Graduate Studies

College Student Personnel Profile

CSP Students

Program Overview

In the College Student Personnel program, student learning and development is paramount both for graduate students and the students they serve as student affairs practitioners. Growth is facilitated through student, faculty, and student affairs professional partnerships in the classroom as well as through practical experiences in the field of student affairs.  This real-world experience comes through service as a full-time professional or through assistantships, practica, and summer internships.  We are guided by the values of theory-to-practice, ethical action, self-authorship, social justice, and transformative learning.

The CSP program has a theory-to-practice orientation that includes coursework in student development theory, leadership development, group dynamics, philosophy and history of higher education, organization and administration of student affairs, multicultural competency, counseling theory and techniques, and research methods. All of this preparation is aimed at helping you develop and grow as a leader and a reflective practitioner doing socially responsible work as student affairs professional in a variety of student settings, including residence life, student activities, Greek affairs, admissions and student recruitment, academic advising, orientation, multicultural student programs, student retention, gender programs, career development, and experiential education.


Hallmarks of the CSP Program:
  • Established in 1970, the program has graduated almost 900 alumni.
  • A two-year Master's of Science program that meets CAS standards, the most comprehensive and rigorous graduate preparation program standards within higher education.
  • Two tracks within the College Student Personnel program offers educational opportunities for both emerging professionals and experienced professionals.

 College Student Personnel: Student Affairs Track

The College Student Personnel: Student Affairs track serves the educational and professional needs of students who have recently received their Bachelor's degree and/or have limited professional experience in the field of student affairs.  This track provides you the opportunity to learn more about the field of student affairs and gain extensive hands-on experience.

  • This is a 48-credit, high-residency, full-time graduate school option based on WIU-Macomb campus.
  • This track provides you with the classroom and professional experiences needed to enter and advance in the field of student affairs.
  • A theory-to-practice model means that you have a space and place to apply your classroom learning through your full-time assistantship and practicum experiences –  required components of the this track.
  • Assistantships, practicums, and summer internship opportunities provide you up to five hands-on training experiences during the two years of the program.
  • In small cohorts of 22-25 students, you and your colleagues will learn, work, and support each other as students and student affair professionals.
  • As the culminating experience for the CSP: Student Affairs program, you will assemble a portfolio that is representative of your knowledge, growth, and professional development throughout your graduate school experience.
  • The annual application deadline for the CSP: Student Affairs program is January 15th.

College Student Personnel: Higher Education Leadership

The College Student Personnel: Higher Education Leadership track serves the educational and career needs of professionals like you who are currently engaged in student affairs (or closely related) work in a professional capacity.

  • CSP: Higher Education Leadership is a 42-credit, low-residency, part-time option based on WIU-Quad Cities campus.
  • Courses in this track are offered in hybrid model that blends in-person (25%) and on-line (75%) learning environments. The in-person class meetings take place on the weekend 3-4 times per session.
  • A theory-to-practice model means that the application of classroom concepts to real-world student affairs work is a critical part of your classroom discussions and course assignments.
  • In a small cohort of professionals, you and your colleagues will learn and support each other as students and student affair professionals.
  • For CSP: Higher Education Leadership program, the culminating experience is either a portfolio of your work or a thesis you write that is representative of your knowledge, growth, and professional development throughout your graduate school experience.
  • The Higher Education Leadership track began its inaugural year in Fall 2015, and enrolls new students bi-annually (Fall 2015, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, and so on).

The Learning Environment

The CSP program is grounded in our belief that people and organizations grow through an experiential process that is mutually shaped, socially constructed, and historically situated. In small cohort-based classes you will discuss, question, experiment, research, wrestle with, and debate the issues, and the roots of those issues, that face student affairs professionals. Faculty and student affairs professionals across campus partner with you in this process. In addition, your cohort members represent a wide range of student affairs experiences, locations, and backgrounds, to add another layer of learning and growing during your time in the program.

The CSP program emphasizes the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies in the classroom and practical experiences, and meets the standards established by the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) for student affairs programs. Learning is combined with frequent feedback from current students, professionals in the field, and an alumni advisory group to focus your education and experiences on the tools needed to be effective student affairs leaders and practitioners. Providing quality education in student affairs, as well as a sound background for individuals interested in pursuing future doctoral degrees in higher education is at the forefront of our mind.

Our Faculty

  • Matt Bierman, Director of University Budget & Adjunct Professor, College Student Personnel Program, Department of Educational Studies (M.B.A., Western Illinois University)
  • D. Chase Catalano, Assistant Professor, College Student Personnel Program, Department of Educational Studies (Ed.D., University of Massachusetts)
  • Tom Cody, Professor, Department of Educational Studies (Ph.D., Southern Illinois University-Carbondale)
  • Tracy Davis, Program Coordinator & Professor, College Student Personnel Program, Department of Educational Studies (Ph.D., University of Iowa)
  • Andrea Hyde, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Studies (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh)
  • Kristi Mindrup, Assistant Vice President for WIU-Quad Cities and Planning & Adjunct Professor, College Student Personnel Program, Department of Educational Studies (Ph.D., University of Iowa)
  • Sarah Schoper, Assistant Professor, College Student Personnel Program, Department of Educational Studies (Ph.D., University of Maryland)
  • Stuart Yager, Professor, Department of Educational Studies (Ph.D., University of Iowa)
  • Ron Williams, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs & Associate Professor, College Student Personnel Program, Department of Educational Studies (D. ED., Tennessee State University)

Extracurricular Opportunities

The Western Illinois Student Personnel Association (WISPA) is a student organization that enhances the personal and professional development of students who are interested in pursuing careers in student affairs through social and professional networks, professional preparation workshops and conferences, open forums for issues and ideas, and a sincere commitment to continued education in the profession. Western Illinois University’s student, faculty and staff are also very involved in professional organizations in the field of Student Affairs. Attending both national and regional conferences and events. We are active in NASPA, ACPA, NODA, NACA, ACUHO-I and many more professional associations. We encourage leadership and participation in professional groups for professional development and professional networking.

Quick View

Degrees Available:

  • M.S.

Locations:

  • Macomb (CSP:Student Development)
  • Quad Cities (CSP:Higher Education Leadership)

Required GPA:

  • Cumulative: 3.0 or
  • Last 2 years: 3.0

Admission Requirements:

  • Goals Statement
  • Interview
  • Transcripts
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Resume

Interesting Facts: Fall 2016

  • Currently enrolled: 75
  • International: 2
  • Minority: 19
  • Male: 23
  • Female: 52
  • Students with Assistantships: 55

Department Contact Information:

Horrabin Hall 81
309-298-2848
csp@wiu.edu