Watson Chronicle


Student Opportunities and Student News

Higher Ed Students Attend Conferences, Showcase Research

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The Educational Leadership Department at the Watson College introduced a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Higher Education in fall 2012 and faculty are working to grow the program with a focus on innovative curriculum design and applied learning. A doctorate in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education is also offered by the college.

This spring, M.Ed. students Adam Nelson and Donovan Smith and graduate Brandon Bell '14 joined assistant professor James DeVita at the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) conference in Tampa March 5-8, where DeVita was a presenter. The presentation entitled "Examining Program Delivery Modalities in Higher Education and Student Affairs Masters Programs," was authored by DeVita and WCE assistant professor Andrew Ryder.

Thirteen students enrolled in higher education programs at the college joined Ryder at the NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education conference in New Orleans March 21-25. Ryder presented papers entitled "Mid-Level Professionals' Perceptions of Required Competencies for Entry-Level Student Affairs Work" and "Assessment as Reflexive Practice: Making Evidence-Based Decisions a Part of Daily Work." He also showcased research titled, "Teaching Scholar-Practitioners: Exploring the Distinctions and Connections among Theory, Research and Practice through a Reflexive Lens."

DeVita and Ryder have been studying emerging program delivery modalities, such as online and hybrid models. "The two-year cohort model is still the most prevalent, but we're seeing a growing number of hybrid programs," Ryder said. "A key challenge is to continue to provide quality applied learning experiences in the coursework through assistantships and internships for students," he said.

WCE now offers a cohort hybrid model that combines online and face-to-face learning. "The model has been successful because it creates a collaborative learning environment where each course has an applied learning component. This allows students to apply theory to practice, in addition to what they might experience in their internship or assistantship," Ryder said.

Attending the conferences gave students another way to learn firsthand the trends underway in the field, he said.

Highered1 (1)Fifty Graduate Students Participate in Higher Ed Showcase

The Watson College was host to the Higher Education Showcase on May 6. The event, which is held at the end of each semester, gives students enrolled in masters and doctoral programs in the Department of Educational Leadership (EL) an opportunity to share what they have learned over the course of the semester with Watson and university faculty, colleagues in student affairs, higher education administrative colleagues at UNCW and Cape Fear Community College, and each other.

Fifty students shared poster presentations and videos at the event.

The showcase also included a brief recognition of spring and summer program graduates, including 10 graduates who are members of the UNCW chapter of Chi Sigma Alpha, the academic and professional honor society for graduate students, professional administrators, and faculty members in higher education and student affairs.