Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) Leadership

Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) Leadership

Educational Leadership

Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership Concentration

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Prospective students are encouraged to apply for Fall 2015.  Applications for the HESA program are due Dec. 15, 2014 to begin in fall 2015.  For more information about the HESA program please explore the website where you can find information about HESA, the ELRT Department, courses, answers to FAQ's, and application information. The  priority application deadline is Dec. 15, 2014; this includes all materials required for the application.

HESA Leadership Interview Days - WMU HESA leadership interview days 2015 will be held Thursday, Feb. 26 through Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. This two-day program provides an opportunity for incoming students to become familiar with the campus and HESA program, as well as interview for graduate assistantship (GA) positions. In order to participate in the HESA leadership interview days program, a student must be accepted into the HESA leadership concentration.

The Michigan College Personnel Association Annual Conference will be held in Kalamazoo Oct. 26-27, 2014. From best practices to next practices is the theme of this year's conference. Program proposals are due by Aug. 1, 2014. More information about the conference.

What is HESA?

Students in the HESA program The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) concentration at Western Michigan University focuses on developing reflective practitioners for entry and mid-level positions in higher education. The program emphasizes a scholar-practitioner model to combine a broad-based student development and leadership theory core with required individualized field experiences.  Distinctive to HESA is an emphasis on the centrality of diversity and inclusiveness in higher education: one of the ways this is actualized is through a required and individually designed Diversity Cognate. The HESA curriculum meets CAS Standards for Masters-Level Student Affairs Preparation Programs with 39 credit hours and two distinct site-based field experiences. Students also develop Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Practitioners through coursework, field experiences, and the Performance Driven Leadership Portfolio. The HESA program promotes innovative learning, discovery, and service through our emphasis on professional development, engagement in scholarly practice and research, and leadership in the profession.

HESA mission

The Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) Leadership concentration at Western Michigan University prepares practitioner-scholars who:

  • Have the knowledge and skills to enhance student learning and development in a variety of higher education environments;
  • Recognize the centrality of diversity and inclusiveness to higher education;
  • Are able to effectively and ethically lead and serve in a dynamic educational culture.

About the College, University, and Kalamazoo area

Western Michigan University College of Education and Human Development
Western Michigan University Fast Facts
Kalamazoo area

HESA Learning Outcomes

Through the successful completion of coursework and supervised field practice graduates of the Western Michigan University Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) Leadership concentration will be able to:

  1. Describe the dynamic roles and functional areas of higher education and student affairs work.
  2. Articulate the influence of the philosophical foundations and historical documents on current and future issues of professional practice.
  3. Integrate awareness and knowledge of historically marginalized and/ or underserved student populations in all areas of professional practice.
  4. Engage in managerial and administrative functions with an ethical framework/ethic of care. 
  5. Apply theory-to-practice as it relates to student development and student success.
  6. Formulate a professional leadership philosophy incorporating the values of the profession.
  7. Perform the functions of program design, evaluation, and assessment within the context of higher education.
  8. Engage in and reflect upon one’s professional competencies and the value of continuous professional development.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The HESA program values our partnerships and collaborations with numerous Western Michigan University divisions, departments, offices, programs as well as community partners. Learn more at the Division of Student Affairs website.

We are also proud to partner with local colleges and universities like Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and Davenport University, Hope College, Battle Creek Community College who offer our students graduate assistantships, field and capstone experiences, and opportunities for networking and mentoring.


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
3571 Sangren Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5283 USA
(269) 387-3896 | (269) 387-3696 Fax