Higher Education Program – Student Stories

[music throughout]>>The Higher Education program has a variety
of courses that expand my knowledge of what Higher Education is and Student Affairs.>>I’ve been exposed to so much diversity
here that is really has just changed the way I think about a lot of things.>>It’s really about the student. The faculty
gets to know the student in more ways than one.>>I think the most unique thing about the
HED program is that the professors actually know you.>>It doesn’t feel like the faculty/student relationship
that I experienced in undergrad. It feels very different.>>Our faculty are like our mentors. They’re
our advisors. They’re really close with us. We have personal relationships with each of
our faculty members. They’re not like people that are kind of up on pedestal and just kind
of seem far removed from us. They’re very much a part of everything we do. They’re very
much a part of our personal lives, too, because they’re interested in what we’re doing outside
of the classroom.>>I remember the first day of class, I was
sitting down and we were talking about something in class. And the professor not only knew
my name, which didn’t happen very often when I was an undergrad, but also knew where I
worked. And to relate that to the readings that we were talking about in class. Which
is something that doesn’t happen, especially for me coming from a larger undergrad institution.>>All of the students that are full time
students will enter the program together, we take all the same classes together, and
we’ll all graduate at the same time. But it’s really helped to form a community of people
that have similar interests to me and also understand what I’m going through, we all
have the same workload, and that’s just been really like a great support to have here.>>We just kind of help each other, we’re
all going through pretty much the same process, but since we’re doing it together, we help
each other by figuring out where our individual strengths are, where our weaknesses are,
and then we support people where their weaknesses are, using our own strengths.>>For me a piece that means a lot to me is
community. I’m from a small town in Texas, and I went to a small undergrad in Texas,
so for me community was a big thing. And while the University is large, the program is very small,
and relationship I have with my cohort is phenomenal.>>I think the Higher Education program at
Syracuse is unique because of the small cohort size, and really getting to know the other
students you’re taking class with.>>People in my cohort are my best friends
here. So that’s been cool to be friends with people from all over the country, people from
every kind of different race and ethnicity, and a kind of different little way that they
see the world.>>The practicum is one of my favorite parts
of the program because I basically get to take what I’m learning in class and apply
it to a real world scenario. This semester I’m working with Academic Advising and Global
Education at LeMoyne College. I get to work with students pretty much every single day,
get to interact with them, learn about their experiences and it’s really just been helpful
to apply what I’m learning to a real world situation. I have mostly funded my education
through student loans that have been available to me.>>There are some people who have full time positions
or part time positions. Some graduate assistantships are offered.>>And with getting a graduate assistantship,
it is essentially a part-time job. So you work about 20 hours a week. But it also covers
9 credits per semester, as well as generally 6 credits during the summer. So a lot of people
go the graduate assistantship route, as well as you can be a full-time employee on campus
and you get tuition benefits from that.>>When I came here for accepted student day,
it kind of solidified for me that this was the right choice because of the atmosphere,
the professors that were in it, the relationship that I could tell I would build
with my cohort in this program.>>I personally feel that attending an open
house is the best way to understand the program and if you’re really interested in it. It’s
that first step to finding your fit in the program. I definitely chose this program because
of attending the open house. I felt welcome, I felt like I had such a great explanation
of what I was going to get myself into, I had face-to-face time with people who were
going to be in my cohort, people who were going to be teaching me in my courses, so
I just felt like being here and being in the environment has helped me better understand
is this is the program for me. And it definitely did.>>People should go to the open house because
what I realized when I came in is that people in my cohort already knew each other. They’d
already been talking over the summer. Some people even lived with one another by the
time school started because they met at the open house. So it’s a great way to kind of
get interested and meet people, and already know something about the school and the institution.
I think I’ve changed a lot. I’ve become more of a professional, because previously I was
a student who had a job. So I was more of a student employee. And now I understand kind
of the ins and outs of Student Affairs and what it means to be a professional, and how
to hold myself and I’ve developed a great deal, personally as well as professionally,
just from the classes and the people I’ve met, and my professors and the relationships
that I’ve built in this program. [music ends]

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