The higher education and student affairs certificate program at Saint Martin's University brings our Benedictine values-based approach to student services/student affairs work on college and university campuses.

Program highlights

  • A rigorous yet practical course of study emphasizing leadership, social justice and theory-to-practice.
  • Core requirements explore and critically examine concepts, values, ethics, competencies and theories that provide foundational perspectives on higher education and student affairs.

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The HESA certificate provides two pathways for continuing education:

  1. Professionals who currently possess a master’s degree outside of HESA and desire HESA coursework in their current position.
  2. Professionals who seek graduate level education outside of a masters’s degree.

Who to Contact

Jackie Clark, Ph.D., M.A.Ed.

Jackie Clark, Ph.D., M.A.Ed.

Program Director of M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs
Interim Program Director of Ph.D. in Leadership Studies,


  • Grade policy students are expected to receive a grade of at least a B in all graduate level courses and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (B or better).
  • Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0, or who receive a grade of C in any single class, will be subject to being placed on immediate academic warning and their standing reviewed by the faculty.
  • A student may be withdrawn from the HESA certificate program and from Saint Martin’s University if they:
    • 1. Fail to return the GPA to a 3.0 by the end of the next semester.
    • 2. Receive two grades of C, or ...
    • 3. Receive any grade lower than C in any class.
  • A student who is removed from the program may apply for reinstatement, though readmission to the program is not guaranteed.
  • The time limit for completion of degree requirements is seven years from admission to the program.

Applicants must submit all of the required materials for University graduate admission, plus the following program specific materials:

  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation
  • A written statement of three to five pages (typed/double spaced) in which applicants describes their preparation for the program, reasons for desiring entrance into the program, and how obtaining the certificate with connect with their career objectives

After all materials are received, the applicant’s file will be reviewed.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. However, in order to receive priority consideration for admission and scholarships, applications should be submitted by the priority deadline of the desired semester or session. Please contact the director of the HESA program or the Office of Graduate Admissions for more information on application deadlines. 

HESA certificate core requirements (12 semester hours)

  • MED 662 Introduction to Higher Education and Student Affairs
  • MED 663 College Student Development Theory
  • MED 664 Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration
  • MED 665 The American College/University

HESA certificate elective requirement (3 semester hours, choose one)

  • MED 653 Principles of Leadership
  • MED 667 Ethics and Legal Issues in Higher Education
  • MED 695 Selected HESA elective

HESA certificate experiential learning requirement (1 semester hour)

  • MED 661 Practicum in Higher Education (1)