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Counseling - Student Affairs, Master of Education
This plan is appropriate if you are seeking graduate preparation in counseling with a specialization in student affairs within higher education.
Our plan is built on the philosophy that counseling is a foundation for student affairs work. When you complete this program, you are prepared for professional roles in student affairs positions in higher education.
This program meets the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) standards for professional preparation programs in student affairs, the counseling courses meet Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs standards, and with additional counseling coursework, the requirement for the national counselor certification of the National Board of Certified Counselors.
Requirements Accordion Open
To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)
You must additionally complete:
- All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
- All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
- All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
Read the full policy here.
Overview Accordion Closed
In addition to University Requirements:
- Complete individual plan requirements.
Please note that students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.
|Minimum Units for Completion||48|
|Progression Plan Link||View Program of Study|
The Counseling-Student Affairs MEd is for students seeking graduate preparation in student affairs with an emphasis in counseling theory and processes. Our approach is built on the philosophy that counseling is a foundation for student affairs work. Students develop strong counseling skills, including the understanding and application of student learning and development theory. Coupled with a foundation in the historical, philosophical, ethical, cultural, and research foundations of higher education, and knowledge of organization and administration of student affairs, our students have the well-rounded knowledge and skills to be successful in a broad range of Student Affairs areas (residence life, multicultural affairs, student life, recreation services international education, athletics and academic advising).
Student Learning Outcomes
Foundational Studies: study in the historical, philosophical, ethical, cultural, and research foundations of higher education that informs student affairs practice.
- Reference historical and current documents that state the philosophical foundations of the profession and to communicate the relevance of these documents to current student affairs practice.
- Articulate the values of the profession that are stipulated or implied in these documents and indicate how these values guide practice.
- Knowledgeable about and be able to apply a code of ethics or ethical principles sanctioned by a recognized professional organization that provides ethical guidance for their work.
Professional Studies: studies of basic knowledge for practice and all programs must encompass at least five related areas of study including (a) student learning and development theories; (b) student characteristics and effects of college on students; (c) individual and group strategies; (d) organization and administration of student affairs; and (e) assessment, evaluation, and research.
Student Learning and Development Theory:
- Extensive examination of theoretical perspectives that describe students' growth in the areas of intellectual, moral, ego, psychosocial, career, and spiritual development; racial, cultural, ethnic, gender, abilities, socioeconomic status, and sexual identity; the intersection of multiple identities; and learning styles throughout the late adolescent and adult lifespan.
- Study of collegiate environments and how person-environment interactions affect student learning and development must also be required.
- Ability to use and critique appropriate theory to understand, support, and advocate for student learning and development by assessing needs and creating opportunities for learning and development.
Student Characteristics and Effects of College on Students
- Knowledge of student characteristics, how such attributes influence student educational and developmental needs, and effects of the college experience and institutional characteristics on student learning and development.
- Demonstrate knowledge of how student learning and learning opportunities are influenced by student characteristics and by collegiate environments so that graduates can design and evaluate learning experiences for students.
- Ability to articulate the roles that higher education institutions have in maintaining and dismantling injustices related to individual-level identities (e.g., race, gender, class) and systemic oppressions (e.g., racism, sexism, classism). This is done with particular attention paid to how these identities intersect and the social and systemic implications for people with these identities.
Individual and Group Strategies
- Knowledge of studies, techniques, and methods of advising and helping skills as well as assessing, designing, implementing, and evaluating developmentally appropriate strategies with individuals and organizations.
- Knowledge and skills necessary to design and evaluate effective educational interventions for individuals and groups.
- Ability to identify and appropriately refer persons who need additional resources.
Organization and Administration of Student Affairs
- Knowledge of studies of organizational, management, and leadership theory and practice; student affairs functions, organizational models, and partnerships; legal issues in higher education; human and organizational resources; and professional issues, ethics, and standards of practice in the context of diverse institutional types.
- Ability to identify and apply leadership, organizational, and management practices that assist institutions in accomplishing their missions.
Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
- Study of assessment, evaluation, and research that centers on evidence-based practice to further accountability and continuous improvement.
- Studies must include assessment planning and design, outcome development, both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, measurement of learning processes and outcomes, assessment of environments and organizations, measurement of program and environment effectiveness, effective reporting, and critiques of published studies.
- Ability to critique a study or evaluation and be able to design, conduct, and report on a sound research study, assessment study, or program evaluation, all grounded in the appropriate literature. Graduates must be able to use assessment results to inform and improve professional practice and student learning.
