The program generally accepts 20-24 students each year into the two year residential on-campus program. Ideally, each full-time student is able to secure an assistantship that provides valuable experience as well as financial support. Our students come from across the United States and from other countries. All students bring with them a variety of background experiences, perspectives, strengths, and share an interest in learning and experiencing more related to field of student affairs. The paths that bring students to our program are numerous; some are directly out of their undergraduate programs, others come from entry level positions in the field, while some may have been employed in the field or a similar field for a number of years prior. Student Affairs in Higher Education classes also include current Colorado State University employees who are taking classes on a part-time basis.

Read below to see what current and past students have to say about some of the components that make up the Student Affairs in Higher Education program.

Assistantships, Internships, and Practicum Experiences

“During my time in the SAHE program I completed two practicums. For both of these experiences I chose to serve as an online Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) for Student Development Theory and The Inclusive University. I chose these two courses because of the impact they had on my own academic and professional development. My experience in the classroom as a student really helped prepare me to help other SAHE students through the courses. I also had the chance to continue developing relationships with SAHE faculty who have proven to be excellent guides in my journey. I also had an interest in teaching and wanted to obtain some experience in this area.

As a part of the teaching team, I was able to see just how much effort goes into preparing courses for students. I was also able to continue my own learning by assisting students in their absorption of the course material. An old professor of mine once told me the best way to learn is by teaching others and I agree that my experience as a teaching assistant helped solidify my understanding of theories and practices.

It was an honor to have a part in helping other student affairs professionals obtain the competencies necessary to serve students well and to work alongside faculty I highly respected. For an online SAHE student who is working full-time (and a mother), my online GTA experience was the most flexible practicum option and I would recommend it for others, especially if they have an interest in teaching one day like myself.”

Amanda Stone
Class of 2017

“The SAHE practicum experiences allow you to “choose your own adventure.” While my primary assistantship is in residence life, I took some time over the summer to get to know academic advising and summer orientation. Early on in my first year, I connected with the college of engineering and was asked to help out over the summer. I got to see some of the work that goes into the 36-hour orientation, giving students a taste of student life and preparing them for academics. In the afternoons, we talked about habits of successful students, and all of the resources they have access to. The following morning, we would start to register for classes. I saw all of the systems that guided which students take which classes. I learned how to help students navigate the system, and ways in which the system is keeping folks out of engineering and education. This experience has helped me understand what my students are going through in the academic year, and opened my considerations to a career in academic advising.

I’m using my journal board experience as my second practicum. As part of the board for the Journal of Student Affairs, I get to see a lot of student affairs scholarship. Reading has helped me be a better writer. We go to that Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) conference every year and get to see so many new ideas, so many researchers, and some of our textbook authors. We also talk about publication as activism, and the role we play in amplifying voices that aren’t often heard in research.

The practicum experiences gave me exposure to different functional areas in student affairs, and allowed me to tailor my SAHE experience. I learned that I have a duty to stay informed, and learn from other functional areas and other disciplines. As an emerging practitioner, these experiences have given me knowledge and tools to better serve students and participate in the student affairs field.

Benjamin Petrie
Class of 2018

“My professional experience, before coming to SAHE, was in international student services. Because of my passion working with international students, I tailored both of my practicums towards this functional area. My first one was during the summer between my first and second year. It started with navigating international relations with partner universities, negotiating the skills and time I could offer in exchange for learning opportunities and accommodations. I also considered personal growth such as the chance to return to my ancestral home and practicing student affairs in my first language. I ended up deciding on South China Normal University in Guangzhou, China. During this practicum, I had the opportunity to learn about Chinese student services, particularly international student housing, and developed a structure for hiring and training student staff. The most fulfilling part of this practicum was immersing in a culture that was both comfortingly familiar and awakeningly different. Through this lived experience, I deepened my understanding of the excitement, frustrations, and deep commitment to education experienced by international students.  My second practicum was as a Teaching Assistant for the Global Perspectives workshop because I wanted to share my passion for intercultural communication with my peers. I worked closely with faculty to develop a course curriculum that integrated intercultural communication with higher education in a global context. This experience challenged me to think critically about the connection between intercultural communication and diversity, social justice, and inclusion work. It was personally fulfilling to know that teaching it provided an opportunity for all to strengthen how we serve international students in our future practice.

