School of Humanities and Social Sciences


College Student Personnel Administration Certificate

Our programs in College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) prepare students for many professions related to Student Affairs in college, university, and community settings. We focus on training Student Affairs professionals who take a humanistic, learner-centered approach in their work as change agents within the university and the larger society.

The program explores important topics in the field of Student Affairs such as conflict resolution, diversity, student development, student services, judicial affairs, administration, on-campus and campus life, Greek affairs, peer counseling, and crisis intervention, to name a few. Students examine the current trends and historical approaches in higher education, as well as future needs for effective student affairs practices in the 21st century.

The Graduate Certificate appropriate for those who seek graduate training in CSPA, as well as those who have already earned a degree in their professional field but would benefit from academic training in the applications of college student personnel administration to their current professions.

The programs in CSPA seek to: 1) apply an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the field of Student Affairs; 2) provide an opportunity for student to engage in significant study and practice within the field; and 3) prepare students for professional positions in the field of Student Affairs.

The programs in CSPA collaborate closely with our sister program in Conflict Analysis & Resolution and the University’s Division of Student Affairs. The Division of Students Affairs serves as a host site for practicum and other hands-on training opportunities. Paraprofessional graduate assistantships are available for those qualifying for the program both in the on-campus and online formats.

The Graduate Certificate in CSPA consists of eight courses (24 credits). Students who decide to continue their studies may apply these credit hours toward the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Conflict Analysis & Resolution if accepted to the program.

The Graduate Certificate in College Student Personnel Administration is offered in both residential and distance learning formats. These flexible formats allow mid-career working adults and those unable to attend the on-campus program, to study conflict resolution in a creative, rigorous, and structured fashion. Students enrolled in the online program participate in Residential Institutes on the main campus twice per year, as well as online Web-based courses.

Students may enroll full or part time, taking three to nine credit hours per term. Students can expect to complete the Graduate Certificate program in 15 months. Summer attendance is mandatory.

Degree Plans

Below is a sample of a degree plan for a full-time student who begins their studies in Fall term. Degree plans will be modified based on a student’s enrollment date and pace of study.

Table 1: Degree Plan: 24 credits hours
Fall (September) CARM 5000 - Foundations and Development of Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies CARM 5040 - Communication Dynamics in Dispute Resolution: The Human Factor CSPA 5001 - The 21st Century College Student
Winter (January) CARM 5100 - Mediation Theory and Practice CSPA 5002 - Current Issues and Trends in Higher Education  
Summer (April) CSPA 5003 - The College Student and the Law    
Fall (September) CARM 6130 - Practicum I: Supervised Field Experience CSPA 5004 - Administration in College Student Affairs Work  
Winter (January)      
Summer (April) Graduation    

For full course descriptions select current Catalog.