DENVER (Nov. 10, 2015) – The School of Education & Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver has launched a new program designed to prepare master’s-level students to serve culturally diverse and underrepresented students in higher education.
The Higher Education Students Affairs (HESA) program, a concentration within the Counseling master’s degree at CU Denver, provides the skills and tools for careers in student affairs and college student services (including academic advising, Greek life, residential life and student programming) and higher education administration. The program is particularly unique because of its focus on teaching skills to help first generation students succeed in college.
“Over a third of incoming college freshman in the U.S. are first generation students who have a specific set of needs that must be met by their institutions,” said program director Carlos Hipolito-Delgado, PhD. “CU Denver’s HESA program is a way to impact higher education to ensure all students have the opportunity to achieve.”
Students enrolled in the concentration are taught to recognize issues of access and equity, diversity and ethnic identity, civic engagement and organizational leadership.
“For some time, our stakeholders in the community have been asking for a program to better prepare student affairs professionals to assist first generation students who may need a distinct approach to supporting their transition into a college environment,” said SEHD Dean Rebecca Kantor.
Launched during the fall semester, HESA is anticipated to attract both post-baccalaureate students and professionals currently working in higher education. Students participate in two semester-long internships in diverse higher education settings and ultimately receive an MA in Counseling.