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Oct. 22, 2003


    OSWEGO -- A new master's degree track in student affairs practice in higher education opens up new career possibilities for those pursuing graduate study at SUNY Oswego, said Dr. Betsy Waterman, professor and chair of the college's counseling and psychological services department.

    The track within the college's established counseling services program prepares participants for entry-level college or university positions in such areas as academic advisement, admissions, campus life, career planning, residence life or student activities.

    "This grew out of what appeared to be a need for a master's level program in higher education," Waterman said.

    Applications for the first cycle of the program, which participants can pursue either full time or part time, are due Feb. 1.

    The new student affairs practice track offers "a win-win situation," Waterman said. "Students gain great experience at the higher-education level, and our student affairs offices get extra resources" in the form of graduate assistants.

    Dr. Joseph F. Grant, vice president for student affairs and enrollment at SUNY Oswego, sees the track filling a professional development need for employees in his division. "For years, we have had staff pursuing careers in student affairs or other professional positions on campus who wanted this kind of option to solidify their experience," Grant said.

    Many current student affairs staff at the college were active as undergraduates in campus life and wanted to continue that kind of work professionally, Grant noted. "This can help current or future student affairs staff to learn the background of these jobs while providing hands-on experience through internships or graduate assistantships," he said.

    People who already have a CPS degree can also take the courses to "shore up their background and experience in student affairs," said Dr. Joan Gibson, associate professor of counseling and psychological services and coordinator of the new track.

    "This allows them to complete a master's degree with a student affairs practice track, which makes them more employable in a variety of settings and gives them additional skills and knowledge for their work," she added.

    Experienced on-campus student affairs administrators at SUNY Oswego, such as Dr. Rick Kolenda of residence life and housing and Dr. Rich Hughes of campus life, have been teaching courses in the new track, Waterman said.

    For more information, contact Gibson at 312-3496 or or the department's admissions coordinator, Dr. Tom Cushman, at 312-3282 or

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