Academic Year 2021-22

GSE H-205 College Student Development: New Insights & Practical Applications (Fall 2021) 

A working knowledge of student development theory is a critical tool for professionals in higher education. Understanding theories of College Student Development help us to create intentional environments that support student growth and effectively respond to campus crises. However, given the rapidly changing terrain of higher education, it is also important for us to critically examine classic developmental models and to expand on traditional frameworks in order to more fully account for the lived experiences of students and the range of educational contexts they encounter today. This class will ask important questions about how to modernize and adapt theory to address the needs of our students. We will hear directly from practitioners about the uses and limitations of theory-based programming as we consider best practices for today's college context. We will also use case studies to test theory in light of complex challenges faced at a wide range of institutions. Students will leave this class with a solid foundation of theory, a nuanced understanding of today's college students, and a toolkit of research-based approaches to offer developmentally-grounded supports that help students thrive.

GSE A-727 Student Affairs in Higher Education: Theory-Driven Practices to Help Students Thrive (Spring 2022)


Student affairs (SA) professionals are central to individual and institutional success in higher education. In this course, students will gain an understanding of the field of student affairs, develop a toolkit of professional competencies, and consider best practices as defined by ACPA & NASPA. We will focus on a cross-section of SA offices that scaffold student success across institutions: academic advising, admissions and financial aid, career services, counseling and wellness, housing and residential life, Greek life, student conduct, and veterans affairs. We will also examine the role of SA in creating an authentic climate of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is a practice-oriented course where we focus on creating actionable solutions to pressing problems in higher education. We will hear directly from SA professionals who will share their current experiences from a range of institutional contexts and introduce us to the dilemmas they are working to solve. As a culminating project, our class will consult with an innovative 2-year institution to design developmentally-grounded policies and practices that meet the needs of both the school and its students. This course is ideal for current and future SA professionals and for anyone who would like to better understand the institutional structures that are in place to support students’ academic success and personal development in college. 


GSE A-740A Ethnographic Methods for Higher Education Research (Spring II 2022)


(New Course) In this module, we will learn the history, epistemology, and methodology of ethnographic research in the field of higher education. We will balance our time between critical reading of classic ethnographies of the college experience and a qualitative research practicum at a nearby campus. Our hands-on fieldwork will allow us to capture the voices of current college students as we consider the complex social and cultural systems of the institution that inform their experiences. In the process, we will explore different ethnographic traditions and modes of data collection as we conduct paired observations, workshop fieldnotes, and practice qualitative interviewing. Together, we will also navigate the logistical puzzles of field research while we grapple with broader questions about power, positionality, and representation. This course will equip students with the skills they need to design studies that are thoughtful, rigorous, and ethical. Limited enrollment.