Anica Dang
Class of 2018

“During my time in SAHE, I was fortunate enough to complete a summer practicum at Front Range Community College (FRCC) Larimer Campus.  Prior to SAHE, I did not have any personal experience with community college and remembered some of the stigma that I felt about it when I was in undergrad.  Through one of our SAHE courses, I learned more about the history and mission of community colleges.  Because of this, I became extremely interested in careers at community colleges, their relationship to their local communities, and the uniquely diverse student populations that they tend to serve.  I viewed my practicum experience as an opportunity for me to get a taste of what professional life might be like at a community college.  It was an exciting time while I was at FRCC because they were in the midst of planning their first ever mandatory New Student Orientation (NSO) process.  I was able to be a voice in those changes and developments by helping create content and a facilitator guide for their “Hidden Rules” session of their NSO.  This session was designed to give students “need-to-know” information before they began their classes at FRCC.  This is especially important because many students who attend community college identify as first-generation, non-traditional age, student parents, veterans, and/or low-income.  My supervisor at FRCC and the staff I worked closely with supported and empowered me to create an accessible and inclusive session in which I was able to incorporate my knowledge of Yosso’s Cultural Wealth Model into the content.  Because of this, I was able to design a session, facilitator guide, student handout, and infographic that both empowered and educated new students.  In my practicum with FRCC I was able to live out my student affairs passion: showing students in all of their identities that they matter, they belong, and that they deserve to receive a higher education as much as anyone else.

Kodi Phelps
Class of 2018


“The curriculum is one of the pieces of SAHE that attracted me most to the program and experience.  The courses are designed to give students a comprehensive learning experience, covering multiple areas of both student affairs and higher education.  Combining foundation-building courses, like Research Methods and Student Development Theory, with career advancement courses, such as Trends & Assessment and Higher Education Administration, teaches students about all aspects of university life.  The faculty provides an environment that is conducive to learning, team-work, and collaboration.  Providing opportunities to dialogue with peers, staff colleagues, and faculty sets the academic experience apart from any other.  I felt incredibly supported, yet professionally challenged, by taking courses from practitioners in the field.  Experiencing the academic setting alongside your cohort members allows students the unique chance to bring their whole selves to the classroom each day.  Flexibility in workshops also provides a space for students to cater their academic experience to their personal and professional interests.  I feel incredibly grateful to have participated in the Global Perspectives Course to prepare my cohort for our trips to China and Uady in 2013.  The course was designed specifically with our cohort in mind, creating a specialized and unique experience for our group.  The academic program has set me up to be successful both in my professional and personal life.  I feel incredibly grateful to have learned from the faculty and to have had the academic experience that I have had.”

Azra Crnogorcevic
Class of 2013
Graduate Assistant
Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life

Portfolio: Graduation Requirement

“The portfolio was a key reason for my interest in the SAHE program.  I found the opportunity for purposeful, organized, and necessary reflection to be interesting – especially within the context of a student affairs graduate school program.  During my summer camp experience I learned the importance of debriefing and processing an activity or event and that philosophy is intentionally laced throughout the SAHE curriculum.  Serving in an assistantship, attending class, doing group projects, writing papers, etc. were all important components of my time at Colorado State University – my portfolio is what pulled it all together by both mapping out and dissecting my journey.  The theme of my portfolio is “adventure” and it served perfectly as the defining element of my graduate school experience.  I chose to create a portfolio in binder form, and therefore I have a physical touchstone from my journey.  Now that I am back in the field as a professional I am proud to have this in my office where it can serve as a visual reminder of my SAHE adventure, and I look forward to reviewing it in the future as a way to reinforce what I learned in this amazing program as I continue on my career path in student affairs.”

Michael Pulju
Class of 2013
Coordinator of Central Programs & Staff Development
Apartment Life
Housing & Dining Services

“When applying, interviewing, and making tough decisions about other programs, one of the most definitive advantages of the CSU SAHE program was the portfolio experience. There is nothing more important or rewarding in my professional career than intentionally reflecting on my experiences and learning moments. Making meaning and self-authorship through SAHE is achieved through a reflection on experiences that challenge us, engage us, empower us, and change us. We are supported through a committee of SAHE and Colorado State faculty who deeply care and engage with us in the learning process.
     Moreover, the SAHE Competencies are wide-ranging and far-reaching, making for a holistic and truly balanced academic and professional experience. My favorite aspect of the SAHE competencies has been the many ways we are challenged to engage in multicultural competence and social justice. When I asked in my interview “How will I be challenged to grow in multicultural competence?” the faculty immediately were able to provide me with a list of areas intentionally provided for such learning and growth– portfolio reflections, Inclusive University class, practicum opportunities, multiple competencies addressing multicultural competence, and more. None of the other programs I looked at were able to give me such a clear answer and SAHE has definitely lived up to its promises.”