- Awareness of research ethics and legal implications of research, including the necessity of adhering to a human subjects review.
Supervised Practice: A minimum of 300 hours of supervised practice, consisting of at least two distinct experiences, must be required. Students must gain exposure to both the breadth and depth of student affairs work. Students must gain experience in developmental work with individual students and groups of students in program planning, implementation, or evaluation; staff training, advising, or supervision; and administration functions or processes.
- Reserved for students who have successfully completed a sequence of courses pertaining to basic foundational knowledge of professional practice. Before participating in practicum, students must demonstrate basic knowledge and skills in interpersonal communication, consultation, and referral skills. Students must comply with all ethical principles and standards of appropriate professional associations.
- Ability to develop and maintain personal plans for professional development and habits that support life-long learning.
Details Accordion Closed
- Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
- NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
- Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
- Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent.
- Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
- For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy.
- International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.
Individual program admission requirements include:
- GRE® revised General Test required if GPA is under 3.0
- 3 letters of recommendation; with at least two from faculty
- Responses to specific essay questions
This Master’s degree requires 48 units distributed as follows:
- Student Affairs: 18 units
- Counseling: 9 units
- Research and Evaluation: 9 units
- Practicum - Internship: 3-6 units
- Additional electives: 6-9 units
Take the following 48 units:
Student Affairs (18 units):
Counseling (9 units):
Research and Evaluation (9 units):
Practicum-Intership (3-6 units):
Select from the following: (6-9 units)
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.
NOTICE Fall 2023 Admission Updates:
UPDATE - GRE RequirementsGRE®️ revised General Test – Applicants with a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0 are required to submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores on the aptitude portion (verbal and quantitative) of the GRE taken within the past six years. Applicants with a cumulative GPA higher than 3.0 have the option to submit GRE scores, if desired. GRE scores must be received by the application deadline for admission.
Application Due Date Accordion Closed
- The Graduate School Application is due by January 1 for the following academic year.
- The M.Ed. Counseling - Student Affairs program is located at our Flagstaff location.
- Completed application files are reviewed and admission decisions are made twice* each year for the program.
- Depending on your planned submission date, all application materials must be received by one of the two due dates (January 1 or August 1*)
- It is the student's responsibility to ensure that his or her application file is complete. Incomplete files are not reviewed.
Additional Application Details Accordion Closed
- NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
- Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") or higher
- Undergraduate Transcripts
- 3 letters of recommendation; with at least two from faculty
- Responses to specific essay questions
- For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy. International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.
- After you apply to the program, you can begin applying for graduate assistantships. You will submit your application and materials for each position you apply for to the contact listed on the description of the assistantship not the Graduate College. A separate application must be submitted for each position you apply for unless otherwise noted.
- Graduate assistantships provide you tuition remission, a stipend, and benefits
- The academic program faculty do not coordinate the graduate assistantship process, so it is up to the prospective student to coordinate their own applications and interviews
- Available assistantships for AY 2023-2024 are listed here
- residence life
- multicultural affairs
- student life
- recreation services
- center for international education
- academic advising
- Upon application submission- Begin applying to graduate assistant positions
- January 1 - Academic program application deadline
- Early February - Academic program acceptances made and sent to graduate providers. Graduate assistant supervisors receive admitted student information
- Early February - Applicants notified electronically regarding their admission status with the Counseling - Student Affairs program
- March 19 - April 15- Graduate assistant decisions made
- March 19 - April 15- Final academic and graduate assistant offer letters sent out electronically to prospective students. The letter will note both an academic offer and a graduate assistant offer. You may accept the offer anytime you wish, but graduate assistant positions only have to extend the offer until April 15 close of business
- April 15 - Make final acceptance decision to your graduate assistant provider and to the Graduate College following the instructions on your offer
Mission and Goals Accordion Closed
- human growth and development
- social and cultural foundations
- helping relationships
- group work
- career and lifestyle development
- research and program evaluation
- professional orientation
- foundations of student affairs practice and theory in higher education
- contextual dimensions: student affairs practice in higher education
- knowledge and skills for the practice of student affairs in higher education
- development of professional competencies as recommended by higher education associations (NASPA/ACPA Professional Competencies)
Cohorts and Mentors Accordion Closed
Program Clubs and Organizations Accordion Closed
Program Policies Accordion Closed
- Credit transfer and GPA policies: Visit the Graduate College website for more information about these policies.
- Counseling Student Affairs students will complete 180 hours of practicum internship and 300 hours of fieldwork (graduate assistantship) as a component of our theory to practice initiative.