You are here

Student Development in Higher Education

Student Development in Higher Education

The application period for Fall 2020 admissions opened October 1, 2019.  The University and program applications are due December 1, 2019*. Please contact the College of Education Graduate Studies Office at for any questions and to be added to our Prospective Student list.

*The application deadline is on a Sunday. The University application must be submitted online by the deadline. The Graduate Studies Office is closed on the weekend. The program applications will be accepted through Monday, December 2, 2019. Postmarked program application materials will not be accepted.

Program Overview

Student Development in Higher Education (SDHE) is a unique field of professional practice in U.S. higher education. The field attracts those who are interested in post secondary education career opportunities, both in- and outside the classroom. The profession is focused on student-centered learning, drawing upon an established and growing body of research, based in traditional disciplines, emerging theoretical perspectives, and principles of human diversity and potential. The SDHE program seeks to develop reflective, scholar-practitioners with an understanding of  

  • The multiple needs of college students
  • The interaction of the learners with the college environment
  • Learning styles
  • Diversity and multicultural issues
  • Program development
  • The use of developmental and counseling theory in assisting students
  • The role of the student development educator in collaborative relationships with faculty and others to support the holistic development of students
  • Assessment and evaluation

Graduates of the program enter the profession able to apply theory to practice and to integrate research using the tenets of counseling, student development, administration, leadership, and multicultural issues in education. Our graduates assume positions in two- and four-year colleges and related institutions. Typical offices of employment include: leadership development, financial aid, career counseling, student activities, residential life, educational opportunity, mentoring, academic advising, orientation, and learning communities.

Employment Outlook, Earnings, and Other Information

Career opportunities in postsecondary administration are growing at a faster than average pace for all occupations. For more inormation about careers in higher education, including required knowledge and skills, working conditions, and earnings, consult the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

SDHE Student Organization: Association of Professionals in Student Affairs

APSA is the student organization for SDHE students. The members participate in academic, professional, and leadership development activities with the faculty, alumni, and CSULB community.

Cynthia S. Johnson Endowment

Aligned with the mission of the SDHE program, the Cynthia S. Johnson Endowment promotes progressive social change in higher education by nurturing a community of scholar practitioners, providing them with opportunities to reflect on their practice, and engage with colleagues who are committed to advancing student access, equity, and success for first generation students and those from under-resourced communities across a diverse, multicultural landscape.

Explore the website to learn more about events and opportunities as well as how to contribute to the Endowment