In Canada, there are currently no graduate level programs which have as a main focus the study of Student Affairs Administration. Student Affairs leaders at Canadian colleges and universities come from a wide variety of academic and career backgrounds. The purpose of this quantitative study was three fold; to gather detailed demographic information describing the current cohort of Canadian student affairs leaders, to determine, to what extent, these leaders were aware of the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), and to determine whether or not they believed that the CAS standards for Graduate Preparation Programs in Student Affairs were relevant in the Canadian context. Student affairs practitioners who held leadership positions in publically funded, English speaking, Canadian colleges and universities with enrollments in excess of 2500 students were contacted via email and invited to complete an on-line survey which was designed specifically for this purpose by the researcher. A 47% response rate was achieved. The study found that sixty-one percent of the respondents were aware of the CAS as an organization. Of the twenty-two standards for graduate preparation programs in student affairs the respondents listed the three most significant as ethical standards of the faculty, compliance of program standards with institutional requirements for graduate study, and demonstrated assessment of student learning. Respondents also described the most important courses for a Masters degree program in student affairs administration as Organization and Administration of Student Affairs, Student Characteristics and Effects of College on Student Development, and Student Development Theory. A supervised practicum was rated as the least important program component, although fifty-two percent of respondents did indicate that it was necessary. The study concludes that a significant effort must be made to further educate student affairs practitioners with respect to the existence of CAS as an organization, its mandate, and the resources it provides. The findings suggest that a special effort should be made to educate those working in the community college sector regarding the value of CAS standards and guidelines.
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