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

Spring 2009

Students and the College Environment, HIED 66654– Dr. Jennifer Kulics

Catalog description: Study of the impact of different types of students and college environments on each other within the context of a changing society.

Course description: This course is intended to provide participants with the opportunity to gain an in-depth look at today’s college environment and how it impacts students. We will explore both the ecology of the campus and the demographic nature of students in attendance. Additionally, we will review the theory that has developed in this area; discuss how to apply theory to practice and the implications for policy and program design.

Reflection: An extension of College Student Development, Environments was a hands-on look at campus culture and ways to create a welcoming environment for our students. Class speakers were sometimes redundant for those of us who took Functions a semester earlier, but visits from the University Architect or Campus Security were insightful. Assignments allowed us to explore unfamiliar campuses and analyze (perceived) strengths and weaknesses of various institutional types and physical campus layouts.

Leadership in Educational Organizations, HIED 66657– Dr. Jarrod Tudor

Catalog description: By learning to appraise their own leadership styles, students improve their leadership effectiveness and explore the relationship between leadership and college and university effectiveness.

Course description: By learning to appraise their own leadership styles, students improve their leadership effectiveness and explore the relationship between leadership and college and university effectiveness. Prerequisite: Major in Higher Education and Student Personnel (EAHE) or Educational Administration- Higher Education (EDHE).

Reflection: This course was best suited for higher education professionals with experience in mid to upper-level leadership responsibilities, those who enjoy working with faculty, or who are interested in future careers as executive administrators. Leadership theory was not addressed, and discussions of leadership styles or development-techniques were limited. Overall, I found Leadership to be the most frustrating class I took while enrolled in the program, and will probably seek external leadership development opportunities after obtaining a permanent job, because I believe that leadership skills are best fostered as a new professional.

History of Higher Education, HIED 66600– Dr. Janice J. Gerda

Catalog description: Overview and exploration of history of higher education in the United States. Survey course covers ancient and medieval European antecedents, but focuses largely on American higher education from the seventeenth through the twentieth century. Students explore changes in student body, curricula, and purposes of higher education in the U.S. in the context of American culture.

Course description: This course will introduce students to the history of U.S. higher education and its uses in the administration of higher education. Emphasis will be placd on the utility, the importance, and the enjoyment of the study and awareness of the history of US higher education and student affairs.

Reflection: This course allowed us to have weekly snapshots of eras in the history of higher education. There was so much material to cover in one semester, but Dr. Gerda’s passion for history prompted us to delve into history in creative ways. One of my favorite projects in the whole program allowed me to visit the archives of my undergraduate alma mater, the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music, and research our Annual Bach Festival; first-person accounts and photographs preserved in the Riemenschneider Bach Institute helped history come alive. As a current administrator, Dr. Gerda was diligent to help us understand why history is relevant to our work today.

Internship in Educational Administration, EDAD 66492: Student Financial Aid, Kent State University

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 of Student Financial Aid at the Kent Campus and will be two-fold: (1) loan indebtedness study collaboration with Mark Evans, director and (2) general overview of the operations and responsibilities of a Student Financial Aid staff member. 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 Financial Aid staff member by attending staff training initiatives as available during the course of the semester. Additionally, the student will collaborate with the Director of Student Financial Aid on a loan indebtedness study; skills in analysis, assessment and evaluation will be gained through this project.

Reflection: I selected an internship at the Student Financial Aid office to complement my graduate assistantship in the Office of Admissions, since I believe that basic knowledge of current financial aid practices and policies is vital for admissions counselors. The SFA staff allowed me to observe many facets of daily work in the office and professional development opportunities (annual in-service, staff training events, etc.). I also worked closely with the Director of Financial Aid on a loan-indebtedness study which allowed me to gain experience in data collection and analysis.

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