Constance M. Brannon, M.Ed.
"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fall 2008

Law and Higher Education, HIED 66652- Dr. Stephen Thomas

Catalog description: Provides for the examination of major legal aspects of the administration of institutions of higher learning.

Course description: Selected principles of constitutional, statutory, case, and common law affecting the administration of colleges and universities are studied.

Reflection: This intense course provided students with cursory legal information relevant to the field of higher education. I became familiar with the 1st, 4th, 11th, and 14th amendments, and US Codes/Acts/Laws related to discrimination by age, disability or diversity; privacy, campus safety, financial aid, copyright, and NCAA compliance issues were also discussed. Use of case study examples helped us sort through legal situations according to institutional type, and we learned how to filter critical details from those that do not change the legal implications of a case.

College Student Development: Theory and Practice, HIED 66653- Dr. Susan Iverson

Catalog description: Study of theories concerning the development of college students and principles for translating theory into practice.

Course description: This course provides an opportunity for in-depth study of theories related to the development of college students. Through reading, discussion, reflection, and research, students will co-construct knowledge and increased understanding of the complexities of student development and the application of these theories in post-secondary education. Specific attention will be given to considering how sex, gender, racial-ethnic heritage, sexual orientation, age, ability/disability and social class contribute to the identity development of college students.

Reflection: This course provided great insight into personal growth issues that college students struggle with during their college experience. For someone without an education background, I found this introduction to student development theory full of useful context for understanding how to work with my students and what questions to ask myself before I make assumptions about their needs or feelings. This course also prompted me to consider other views on controversial issues and solidify my personal beliefs relative to those issues; ideal to take during the first semester of the program.

Research Methods in Educational Services, EDPF 65511- Dr. Jason Schenker

Catalog description: Examines and analyzes research related to high education administration in the field of international and global education. Implications for application of findings for improvement of colleges and universities at home and abroad will be thoroughly discussed

Course description: This course provides an introduction to the purposes and practices of research related to educational services. The focus of this course will be on the elements of doing research and using the products of research to support and enhance practice. Authentic research examples will be used throughout the course as illustrations of the many different methods of conducting research related to educational services. It is designed to allow students to become informed consumers of psychological and educational research. Students will be able to identify various research approaches and the strengths and limitations associated with different approaches. This course is also designed to give students the necessary skills to conduct meaningful research. Students will develop skills related to: the development of valid research questions, the evaluation of various research designs, and the use of the library to search the literature.

Reflection: The primary focus of this course was critical review of existing quantitative and qualitative research in the field of education; we discussed strengths and weaknesses associated with an assortment of research approaches and analyzed various research designs. I feel that this course lacked practical research exercises, and was disappointed to conclude the semester feeling so uncomfortable with the process of graduate-level research.

Student Affairs Functions in Higher Education, HIED 66651- Dr. Harold Goldsmith

Catalog description: Study of the history, philosophy, practices and organization of student affairs functions in higher education.

Course description: The course is designed to give you a broad overview of the history, organization, and functions of units that may fall within Student Affairs in American higher education.

Reflection: Another benficial course for first semester students to take, Functions was a clear-cut introduction to the field of student affairs and the many options available for employment. Our class was taught by then-Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, and he shared a wealth of his own career path and personal experiences with the class. Class speakers provided additional insight into their daily work and joys/challenges of their roles in student affairs. I would not recommend this class for second-year students because I feel much of the class material would be review.

%d bloggers like this: