and environments and allowing the student to explore various aspects of Student Affairs. The student is provided practical, on-the-job, supervised and evaluated experiences that provide the foundation for internship experiences. A weekly seminar class accompanies the fieldwork experience.

CSDV 668 - Internship in College Student Development I

6 hours. The student is required to spend time at an approved student affairs setting working under the supervision of a student affairs professional. Students continue to develop conceptual and professional skills related to their practice at a field site. A weekly seminar class accompanies the fieldwork experience. Over the course of a minimum of two semesters (Internship I and II), students must accumulate at least 600 total hours distributed equivalently across both semesters. Prerequisites: CSDV 657.

CSDV 670 - Internship in College Student Development II

6 hours. This is a continuation of Internship I. The student is required to spend time at an approved student affairs setting working under the supervision of a student affairs professional. Students continue to develop conceptual and professional skills related to their practice at a field site. A weekly seminar class accompanies the fieldwork experience. Over the course of a minimum of two semesters (Internship I and II), students must accumulate at least 600 total hours distributed equivalently across both semesters. Prerequisite: CSDV 668.

CSDV 674 - Legal Issues in Student Affairs

3 hours. This course introduces students to current legal issues confronting the student affairs professional. Topics include authority and environment of ethics and law, ethical decision analysis, and topical issues such as student safety, liability, confidentiality, privacy, libel and slander, due process, and other related ethical and legal concepts.

COUN 671 - Research and Statistics

3 hours. This course introduces the analysis of research design and basic statistics and gives the student the background necessary to read and judge professional evaluation research as well as the ability to design and implement basic program evaluation.

COUN 695 - Topics in Counseling

3 hours. This course covers advanced issues encountered in the counseling setting with an emphasis on current trends in the field. Intensive study of research and practice is based on applied issues that arise for the professional counselor.

FAQs

Admissions

Is your program a quality program?

Yes. Alfred’s program in College Student Development is a 48 -credit hour program designed to meet the ten professional competency areas that were jointly established by the American College Personnel Association and NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Alfred’s program utilizes these competencies as a foundation for the program’s curriculum and as a means for systematically reviewing student learning outcomes and overall program effectiveness.

How many students are accepted each year?

Typically, we accept 15 to 18 beginning full-time students and 2 to 4 beginning part-time students. Students are allowed to enter the program only in the fall semester.

What are the admissions requirements?

Students must submit the following materials to the Graduate Admissions Office:

  • the completed application form and fee;
  • three letters of recommendation;
  • official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework;
  • scores from the GRE general test if undergraduate cumulative GPA is less than a 3.0;
  • a brief personal statement of your program interest.

In addition, because of the high level of maturity, sensitivity, independence and flexibility necessary in the program, an on-campus interview is required. You will be contacted for an interview once all application materials have been received.

Wait, so if I have a 3.0 or higher as an undergrad, I don’t have to take the GREs?

Correct. In general, students admitted to the program typically have GPA's of 3.0 or better. This is often the best predictor of success in graduate school. Therefore, Alfred’s graduate program in College Student Development only requires the GRE for applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of less than a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

If, however, your undergraduate GPA is less than a 3.0, and you have other strengths you wish for us to consider, we strongly encourage you to apply, as Alfred utilizes a holistic screening process for admissions. We very much view one’s interpersonal skills, work and volunteer experience, leadership abilities, and motivation for the profession as significant to one’s success in graduate school and as a Student Affairs Professional.

For students taking the GRE, we do not require a minimum cutoff score. However, students should strive for at least the 50th percentile for verbal reasoning and a 3.5 for analytical writing.

How long does the program take?

Full time students can complete the program in two years, without any summer commitment. Part-time students who are athletic graduate assistants can complete the program in three years.

When are classes taught?

Each class is taught in a three hour block of time, one day per week. Most classes are held during the day; however, there may be a class which needs to be taught during an evening block.

