To complete the M.S. in College Student Affairs, students must complete a total of 130 hours of practicum. Students are responsible for documenting practicum hours, and must have these hours verified and signed by an on-site supervisor. The practicum experience is designed to provide students with an experiential opportunity to utilize student affairs theory and practice within a diversity of professional settings. Students will have the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts within a practical framework.
Students complete two practicums during their course of study. Practicum I offers students the opportunity to explore a breadth of student affairs functions and gain exposure, knowledge and experience in the variety of programs and services that make up a college/university division of student affairs: residential life, housing, career services, student union, student activities, leadership development, recreation and wellness, volunteer services, special events, judicial programs and the office of the dean of students.
Practicum II will offer students the opportunity to gain in-depth exposure, knowledge and experience in a selected area of specialization in student affairs that supports their professional goals and prepares them to work in a professional student affairs position. Practicum II has a specific focus on career development in the College Student Affairs profession. Practicum experiences may take place at Nova Southeastern University or another college or university.
Some practicum sites require a background check before the practicum placement can begin. Generally the background check is at the student's expense and should be done as soon as possible before the practicum term.
Examinations & Evaluations
In addition to successfully completing all course work, and obtaining the required practicum hours discussed above, students must pass a comprehensive examination to be awarded the M.S. in College Student Affairs. When a student has completed all coursework and practicum hours, has maintained a minimum of 3.0 GPA with no "incomplete" grades, and is a "student in good standing" with no disciplinary actions pending or disciplinary tasks to complete, the student will be eligible to take the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive exam is an assessment of the student's ability to integrate the knowledge and skills gained through course work and the practicum experience. The exam tests the student's written ability to critically analyze and apply conflict assessment, theory, and research methodology to hypothetical conflict situations. The exam also tests knowledge of material specific to the academic curriculum.
The comprehensive exam is offered three times a year: in January, May and August. The exam has two sections; students must answer two questions from each section.
The exam takes an entire day. The student is given four hours to complete each section, with a lunch break in between sections. Students have the choice of sitting for the exam on NSU's main campus, at selected NSU Educational Centers, or at a testing center approved by the department. If the student takes the exam at NSU or an NSU center, there are no assessed fees related to the exam. Some approved locations may charge a fee for proctoring the exam. Should the student choose to take the exam at such a location, that fee shall be assessed to the student.
Faculty members are assigned to review each question. Students are assigned an examination number. Thus, faculty members do not know whose answers they are reviewing. In order to fail a question, two faculty reviewers must award a failing grade.
All four questions must be answered correctly to pass the exam. Students who fail any part of the exam must retake the failed section(s) of the exam when the exam is offered. The exam is offered in January, May, and August. They may choose the option of sitting for an oral exam in the section(s) failed prior to the next time the exam is offered. In order to choose this option they must make a formal request to the department chair within 30 days of notice of the exam results. The oral exam will be scheduled within 45 days of notice of the exam results. If the oral exam is not successfully passed, the student shall sit for the failed section(s) when the exam is next offered. Students have five years to complete degree requirements.
Graduate Assistantships will be available in the diverse functions within the Office of Student Affairs at NSU to residential students enrolled full-time in the CSA program.
Assistantships are 12-month appointments and offer partial tuition remission, a stipend, meal plan, and housing for those living on campus. Students accepted to the full-time CSA program may apply for a Graduate Assistantship position by contacting Dr. Brad Williams, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies. Additional information on the Assistantships can be found at http://www.nova.edu/studentaffairs/assistantships/index.html.