Student Affairs Administration (M.S.Ed.)

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How long does it take to complete the SAA program?

All M.S.Ed. options (on-campus, online, and blended) are completed in two years.

Am I required to complete a research project or thesis?

Students must complete a Capstone project as part of SAA 790 to meet program requirements. To complete a thesis, a student must have department approval. 

How many classes are taught online?

In the online M.S.Ed. option all classes are taught online.

In the blended M.S.Ed. option at UW-River Falls all classes are taught online, but faculty offer regular face-to-face instruction in most courses.

In the on-campus M.S.Ed. option at UW-La Crosse, the vast majority of courses are taught face-to-face. However, the 1-credit courses 701 and 720s and the 781 seminar component are taught online. In these courses students from all program options are generally mixed. 

How can I obtain more practical experience while in the program?

SAA encourages students to complete a 1-credit practicum (SAA 775) during one of their terms. A 1-credit practicum can be substituted for one SAA 720 (Three 720s are required).  Students seek these practicum experiences at an institution of their choice and should meet with a staff member in a functional area of interest to make arrangements. One practicum credit equals 70 hours of work and students can select a 1- or 2-credit practicum. Students should contact the department ADA for more information and to receive required forms they and their practicum provider fill out. The practicum experience is not part of a course in which students receive instruction, but the Department Chair is the instructor of record. SAA 775 is graded on a pass/fail basis. 

Do the online classes "meet" at certain times during the week?

No, all online classes are taught asynchronously (i.e., where 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. Some online courses may offer students the opportunity to interact with peers or instructor synchronously from time to time to work on assignments or have course discussions. 

Are there additional degree requirements?

Yes, in partial fulfillment of all requirements for the M.S.Ed. degree, all students are required to participate in the SAA Capstone Day to present their Capstone project. The UW-La Crosse Capstone Day (for on-campus and online students) takes place the Friday before Commencement weekend at UWL. UW-River Falls students hold their Capstone Day at UWRF one week earlier so UWRF supervisors and colleagues can attend.

What happens if I don't complete the Capstone project in time for the May graduation but have completed all of my other coursework?

The Capstone Project has been designed so it can be completed in the time allotted in the SAA 790 course. In case of communicated emergencies, students can make arrangements with their SAA 790 faculty to complete the Capstone Project after the course ends.

Per UWL Graduate Studies policy, 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, capstone 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.

How can I schedule a visit to SAA?

To arrange a visit, please contact saa@uwlax.edu to make arrangements. The visit may include a meeting with current students, faculty, or visiting a course (depending on day and time of visit). 

Is there a time limit on completing the degree?

Per UW-La Crosse policy, students must complete their degree in seven years. The start of the first course in the first term starts this period. Please see the Graduate Catalog for more information.

What happens if I stop the degree for a semester or two?

If you are stopping the degree in the middle of a semester, you need to notify the Department Chair or SAA ADA 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.

Does SAA 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. Per UWL policy, only courses completed within the past seven years can be considered for transfer credit. All transfer credits must be approved by the SAA faculty. For a course to be considered for transfer credits, the course must closely resemble a course in the SAA curriculum. You must submit a Transfer Credit Request Form for credits to be considered for transfer.

Can I take classes as a special student even though I am not formally admitted in the program?

Decisions about allowing students to enroll in classes as a "special student" are made 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 four 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; David and Sis Hogue College Student Development and Administration Scholarship, the Wayne Jacobsen Scholarship, and the Norene Smith Scholarship).  The application deadline is February 15th.  Go to the UWL Foundation website for more information. 

Because online students do not pay segregated fees, they are eligible for a small 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 or academic affairs at both 2 and 4-year institutions. This includes positions in Admissions, Academic Advising, Residence Life, Career Services, Multicultural Services, Student Centers and Student Unions, Financial Aid, Registrars Offices, Dean of Students Offices, International Education and more.

How quickly do SAA graduates find professional jobs?

Generally, most of our students find employment within a few months of graduation. Chances for employment increase exponentially when graduates increase the number of states in which they're willing to consider employment, when graduates can consider more than one functional area, and when graduates apply to a variety of institutional types.