College Student Personnel Services and Administration

Program Contacts

Terry James, EdD: Department Chair
Telephone: (501) 450-3282 | terryj@uca.edu

Susan R. Barclay, PhD: Graduate Program Coordinator
Telephone: (501) 450-5303 | Email: srbarclay@uca.edu

[1] Program Summary

The Master of Science program in College Student Personnel Services and Administration provides professional preparation for students seeking student services positions in both two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions. The program is interdisciplinary to prepare student services administrators for diverse areas of responsibility, including campus climate, finance, grant writing, assessment, career advising, leadership, and legal/ethical issues.

Consistent with the standards and beliefs stated by ACPA: College Student Educators International, NASPA, and the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS), UCA’s course of study offers opportunities to experience the exciting relationship between theory and practice. Students are expected to meet the intellectual challenges of coursework, assistantships, and professional involvement, while participating in learning experiences leading to an understanding of college student development, collegiate subcultures, organizational dynamics, and the nature of higher education.

The CSPA specialization provides coursework and practica leading to a Master of Science in College Student Personnel Services and Administration.

[2] Objectives

  • To enhance the leadership skills of student personnel services administrators who can recognize and adapt quickly to changes in the field
  • To promote an understanding of the legal and ethical responsibilities required of student personnel services professionals
  • To familiarize students with the theoretical foundation in models of human and student development and learning and to apply those concepts to the creation of more effective service units
  • To foster interpersonal communication skills
  • To promote the use of qualitative and quantitative analysis and research to investigate and solve problems
  • To use technology to create more efficient organizations
  • To engage in strategic planning and visioning to provide services that deliver maximum benefit to students
  • To engage in sound financial and budgeting practices to use the resources of the organization most efficiently

[3] Admission Requirements

Prospective students can apply to the CSPA program at any time during the year. Applicants who qualify may enter the program on a full-time or a part-time basis. As an applicant for admission, students must present evidence of their ability to participate successfully in a graduate-level academic endeavor. To be considered, applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School and complete all necessary files. Admission to the Graduate School is based upon the following requirements:

  1. Online application
  2. Graduate School application fee
  3. Transcripts from all institutions attended
  4. Health Records

For more information, please visit the Graduate School website.

Admission to the CSPA program is based upon the following requirements.

  1. A completed CSPA application for admission
  2. Current résumé
  3. Name and email address for two references who can speak to the applicant’s potential for graduate level coursework
  4. A one-page, single-spaced letter of intent
  5. An interview with CSPA faculty members

Upon receiving all required materials, program faculty will contact the applicant regarding participation in the CSPA Interviewing Conference.

[4] Program Requirements/Curriculum

The program integrates theory with practice by combining academic preparation with field-based experiences and internships. The program also provides students access to graduate-level instruction from faculty with diverse backgrounds, including field practitioners.

The academic program requires the completion of 42 semester hours of graduate credit. Students will choose one of two options, either a non-thesis or a thesis option. Thirty-nine of the 42 credit hours are common to the programs of study for both the thesis and non-thesis options. Additionally, a written comprehensive examination or thesis is required for graduation competency requirements.

Required Courses

CSPA 6310 HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION
CSPA 6311 LEADERSHIP AND SUPERVISION
CSPA 6318 FINANCING HIGHER EDUCATION
CSPA 6320 LAW OF HIGHER EDUCATION
CSPA 6325 ASSESSMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION
CSPA 6360 DIVERSITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION
CSPA 6365 PRACTICUM
CSPA 6370 INTERNSHIP
CSPA 6391 PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES IN STUDENT AFFAIRS
CSPA 6392 STUDENT DEVELOPMENT THEORY
LEAD 6320 COUNSELING THEORY IN K–20 EDUCATION
LEAD 6321 RESEARCH METHODS
LEAD 6330 INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP COUNSELING IN THE K–20 EDUCATION ENVIRONMENT

Thesis and Non-Thesis Selective Courses

The thesis option requires three hours of CSPA 6V95 THESIS: STUDENT AFFAIRS.

Based on advising, the non-thesis option requires one of the following two courses:

CSPA 6335 GRANT WRITING
CSPA 6340 CAREER ADVISING

[5] Other Program Policies

  1. Transfer Credit: A maximum of nine hours of transfer work may be accepted to meet program requirements excluding courses for practicum and internship. Transfer credit must reflect a final grade of A or B and be approved in advance by both the program coordinator and the department chair.
  2. Per UCA Graduate School policy, a graduate student is expected to maintain a cumulative 3.00 average. A student whose cumulative grade point average is less than 3.00 will be placed on academic probation. The following semester of attendance, the student should achieve a cumulative 3.00 or at least show meaningful improvement towards a 3.00 GPA. If the cumulative 3.00 is not met or meaningful improvement is not evidenced, the student will be ineligible to continue in the CSPA program.
  3. Professionalism: Candidates are expected to act in accordance with the ethical principles stated by ACPA: College Student Educators International, NASPA, and the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS). As professionals providing services in higher education, we are committed to upholding these shared ethical principles for the benefit of our students, our professions, and higher education. Conduct in misalignment with these principles will be subject to disciplinary action, ranging from probation up to or including expulsion from the program.

[6] Continuous Enrollment Requirement

College of Education graduate students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment throughout their program of study until achieving program completion. Specifically, College of Education graduate students are expected to be enrolled in at least two of the three semesters in a given calendar year (Spring, Summer I or II, and Fall). If a student must take a time-out, the student must notify the department in which the program of study resides. If a student fails to register for more than one semester out of three in a given calendar year, that student might be ineligible for readmission unless granted by the home department.

[7] Graduate Course Links (CSPA, LEAD)

Follow this link to CSPA course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link to LEAD course descriptions: course link.