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

Fall 2009

Administration of Multiculturalism and Diversity in Higher Education Institutions, HIED 66671–

Dr. Susan Iverson

Catalog description: Course covers racial/ethnic and inclusive diversity and multiculturalism in U.S. higher education settings. Diversity is discussed from a historical perspective, providing a context for contemporary experiences described by and about students, staff, faculty and administrators. Main topics include multiculturalism in higher education in light of inclusive education; racial and ethnic diversity in higher education history; benefits of diversity; faculty issues; student issues; curriculum and pedagogy matters; research issues; law and policy issues; and strategic planning for institution diversity in higher education.

Course description: This graduate seminar focuses on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sex/gender, sexuality, disability and other identity differences in the U.S. higher education. Diversity—a collective label for the plurality of our identities—is discussed (briefly) from a historical perspective, providing a context for contemporary experiences described by and about students, staff, faculty, and administrators. In this course, we examine contemporary issues related to access, participation, climate, curriculum, policy, outcomes, and benefits. The course is designed to introduce students to theories, concepts, policies, controversies, challenges and possibilities related to gender, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, socio-economic, ability, and religious differences among students, faculty, administrators, and other employees in postsecondary settings. The successful student in this course will be able to describe and analyze historical and contemporary issues related to diversity and equity, as well as discuss current trends and challenges in educational research, theory, policy, and practice.

Reflection: This course also served as an extension of College Student Development, but with a concentration on diversity issues in higher education. I did not fully understand the subjective nature of these controversial issues until the semester progressed, and did not anticipate the questions that would remain unanswered. This class increased my awareness of my own behaviors and attitudes and increased my sensitivity to the needs and feelings of the students I work closely with. I enjoyed the opportunity to complete my Action Project at my internship site, the Cleveland Institute of Music, which allowed me to interact closely with music students and learn about diversity struggles at a specialized institution through the lens of an administrator.

Business Administration in Higher Education, HIED 66667–Dr. Mark Kretovics

Catalog description: This course introduces students to the administrative and business management of institutions of higher education. The course covers topics such as institutional planning, space management, insurance matters, personnel administration, purchasing, and facility management.

Course description: This course introduces students to the administrative and business management of institutions of higher education. The course covers topics such as institutional planning, space management, insurance matters, personnel administration, purchasing, and facility management.

Reflection: I found this class to be very practical and beneficial; as someone with no business background, I found it very helpful to gain background knowledge in economics, accounting, human resources, budgeting, marketing and university politics. We used a draft of Dr. Kretovics’ upcoming textbook for discussions, and I appreciated the opportunity to critique each chapter and provide feedback on how to make the text more user-friendly for my group of colleagues, since we are his target audience. I certainly will not be a specialist in any of these areas, but believe that basic familiarity with these issues will help me in my role as an administrator.

Internship in Educational Administration, EDAD 66492—

Office for Student Affairs, Cleveland Institute of Music

Catalog description: A field-based internship requiring a separate project as designated by the program area faculty. Specific topics are outlined and shared at meetings prior to beginning internship.

Course description: This practicum opportunity is intended for a graduate student enrolled in the Higher Education Administration and Student Personnel program at Kent State University. Tasks will be completed in the Office for Student Affairs at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), and may include the following: career planning, graduate student outreach, collaboration with Student Government, collaboration with the webmaster for improvements to new website, and educational initiatives (relative to social events/local culture) for current students. The purpose of this practicum opportunity is for the Student to gain practical experience and general knowledge of the operations and responsibilities of a Student Affairs office at a small, specialized institution. She will have the opportunity to work independently on projects as assigned by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, collaborate with Student Government in program planning, and contribute to the general effort as needed during the course of the semester.

Reflection: This internship was a highlight of my HIED experience at Kent State. My background in music and passion for music students was fueled by the ability to work with students in a non-performance capacity and learn how small, specialized institutions operate. It was a generalist position, so my supervisor gave me a variety of tasks and I wore many hats that included developing electronic student resources, residence life, serving as a voice for student government, creation of career resource information for music students and creation of an online housing forum for undergrad and graduate students who are new to the CIM community. I left my experience with a good idea of how to recreate a similar position at another institution, and with many resources that will help me in a future role as a music school administrator.

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