Graduate Studies

College Student Personnel Profile

College Student Personnel

Program Overview

In the College Student Personnel program, student learning and development is paramount both for the graduate student and for the students that they serve as a student affairs practitioners. This growth is facilitated in the program through student, faculty, and student affairs professional partnerships in the classroom and in practical experiences in the field of student affairs as a full-time professional or through assistantships, practicums, and summer internships, and guided by the values of theory-to-practice, ethical action, self-authorship, social justice, and transformative learning.

CSP program has a theory-to-practice orientation that includes coursework in student development theory, leadership development, group dynamics, philosophy and history of higher education, organization and administration of student affairs, multicultural competency, counseling theory and techniques, and research methods. All of this preparation is aimed at helping you develop and grow as a leader and a reflective practitioner doing socially responsible work as student affairs professional in a variety of student settings, including residence life, student activities, Greek affairs, admissions and student recruitment, academic advising, orientation, multicultural student programs, student retention, gender programs, career development, and experiential education.

Program Overview

In the College Student Personnel program, student learning and development is paramount both for the graduate student and for the students that they serve as a student affairs practitioners. This growth is facilitated in the program through student, faculty, and student affairs professional partnerships in the classroom and in practical experiences in the field of student affairs as a full-time professional or through assistantships, practicums, and summer internships, and guided by the values of theory-to-practice, ethical action, self-authorship, social justice, and transformative learning.

CSP program has a theory-to-practice orientation that includes coursework in student development theory, leadership development, group dynamics, philosophy and history of higher education, organization and administration of student affairs, multicultural competency, counseling theory and techniques, and research methods. All of this preparation is aimed at helping you develop and grow as a leader and a reflective practitioner doing socially responsible work as student affairs professional in a variety of student settings, including residence life, student activities, Greek affairs, admissions and student recruitment, academic advising, orientation, multicultural student programs, student retention, gender programs, career development, and experiential education.

Hallmarks of the Program:

  • Established in 1970, the program has graduated almost 900 alumni.
  • A two-year Master's of Science program that meets CAS standards, the most comprehensive and rigorous graduate preparation program standards within higher education.
  • Two tracks within the College Student Personnel program offers educational opportunities for both emerging professionals and experienced professionals.

 College Student Personnel: Student Development

  • The Student Development track provides you with the classroom and professional experiences needed to enter and advance in the field of student affairs.
  • A theory-to-practice model means that you have a space and place to apply your classroom learning facilitated through your full-time assistantship and practicum experiences –  required components of the this track.
  • In small cohorts of 22-25 students, you and your colleagues will learn, work, and support each other as students and student affair professionals.
  • Assistantships, practicums, and summer internship opportunities provide you up to five hands-on training experiences during the two years of the program.

College Student Personnel: Higher Education Leadership

  • The College Student Personnel: Higher Education Leadership track serves the educational and logistical needs of professionals like you who are currently engaged in student affairs (or closely related) work in a professional capacity.
  • The Higher Education Leadership track beginning its inaugural year in Fall 2015, and enrolls new students bi-annually (Fall 2015, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, and so on).
  • A theory-to-practice model means that the application of classroom concepts to real-world student affairs work is a critical part of your classroom discussions and course assignments.
  • In a small cohort of professionals, you and your colleagues will learn and support each other as students and student affair professionals.
  • Courses are offered in a low-residency model that blends in-person and on-line learning environments.

The Learning Environment

The CSP program is grounded in our belief that people and organizations grow through an experiential process that is mutually shaped, socially constructed, and historically situated. In small cohort-based classes you will discuss, question, experiment, research, wrestle with, and debate the issues, and the roots of those issues, that face student affairs professionals. Faculty and student affairs professionals across campus partner with you in this process. And, your cohort coming from a wide range of student affairs experience, locations, and backgrounds, add another layer of learning and growing during your time in the program.

The CSP program emphasizes the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies in the classroom and practical experiences, and meets the standards established by the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) for student affairs programs. Providing quality education in student affairs, as well as a sound background for individuals interested in pursuing future doctoral degrees in higher education is at the forefront of our mind.

Our Faculty

  • Tracy Davis, Director, College Student Personnel Program and Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies (Ph.D., The University of Iowa) -- As a CSP faculty member, Dr. Davis often teaches courses in group dynamics, student development theory, gender identity development, student characteristics and college environments, qualitative methods, and the capstone seminar. More
  • Earl Bracey, Associate Vice President for Student Services; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies (J.D., Southern Illinois University) – Having previously served as director of Student Legal Services at WIU from 1979 to 1986, and actively involved in a part-time legal practice, Mr. Bracey teaches a CSP course on the intersection of law and student affairs work.. More
  • Tom Cody, Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies (Ph.D., Southern Illinois University-Carbondale) – Dr. Cody helps CSP student learn about research methods and assessment applicable to student affairs work. More
  • Sarah Schoper, Assistant Professor,  Department of Educational Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies (Ph.D., University of Maryland) – As a CSP faculty member, Dr. Schoper often teaches course that introduce students to the field of student affairs, organizational culture, counseling and helping skills, and student development theory. More
  • Ron Williams, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs and Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies (D. ED., Tennessee State University) – Dr. Williams helps CSP students understand the organization and administration structure and function of student affairs within the larger context of universities and colleges, and the historical development of the field of student affairs and higher education as a whole. More

Extracurricular Opportunities

The Western Illinois Student Personnel Association (WISPA) is a student organization that enhances the personal and professional development of students who are interested in pursuing careers in student affairs through social and professional networks, professional preparation workshops and conferences, open forums for issues and ideas, and a sincere commitment to continued education in the profession. Western Illinois University’s student, faculty and staff are also very involved in professional organizations in the field of Student Affairs. Attending both national and regional conferences and events. We are active in NASPA, ACPA, NODA, NACA, ACUHO-I and many more professional associations. We encourage leadership and participation in professional groups for professional development and professional networking.

Quick View

  • Degrees Available:
    • M.S.
  • Locations:
    • Macomb (CSP:Student Development)
    • Quad Cities (CSP:Higher Education Leadership)
  • Required GPA:
    • Cumulative: 2.75 or
    • Last 2 years: 3.0
  • Admission Requirements:
    • Goals Statement
    • Interview/Audition
    • Transcripts
    • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • Resume
  • Interesting Facts: Fall 2014
    • Currently enrolled: 51
    • International: 1
    • Minority: 16
    • Male: 13
    • Female: 38
    • Students with Assistantships: 51
  • Department Contact Information

Horrabin Hall 115
309-298-1183
csp@wiu.edu

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