College Student Affairs


M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: College Student Affairs

Offered on USF's Tampa campus

Program Overview

USF's M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in College Student Affairs (CSA) is designed to advance the personal, intellectual, and professional development of individuals seeking careers as student affairs educators in institutions of higher education. 

Through intensive coursework and practical experience, students gain a broad knowledge and understanding of the theoretical frameworks, conceptual models, competencies, values, principles and practices of the profession for creating equitable and just environments, policies, programs and conditions that foster college student learning, development, and educational success.

Program Philosophy

The strength of the CSA program is its emphasis on providing students a sound theoretical foundation combined with an integrated and challenging field experience. The CSA faculty recognize that higher education is an increasingly complex and constantly changing environment that require professionals who can navigate its ambiguities, challenges, and promote inclusive and equitable educational environments and opportunities for college students.

The CSA curriculum provides students learning and field experiences that align with CAS standards for professional preparation programs in student affairs and prepare students in the professional competency areas designated by ACPA and NASPA. Our program emphasizes the need for students to understand the research, literature, and theories of higher education in order to do meaningful, intentional, inclusive, and impactful work in student affairs (that is, to apply theory to practice). Related, we seek to create conscious scholarly practitioners (Hatfeld & Wise, 2015; Watt, 2015).

Scholarly practitioners are student affairs professionals and educators who generate and contribute knowledge to the field in various ways.  Conscious scholarly practitioners’ work contributes to the creation and maintenance of college environments that allow all students to fully realize their identity and potential (Watt, 2015).

Our faculty welcome and affirm all learners of diverse identities, cultures, backgrounds, personalities, talents, and learning styles. As a faculty, we believe in the co-construction of knowledge with students (Baxter Magolda & King, 2004).  In other words, faculty lend their expertise in partnership with the knowledge and experiences students bring with them in the classroom to make meaning of higher education populations, phenomenon, and issues together.  We believe this fosters more complex cognition and prepares students for the challenges of entering entry and mid-management student affairs positions upon graduation.

Features of the CSA Program

  • The program is a full-time, two-year program of study. Part-time students holding current employment in a student affairs-related area (as determined by the CSA program coordinator) may also apply for admission. Student who are enrolled part-time usually take at least three years to complete the program.
  • All full-time students must have graduate assistantships in student affairs related functional areas. These assistantships are approved by the CSA program.
  • Coursework includes an introduction to student affairs and higher education; student development theory; diversity in higher education; campus environments; educational research, organization and administration of student affairs, law and student affairs,  assessment in student affairs; and a capstone course covering current topics.
  • A supervised summer practicum is a key field experience occurring between the first and second year of full-time study.


Baxter Magolda, M. B., & King, P. M. (Eds.) (2004). Learning partnerships: Theory and models of practice to educate for self-authorship. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Hatfield, L. J., & Wise, V. L. (2015). A guide to becoming a scholarly practitioner in student affairs. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Watt, S. K. (2015). Introduction. In S. K. Watt (Ed.), Designing transformative multicultural initiatives (pp. 1-8). Sterling, VA: Stylus.