CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University is offering a new online master of education degree in college student services administration with a focus on social justice.
The 54-credit program is offered through the OSU College of Liberal Arts and delivered online by Oregon State Ecampus, the university's nationally ranked online education division.
At a time when issues of social justice and equity are on the rise nationally, higher education professionals need to be equipped with the knowledge and tools to successfully navigate sensitive issues on the front lines, experts say, and this novel new program addresses those needs.
Courses set a framework for master's students to deliver equitable and accessible student services programs, promote learning and facilitate community development. Program graduates will be prepared to lead the response to emerging campus issues, such as concerns about micro-aggression in the classroom or freedom of speech on campus.
The program is ideal for anyone with an undergraduate degree who is starting, advancing or transferring to a career in student services and wants to create a positive and enriching collegiate student experience, officials say.
"Part of the core responsibility of people in student services is to deal with the life condition of the student that comes to them," said Larry Roper, an OSU professor and program coordinator in the College of Liberal Arts. "And for us, a justice frame means that we respond to that student in a culturally respectful way that honors who they are and is not limited by our ability to understand."
The college student services administration Ecampus online program features the same curriculum as OSU's successful on-campus CSSA program, which has been a national leader for 50 years. All classes are taught online by OSU faculty who are experienced student services professionals and are passionate about creating equitable and successful environments.
Using a student-centered approach, classes focus on students' wide-ranging experiences and backgrounds to guide the learning process. Real-world scenarios are used to connect the theory to the practice.
"We're acknowledging that our students are bringing life experiences with them that can add greatly to the success of the course," Roper said. "It allows students to apply the academic experiences to practical experiences, which is what provides them the most powerful tool for career entry and advancement."
Graduates will be prepared to work in a variety of postsecondary education settings, including student affairs, student support services, student government and activities, residence life programs, career services and general student advising and academic support.
"The last three graduating CSSA on-campus classes at OSU have had a 100 percent hire rate in related areas," Roper said. "We have graduates working all over the world, and our long history of providing educational excellence speaks for itself."
Students can apply and be admitted any term beginning this fall. More information is available online.