Financial Aid

Is financial assistance awarded to students who are admitted to the program?

There are three types of assistantships that graduate students may acquire: 1) General graduate assistantships; 2) Enhanced graduate assistantships; 3) Athletic graduate assistantships.

While other graduate programs in student affairs provide only a handful of competitive assistantships to students, at Alfred, ALL full time graduate students receive a graduate assistantship. This general graduate assistantship reduces the cost of tuition cost by 50% and provides the student with a stipend equal to 25% of the reduced tuition, in exchange for 7.5 hours of work per week for a professor or university division.

Full-time students may however, choose to apply for an enhanced graduate assistantship instead, through the Division of Student Affairs, either as a Residence Hall Director, Weekend Supervisor, or Assistant Coordinator of Leadership Programming. An enhanced graduate assistantship covers 50% of tuition costs and provides the student with a stipend of $3,000 to $5,000 (depending on the exact assistantship), in exchange for working 20 hours per week. Some assistantships provide a furnished on-campus apartment and full meal plan when the University is in session. For more information, please contact the appropriate directors in Residence Life, The Center for Student Involvement, or the Judson Leadership Center.

Students interested in the part-time program may apply for an athletic graduate assistantship, which covers a maximum of 18 credits of tuition per academic year (54 credits, or 90% of one’s tuition) and a stipend in exchange for working 20 hours per week as an assistant coach, athletic trainer, or facilities manager. You may contact the Director of Athletics for more information.

Every full-time student entering the program receives a graduate assistantship that covers one half of the tuition in exchange for 7.5 hours of work per week. More specifically, the assistantship is divided between a tuition credit of 75% and an educational stipend of 25%. The tuition credit is automatically deducted from a student’s bill, while the educational stipend is payable directly on a bi-weekly basis.

Practical Experience

How much practical experience is gained in the program and when does it begin?

The College Student Development program incorporates valuable experience into each semester of training, including graduate assistantships in a variety of student affairs offices, and of course the practicum and internship experiences. During the first year, second semester, students are required to participate in a 100 hour practicum in a specific student affairs placement (either right here on Alfred's campus or at neighboring institutions). During the final year, students complete a 600 hour internship over the course of the fall and spring semesters, under the supervision of a student affairs professional.

Does the internship have to be completed in New York State?

No. Since the university is in close proximity to the Pennsylvania border, it is not unusual for students to work in college/university settings in northern Pennsylvania.

Post-Graduation

What is the employment outlook for Student Affairs Professionals?

According to the Department of Labor (Occupational Outlook Handbook, April, 2016), “employment of postsecondary education administrators is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations…and job prospects will be best for candidates who have experience working in higher education and for those with a master’s degree.”  In 2015, the median pay for mid-level postsecondary education administrators was $50,284 per year.

Where do our alumni work?
Alfred University’s College Student Development alumni are University presidents, vice presidents, directors, assistant deans, and coordinators in a variety of positions across a number of colleges and universities, including:
  • President of the University of Maine at Augusta.
  • Director, Center for Student Involvement, Alfred University
  • Executive Director of Residential Education, Montclair State University
  • Vice President for University Relations, American Campus Communities
  • Assistant Dean/Director, SUNY Adirondack’s Wilton Center
  • Director, Center for Student Involvement, Orange County Community College
  • Assistant Director, The Cornell Commitment
  • Director of the Career Center, Clarkson University
  • Associate Director for Employer Relations, Ursinus College
  • Assistant Dean and Director of Residential Services, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Residential Life Manager, Purdue University
  • Assistant Dean for Student Development, Le Moyne College
  • Vice President for Student Affairs, Hobart & William Smith
  • Second year Experience Coordinator at The College at Brockport
  • Associate Director, Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Career Center Director, College of Saint Rose

Housing in Alfred

Do graduate students live on or off campus?

Most graduate students choose to live off campus, although some on-campus housing is available.

