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Higher Education Program


Student Development and Student Services in Higher Education

NEW: Suggested equity focus courses

Student Development & Student Services in Higher Education: An Overview

The professional field of Student Development and Student Services has been in existence since the early 20th century, though primarily in the United States. Canadian postsecondary education institutions have had student development and services professionals on staff for several decades, though most of these professionals have not received formal academic training about the field of student development and services. Most professionals who have received formal training acquired it from institutions in the US, since there are currently few academic preparation programs for student development and services professionals at Canadian postsecondary institutions. The number of staff in student development and student services roles in Canada is growing, as well as the complex challenges they face in postsecondary education. Considering that Ontario has the largest postsecondary sector in the country, the creation of the first Master's degree level academic preparation program in Ontario that specializes in student development and student services will address a significant gap in the development of this growing profession. OISE/UT’s rich history of providing leadership in most areas of education in Canada positions it as the best place for such an innovative program, especially in higher education where OISE stands as having the only dedicated higher education program in the country.  Students in the student development and student services MEd field will acquire the knowledge and skills that are evidence and experientially-based to provide leadership in various types of institutions throughout the country, and beyond. The larger field of practitioners and scholars in student development in Canada has been asking for such a program. Our program is one answer to those requests. 

Learning outcomes of the LHAE Student Development & Student Services MEd Field

Individuals completing the MEd in Higher Education field in Student Development & Student Services WILL GAIN EXPERIENCE IN THE PROGRAM TOWARD BECOMING:

  • Experienced practitioners and educational leaders
  • Knowledgeable student development & student services scholars
  • Reflective and critical thinkers
  • Committed to equity and the creation and maintenance of inclusive learning environments
  • Guided in their interactions with students and colleagues by ethical principles, values, and personal integrity

Graduates will BE ABLE TO:

  • Apply theory to meaningful practice with individuals and organizations
  • Communicate effectively in writing, orally, technologically, and through other forms about the development of students and the services within postsecondary education institutions that impact students’ development
  • Construct, implement, and assess programs and processes that address issues of student growth and development

Graduates will KNOW:

  • History, philosophy, and the foundations of Student Development and Student Services
  • Student development theories and conceptual foundations
  • Relevant characteristics of students and their experience in postsecondary education environments
  • Administration and organization of student services in postsecondary education
  • Assessment, evaluation, and research
  • Broader issues within postsecondary education systems and their relationship to the development of students in those systems

Admissions and Degree Structure

  • Admission criteria and process (see OISE/UT Bulletin regarding Minimum Admissions and Degree Requirements for Master of Education Degree)

Curriculum and Proposed Courses

  • Curriculum Requirements

The Student Development and Student Services field in the MEd program in Higher Education requires students to take ten half courses in order to complete the program.  The requirements toward the MEd in Higher Education within the academic field of Student Development and Student Services can be completed on either a part-time or full-time basis.

Students in the Student Development and Student Services in Higher Education field will fulfill the following requirements:

a) one half-course, LHA1803H - Recurring Issues in Postsecondary Education
b) three half-courses in Student Development and Student Services, LHA1844H, LHA1854H, LHA1856H
c) six other half-courses, of which one half-course must be from the Higher Education Program, one half-course must be in Research Methods (approved by the faculty advisor), and one half-course must have an equity focus
d) equity-focused courses must be approved by the student's faculty advisor. See the course listings in the OISE Bulletin for samples
e) depending upon and individual student's professional experience, students might be advised to take LHA1853H, Introduction to Student Services

Higher Education Core Program Courses:

+ LHAE1803H – Recurring Issues in Postsecondary Education

+ Research Methods (RM courses) – Options may include:

LHA1845H Applications in the Student Experience (RM)

LHA1828H Evaluation in Higher Education (RM)

LHA1850 Quantitative Research Process and Design (RM)

LHA1851H Survey Methodology (RM)

LHA1811H Institutional Research in Higher Education

LHA1834H Qualitative Research in Higher education

Student Development and Student Services Core Courses:

+ LHA1844H The Student Experience in Postsecondary Education

+ LHA1854H Student Development Theory

+ LHA1856H Advanced Student Development Theory

+ LHA1803H Recurring Issues in Postsecondary Education

NEW: Suggested equity focus courses

For information about the Student Development and Student Services MEd, contact:
Dr. Stephanie Waterman, Associate Professor
E-mail: stephanie.waterman@utoronto.ca