Mission of the Department

The Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) department at IUP is designed to prepare graduate students for employment in higher education in entry-level or mid-management student affairs positions, dependent upon their previous experiences.

Under the guidance of student affairs faculty and practitioners, requisite knowledge will be acquired through a balance of academic and practical experiences which stress critical thinking and which model professional behavior. Working among a community of learners, students will develop a broad range of skills, in-depth knowledge, an appreciation for lifelong learning, and the ability to apply concepts and skills to become effective practitioners and colleagues.

Students will understand the history, literature, and theory base of our profession as well as the significant role of student affairs within higher education. They will apply that knowledge to address the needs of changing student populations and to effect developmental changes for individuals and groups through creating and managing educational environments.

History of the Department

Beginning in 1971 as the “Student Personnel Services” program, the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) MA program has enjoyed a rich history at IUP and is one of the most widely recognized student affairs graduate preparation programs in the nation.

Since it began, the SAHE program has prepared students who wish to work as higher education professionals committed to supporting and enriching the personal and academic lives of college students and improving the administrative and educational functioning of student services offices.

The SAHE graduate program is designed for individuals interested in student affairs work in colleges and universities and professional schools in a variety of administrative settings such as admissions, housing and residence life, financial aid, student activities, Greek affairs, career services, minority affairs programs, orientation, and health services. The student body consists of recent college graduates, career enhancers, and individuals seeking a career change.

The SAHE program provides students with in-depth exposure to theories, principles, and practices of the student affairs profession. A special emphasis is placed on the transition of theory to practice via structured assistantships and practica in student affairs or related offices.

A minimum of 42 credit hours plus the passing of a comprehensive exam (the equivalent of two academic years of full-time study) are required for the MA in Student Affairs in Higher Education. All students join a Fall cohort and either begin classes in the Summer or in Fall.