• Learn how college students develop as individuals and within a socio-cultural context, including the context of higher education.
  • Develop professional skills through practice via two 200-hour supervised internship and an optional 200-hour elective internship.
  • Learn about issues, trends, and challenges in higher education as well as how to implement and assess effective programs.


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Two daytime required courses; most courses late afternoon/evening; some online options


Full-time or part-time


Complete in as fast as 2 years full-time


Internships at Nazareth or other campuses

Program is Ideal For

  • Recent graduates with limited work experience and career changers who need experience and relevant coursework for a successful career in higher education.

Curriculum Examples

  • Student Development in Socio-Cultural Context
  • Student Affairs Organization
  • Student Development in College
  • Internships I, II, and III
  • Career Planning and Development (elective)
  • Social Work Practice and Cultural Diversity (elective)

Value of Your Degree

Develop the skills you need to begin (or advance) a professional career in higher education settings such as admissions, student success, career services, civic engagement, enrollment management, financial aid, first-year programming, registrar, residential life, student services, student affairs, student development, and student activities.

Making Grad School Affordable

Grants, scholarships, veterans benefits, loans, and undergraduate loan forgiveness are options for paying for this grad degree.


Student's Perspective

"Nazareth is a campus that makes you feel at home. Colleagues recognize that the students who are part of the HESAA program will soon join them in the field and they welcome us and treat us as members of their staff from the beginning; that's what makes this program strong.

When I entered the program, I had to decide: Keep my full-time job or take the opportunity to become a graduate assistant and gain additional experience in student affairs; I chose the latter. That G.A. work, along with an internship and networking, led me to be hired full-time in the Center for International Education after completing the first year of HESAA. Sometimes you have to take that leap of faith and trust the journey because in the end, it all works out."

Christina Luther '17G supervises student workers, facilitates orientation, and assists with planning and coordinating events as full-time department assistant at the Nazareth College Center for International Education

What to Expect

  • A wide variety of internship opportunities at Nazareth, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Geneseo, and Monroe Community College offices, including student success, admissions, disabilities services, residential life, international student support, student conduct, diversity and multicultural programs, and athletics.
  • Preference is given to full-time students, but some part-time study is possible.
  • Graduate assistantships, which provide tuition credit, are offered on campus at Nazareth and at selected college campuses.
  • Learning is grounded in rigorous psychological theory about student development and assessment. Program aligns with American College Personnel Association and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators standards.

Catalog: Program Requirements & Course Descriptions »

Program Director

Becky Fahy

Becky Fahy

Program Director of HESSA and Associate Professor in Psychology
Golisano Academic Center 338f
Additional Positions:
Associate Professor in Psychology and Program Director, HESSA in Psychology

Education: B.S., Saint Vincent College (Psychology); M.A., West Virginia University (Life-span Developmental Psychology); Ph.D., West Virginia University (Life-span Developmental Psychology).

Teaching Interests: Introduction to Psychology; Adolescent and Early Adult Development, College Student Development, Higher Education Student Affairs Administration (HESAA)

Research Interests: Friendship problems and friendship dissolution; friendships during transitions in life; peer relationships of adolescents and college students, identity development in college.

Program Faculty »