I completed my M.Ed. in Instruction Leadership: Higher Education/Student Affairs at Utah State University in May of 2017. The knowledge and experience I received from this program have helped me exponentially and continue to do so in my current educational and career pursuits.
Directly after completing my M.Ed. at Utah State, I decided to continue my education and pursue a Ph.D. in Higher Education at Virginia Tech. I just completed my first year of study at Virginia Tech and plan to complete my degree in May of 2020. My research focuses on student sub-cultures who identify as religious minority students. These groups include students who identify as Muslim, Hindu, Jew, and spiritual but not religious. I use qualitative inquiry to answer questions of how these students experience campuses that are majority Christian and/or non-religious, this helps me find gaps in university policy and gives me the ability to make recommendations for how universities can better serve these student sub-populations.
The education I received from Utah State has been a foundation of knowledge for me which I refer back to often. The introduction to student affairs course and the diversity in education course have been particularly helpful to me during my doctoral program. The program has helped me not only in my educational pursuits but also in my work as a graduate assistant. I currently work as a graduate assistant in the Cranwell International Center at Virginia Tech and directly oversee the development of a new living learning community that deals with intercultural competency, foreign languages, and foreign cultures. I constantly use the knowledge I gained and skills I learned during the program to become a better student affairs practitioner.
I would recommend the M.Ed. program in Instructional Leadership: Higher Education/Student Affairs at Utah State University to anyone who has a desire to work or already works in higher education/student affairs. The program provides students with more than a credential. It prepares them for the ever-changing realm of higher education and gives them a foundation of knowledge that they can build upon throughout their career. Not only that, the program also gives students the opportunity to meet, network, and work with people who have been working in higher education/student affairs for a long time. This network of faculty, staff, and administrators will help any student/practitioner in their future educational and career pursuits.