How do I find available housing in the community?

The program's secretary maintains a list of landlords, potential housing, and other students who may be looking for roommates. Over the summer, this information is sent out to all counseling students. If you have any questions about housing, you may contact her at 607-871-2212.

The College Student Development program incorporates valuable experience into each semester of training, starting with graduate assistantships in a variety of student affairs offices, and of course the practicum and internship experiences.

During the first year, second semester, students participate in a 100 hour practicum in a specific student affairs placement (either right here on Alfred’s campus or at neighboring institutions).

During the final year, students complete a 600 hour internship over the course of the fall and spring semesters, under the supervision of a student affairs professional. Each student is connected to a practicum or internship opportunity that reflects their professional interests and career path.

Application to the Program

To apply, students should select Alfred University Campus MSEd College Student Development as their degree program on the graduate application form.

Students should submit the following to the Graduate Admissions Office:

  • the completed application form and fee;
  • three letters of recommendation;
  • official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework;
  • scores from the GRE general test if undergraduate GPA is less than a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • a brief personal statement of your program interest.                 

In addition, because of the high level of maturity, sensitivity, independence and flexibility necessary in the program, an on-campus interview is required. You'll be contacted for an interview once all application materials have been received.

Mission and Goals

Mission Statement

Alfred University’s graduate program in College Student Development prepares individuals for positions within higher education. Students acquire core knowledge and professional competencies that enable them to enter the profession. We (the faculty) strive to create a rigorous scholarly and supportive atmosphere for students to develop intellectually with a deep sense of social consciousness and self-awareness. We value teaching, scholarship, and service, which contribute to the mission of Alfred University.

Program Goals

Alfred’s College Student Development program is committed to the personal and professional development of each student in the context of a sound theoretical background. One-on-one interaction between faculty members and students encourages the personal learning that is vital to the education of student affairs professionals. Students gain a strong knowledge base and develop personal maturity and strong interpersonal and organizational skills. The goals of Alfred University’s College Student Development program grow out of the program’s mission and are:

To prepare graduate students in the acquisition of a comprehensive and scholarly knowledge base relevant to the profession of student affairs and higher education.

  • To prepare graduate students in the acquisition of professional knowledge, skills and abilities in the areas of leadership, social justice, and community building.
  • To prepare graduate students to become competent, self-aware, and socially conscious in order to work in a variety of student affairs settings serving a diverse population.

AU’s College Student Development alumni have secured positions as University presidents, vice presidents, directors, assistant deans, and coordinators in a variety of positions across a number of colleges and universities.

  • President, University of Maine at Augusta
  • Director, Center for Student Involvement, Alfred University
  • Assistant Dean for New Student Programs and Director of Orientation, Alfred University
  • Executive Director of Residential Education, Montclair State University
  • Vice President for University Relations, American Campus Communities
  • Vice President of University Relations & Student Development, American Campus Communities
  • Executive Director/CEO, The Tuition Exchange, Inc.
  • Assistant Dean/Director, SUNY Adirondack’s Wilton Center
  • Assistant Director, Alfred University Career Development Center
  • Assistant Director, The Cornell Commitment
  • Director of the Career Center, Clarkson University
  • Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Associate Director for Employer Relations, Ursinus College
  • Assistant Dean and Director of Residential Services, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Residential Life Manager, Purdue University
  • Assistant Dean for Student Development, Le Moyne College
  • Vice President for Student Affairs, Hobart & William Smith
  • Associate Dean of Admissions, Skidmore College
  • Director of Residence Life, Alfred University
  • Second year Experience Coordinator at The College at Brockport
  • Associate Director, Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Career Center Director, College of Saint Rose

Faculty / Staff

Similar Programs

Students interested in the College Student Development post-graduate program may also consider these related areas of graduate and professional study:

We'll Help You Find the Answers

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Kevin Curtin

Associate Professor Counseling

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