Program Overview and Core Values

The Miami University Student Affairs in Higher Education M.S. and Ph.D. programs prepare students for professional positions in higher education in general and divisions of student affairs in particular. Our program espouses the following core values:

  • Self-Authorship: Students develop and utilize their internal voice in both personal and professional settings. Achieving self-authorship allows students to engage in mutually beneficial relationships.

  • Challenge and Support: We strive to create an environment that balances challenge and support. We provide challenge in coursework, professional settings, and real-life settings, while encouraging risk-taking and situational learning. We create a support network through mentoring and advising, faculty and student interaction, a student buddy system, and a non- competitive academic environment. 

  • Inclusion: This program appreciates and includes multiple forms of diversity. We strive for an inclusive atmosphere that respects each individual's background and perspective in the context of sustaining our learning community and celebrates the differences and similarities among members of our community.

  • Situating Learning in Students' Experiences: Students are a wealth of information and knowledge. Personal and professional beliefs and experiences often set the stage for classroom discussion and learning. 

  • Self Reflection: By first learning and understanding ourselves we are better equipped to work with, learn from, and assist others in our personal and professional lives 

  • Theory, Inquiry, and Practice: Students experiment with and implement the knowledge they learn in the classroom by generating possible ways to understand particular situations (theory), continually seeking out new or more in-depth understanding in our practice (inquiry), and implementing our theories, based on the deeper understanding gained through inquiry (practice). 

  • Constructive Collaboration: People learn differently and working together enriches education. Through collaboration we break the traditional roles of teacher/learner and rely on our fellow community and faculty members to be both learners and teachers. 

  • Creative Controversy: Some of the most effective learning occurs during disagreement. Thus, we engage in respectful dialogue and exchange, active listening, and embrace learning from multiple perspectives, while recognizing that disagreement is a learning tool. Out of disagreement comes new information, another way to view a situation, and more complex understanding.