Brittany Otter
Class of 2014
Part-Time Academic Advisor
Front Range Community College

The Cohort Model

“The cohort model of SAHE has been among my favorite components of the program. It provides a built-in network of peers with whom I have been able to share my challenges and triumphs related to classes, assistantships, and life, and from whom I have received tremendous support. I feel very fortunate to be able to learn from and with so many amazing people, and more than that, to have the privilege of calling them my friends. Whether it is engaging in insightful dialogue in the classroom, carrying on those conversations at a coffee shop to share our passions and beliefs, or road tripping to a concert three states away, there is always someone willing to make my experience more than I ever anticipated it being. We have grown so much together, and sharing this experience from the very beginning has allowed us to develop a trust in and commitment to one another that I cannot imagine having anywhere else. I know I have established lifelong connections with my cohort, and that these relationships will continue to be invaluable, both personally and professionally, throughout my career and life.”

Maria Marinucci
Class of 2014
Graduate Assistant
Parent & Family Programs and Retention Initiatives
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

“I completed my undergraduate journey at CSU, so initially I wanted to experience a different institution for my graduate career. After visiting other grad schools, I found myself thinking why am I going to attend a different institution when CSU’s SAHE, one of the best student affairs programs is right at my door step. Now, I can confidently say that I am glad I decided to stay and I’m proud to be a SAHE student. What I appreciate and love about the SAHE program is the cohort model. I love the challenging discussions and dialogues that take place in and outside the classroom. The opportunity to share my thoughts and the privilege to learn from cohort members who come from diverse backgrounds is priceless. In addition, the SAHE experience would not be fulfilling without the dedication, knowledge, experience, and support of the amazing faculty members who are also practitioners in the field. I have enjoyed being taught by each and every faculty member. It is a pleasure to work side by side with the faculty in my graduate assistantship and learning from these outstanding practitioners encapsulates the SAHE experiences. The SAHE program is truly a remarkable program.”

Ebenezer Yebuah
Class of 2014
Assistant Residence Director
Edwards Hall
Residence Life

“The cohort aspect of SAHE is the most formative experience I have from my two years.  Every cohort is different so it’s hard to describe what the experience will be like for others.  I am very grateful that I had the cohort experience because I know that it’s an aspect other Higher Ed programs don’t have.  I was fortunate to have 20 other experiences in the classroom with me for two years so I could hear about Orientation Programs and GUIDE in one conversation.  The best part is knowing I can call my SAHE friends and run a work issue by them or hear their opinion on something I’m working on.  A cohort program is not for everyone, but I am motivated by relationships and SAHE pushed me to explore who I am as a student and a professional, and I’m very grateful for that.” 

Christina Lambert
Class of 2012
I-Box Manager
Lory Student Center

Global Perspectives

“I was extremely fortunate to be a co-trip planner and leader for the SAHE 2013 field experience to China, where we visited Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong! It was an experience of a lifetime. I had the opportunity to visit East China Normal University and INTO Higher Education in Shanghai, and participated in round table discussions with New York University–Shanghai. Additionally, I had the privilege of presenting at a student affairs conference at Beijing Normal University, and participated in round table discussions with the Hong Kong Student Services Association. I developed a greater understanding of Chinese student services, Chinese cultural foundations, and made great connections and friendships with Chinese professionals and students. One of the highlights of the experience was climbing the Great Wall–it was truly breathtaking! Co-planning and leading this field experience provided me with a tremendous leadership opportunity to serve my cohort-mates; truly one of my best experiences in SAHE. As a result of this experience, I am even more inspired to learn about Chinese culture and student services, and to help student from the U.S. gain intercultural experiences.”

Olivia des Chenes
Class of 2013
Manager, Aggie Village
Apartment Life