Is the SAA Program accredited?
The SAA program meets North Central Association (NCA) accreditation standards and the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) requirements.
How long does it take to complete the SAA program?
This is a two-year, cohort program.
Am I required to complete a research project or thesis?
You must write an Applied Research Project (ARP) to meet program requirements. A student must receive faculty approval to write a thesis.
If I enroll in the On-Campus program, can I take some online classes and vice-versa?
Currently, our on-campus and online students can enroll in SAA 720 Special Topics courses together that are offered online during the spring semesters. Other than that, you will only take classes in the program that you were admitted to, noting that all courses may include online components. For on-campus students, the 720 courses (one credit each) are the only courses offered in a totally online format which allows on-campus, online, and UWRF students to be in classes together!
How can I obtain more practical experience while in the program?
Although not required as part of the SAA curriculum, many students complete a practicum. Students seek these on their own and should meet with a staff member in a particular office/area of interest to make the arrangements for a special project or experience. One practicum credit equals 70 hours and you can select a one or two credit practicum. Contact the department Chair for more information.
Do the online classes "meet" at a certain time during the week?
No, the classes are taught asynchronously (ie where the teacher and learner are not physically at the same place at the same time). There are weekly due dates for discussions, assignments, and other course activities.
Are there any requirements that require special arrangements (such as attending the national conference)?
Yes, you will be required to attend the NASPA national conference or the SAA Research Day at UWL to present your research project. Students will need to plan to fund either trip which may include airfare (depending on where you live), lodging, and a conference fee at the student rate. Students are encouraged to seek financial support from their home institution via professional development funds or grants to help offset this cost.
What happens if I don't complete the ARP in time for the May graduation but have completed all of my other coursework?
Students who have completed all coursework required for a graduate degree but who are still working on required research, comprehensive exams, or terminal projects (thesis, seminar paper or other culminating graduate project) must register for GRC 799 for up to two semesters of continuous registration. (If students can complete their work in one semester, then only one semester is necessary. If students take more than one semester, they must take two and no more than two continuous semesters of GRC 799). Fees for GRC 799 will be equivalent to 1 in-state graduate credit each semester.
Is there a time limit on completing the degree?
You have seven years from the start of your first course to complete your degree. Please go to the Graduate Catalog for more information about this policy.
What happens if I drop out for a semester or two?
If you are dropping out in the middle of a semester, you need to notify the department Chair or SAA ADA (academic department associate) and contact the Office of Student Life. If you leave after successful completion of a semester, you will need to notify only the ADA. If you are in good academic standing, you will be able to apply as a re-entry student to return to the program.
Do you accept any graduate credits from other programs (transfer credits)?
Depending on the coursework, you may be able to transfer nine credits from other graduate programs. Only courses that have been completed within the past seven years can be considered for transfer credit.
This is a UWL Graduate School policy so there will be no exceptions to this rule. All transfer credits must be approved by the SAA faculty. For a course to be considered for transfer credits, the course must closely relate to a course in the SAA curriculum. You must submit a Transfer Credit Request Form for credits to be considered.
Can I take classes as a special student even though I am not formally admitted in the program?
Decisions about allowing students into classes as a "special student" are done on a case by case basis. Please contact the department Chair if you are interested in a particular SAA course.
Can I get scholarships or grants to help cover my student costs?
Currently, there are two scholarships available for SAA online students through the UWL Foundation named after alumni and friends (Eleanor M. Kennedy Scholarship in College Student Development and Administration; and David and Sis Hogue College Student Development and Administration Scholarship). The application deadline is February 15th. Go to the UWL Foundation website for more information. Because online students do not pay segregated fees, online students are eligible for a minimum number of Graduate Studies grants. To enhance your search for non-UWL grants and scholarships, contact the Financial Aid Office. Generally, most graduate students find that they must take out loans to finance their graduate education.
What types of jobs are available for graduates of the program?
Students in our program have found jobs in all aspects of student affairs in higher education. This includes positions in Admissions, Advising, Residence Life, Career Services, Multicultural Services, Student Centers and Student Unions, Financial Aid, Registrars Offices, Dean of Students Offices, International Education and more.
What is your job placement rate?
Generally, our job placement rate for our students is very high. In fact, most of our online students already have a job in higher education and completing our program allows them to move up or pursue other opportunities within the student affairs field.