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Wheaton’s HESD Program Launches Graduate Assistantship in Southern California

Each year, the M. A. of Higher Education and Student Development Program faces the same challenge: it accepts more students than the graduate assistantships available on the Wheaton College campus. Serving as a Student Life graduate assistant (GA) or a graduate resident advisor (GRA) is an important aspect of the student experience – it richly complements academic training and offers funding to pursue the degree.

“Our faculty team thought of one way to address this issue – invite other CCCU institutions to dialog about the model we have here, at Wheaton College, to explore the potential of creating graduate assistantship opportunities for the HESD students,” said Dr. Olga Dietlin, the program director. “We first reached out to Dr. Edee Schulze, Vice President for Student Life at Westmont College, who connected us with her colleagues at other schools in Southern California.” This is how the West Coast Cohort idea was born.

 Read more of our Press Release below:

HESD Program has an opportunity for advanced studies to Vanguard staff and alumni, along with any West Coast Partner, who wishes to pursue a M. A. in Higher Education and Student Development (HESD).Vanguard has created four assistantships for the HESD students starting in Fall 2022. These assistantships include on-campus housing, a stipend, a meal plan (provided by Vanguard), and a tuition discount. Students will serve in Housing Operations, Residential Education, Upper Division Residential Student Engagement, and Intercultural Student Programs for 20 hours a week, ten months a year


HESD Program as an opportunity for advanced studies to Vanguard staff and alumni, along with any West Coast Partner, who wishes to pursue a M. A. in Higher Education and Student Development (HESD).Vanguard has created four assistantships for the HESD students starting in Fall 2022. These assistantships include on-campus housing, a stipend, a meal plan (provided by Vanguard), and a tuition discount. Students will serve in Housing Operations, Residential Education, Upper Division Residential Student Engagement, and Intercultural Student Programs for 20 hours a week, ten months a year.

Scholarship: (Cohorts in combination of any current West Coast Partner institutions)

25% for a cohort of 15+ students

15% for a cohort of 14 or less

15% for all other individual Vanguard staff / alumni endorsed by Vanguard Chief Student affairs office.

Course Locations:

Wheaton courses will be offered remotely online or on Wheaton’s campus, unless there are eight (8)+ students taking the same course, both elective and required, together as a WCC in lock step throughout the Program. If 8+ students then, intensives twice each year at a West Coast Cohort training site.

Course Plan:

You can find the plan here.

 

 

Wheaton’s HESD Program Launches Graduate Assistantship in Southern California

Each year, the M. A. of Higher Education and Student Development Program faces the same challenge: it accepts more students than the graduate assistantships available on the Wheaton College campus. Serving as a Student Life graduate assistant (GA) or a graduate resident advisor (GRA) is an important aspect of the student experience – it richly complements academic training and offers funding to pursue the degree.

“Our faculty team thought of one way to address this issue – invite other CCCU institutions to dialog about the model we have here, at Wheaton College, to explore the potential of creating graduate assistantship opportunities for the HESD students,” said Dr. Olga Dietlin, the program director. “We first reached out to Dr. Edee Schulze, Vice President for Student Life at Westmont College, who connected us with her colleagues at other schools in Southern California.” This is how the West Coast Cohort idea was born.

Students placed in GRA positions in California will pursue the program in a flexible learning format by participating in the classes remotely and joining residential students for short-term intensive experiences once or twice a year. Luke Springer, who graduated from the program last May and now serves as Resident Director at Anderson University, shared his experience with the flexible learning format:

If I had the chance to do a master’s degree online again, I would choose the program at Wheaton. The faculty and my fellow cohort members made me feel included and supported throughout the program. The faculty were readily available to help with questions via email and zoom meetings. I developed wonderful friendships with my fellow cohort members, which were propelled by the in-person intensives.

Although the aim is to launch the partnership by Fall 2023, the partners at Vanguard University are eager to pilot the initiative sooner. They created four assistantships for the HESD students starting in Fall 2022. Like the GRA positions at Wheaton, they come with on-campus housing, a stipend, a meal plan (provided by Vanguard), and a tuition discount. Students will serve in Housing Operations, Residential Education, Upper Division Residential Student Engagement, and Intercultural Student Programs for 20 hours a week, ten months a year.

Dr. Tim Young, Vice President for Student Affairs & Campus Operations and Dean of Students at Vanguard University, shared, “The quality of Wheaton’s HESD Program ensures that the accepted students have the right combination of aptitude, dispositions, and faith commitment. We are excited to deepen our ability to promote student success in partnership with this program.”

 “Indeed, the HESD GAs and GRAs play a vital role in challenging, supporting, and influencing the holistic formation of students at Wheaton College,” noted Chelsen. “We are excited about the progress in creating a new academic cohort model that fosters the Christian formation of the emerging Student Development professionals while professionally equipping them for current roles in California institutions and beyond. We humbly dream of working together to train future higher education leaders who love Jesus and want to serve Kingdom purposes in Higher Education and related contexts.”