MA in Leadership with Concentration in SAHE

The curriculum for the MA in Leadership with concentration in Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) has been carefully designed to ensure the development of educational leaders in student affairs operations in colleges and universities. An emphasis of the program is the development of educational leaders who can transform institutions into learning communities in which all members of a diverse society are accorded opportunity and respect. The program adheres to the Master’s Level Student Affairs Professional Preparation Program Standards developed by the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education, 8th ed.). Leadership coursework is organized around foundational studies, professional studies, and supervised practice.

As an active participant in these programs you will develop as a leader through an expanded self- knowledge and worldview. You will develop student affairs competencies and leadership strategies. You will learn how to guide a professional team as you integrate recommendations from research with an assessment of the needs of a college and/or university and create a plan for student success. You will explore the political and social implications of higher education and the educational requirements of a diverse, democratic, multicultural society. You will acquire the confidence necessary to ignite and inspire others.

Warren Bennis has written that the primary goal of leadership is the creation of a human community held together by a common purpose. True leaders, he said, demonstrate a balance of competence, virtue, and vision. It is our mission to guide you in developing all three.

The SAHE program is a cohort-based Saturday program with courses running one at a time to allow for students to be successful academically and professionally while in the program.

Thank you for your interest in the SAHE program at UCCS! If you have questions about the Admissions process or the program after reviewing the welcome video and reviewing the information below, please reach out to the Program Coordinator, Dr. Patty Witkowsky, at If you would like to schedule a phone or in-person interest/informational meeting, please contact the Student Resource Office at (719) 255-4996 to schedule it.

This cohort program admits approximately 20-25 students each year and coursework begins each SUMMER semester (mid-July).

The application deadline is February 1st annually.

Admissions Process


Online Application: Applications for admission to the MA Leadership Program in Student Affairs in Higher Education must begin with completion of the online Graduate application found at: Apply Now!  The application deadline is February 1st to be considered for the SAHE cohort the following summer.

Fee: Pay the $60.00 application fee. *International student application fee is $100.00

Career Goals Statement: Upload your career goals statement into the online application and include responses to the following prompts. Please limit your narrative to 1500 words.

  1. What are your reasons for applying to this program?
  2. What are your professional career goals? And how does this program align with your goals?
  3. In what ways have your life experiences, your work, and your volunteer activities prepared you for a career in student affairs?
  4. What do you bring to the program that will benefit your student colleagues?
  5. What personal strengths will enhance your ability to be successful in this program?
  6. What factors might limit your ability to complete this program?
  7. Are you seeking assistantship opportunities? If so, which area of student affairs would interest you most for an assistantship position?
  8. What other factors do you believe are important for consideration in evaluating your application?

Professional Résumé: Upload your professional résumé

Tuition Classification Form: Complete and upload the Tuition Classification Form

References: List the name, title/organization, and email of three references. They will be emailed the SAHE recommendation form/instructions. Ideally, one reference should be a former instructor, one should be a current or former supervisor, and one should be a professional colleague. However, applicants who completed their undergraduate degree more than 5 years ago may replace the former instructor reference with another current or former supervisor who can speak to professional abilities.

Background Check: All applicants must submit a copy of their background check with their application. This is required because many school and clinical practicum and internship sites require the background check prior to accepting a student for field work. Current Colorado school or agency employees who have already completed a background check for employment may provide a copy of their Colorado license or background check results.

*International applicants only complete this step if they have lived in the United States for more than one year.

Instructions for completing your background check are below:

  1. Go to website:
  2. Click on Individuals
  3. Pay $6.85 to receive the results
  4. Print a copy of the background check and email/mail your background check or proof of licensure to the College of Education Student Resource Office ( as part of admissions materials.

Official Transcripts: Submit official transcripts (minimum GPA of 2.75 required for admission*) of all academic work ever completed to date directly to:

Office of Admissions & Records
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy
Colorado Springs, CO 80918-3733

*Students with a GPA below 2.75 may still apply and if admitted provisionally, must complete the first two courses in the program with a B or better to continue in the program.

Admissions Interview: Once ALL application materials are received (including receipt of all three completed reference forms), prospective students should contact the Student Resource Office at (719) 255-4996 to schedule a formal (phone or in-person) interview for program admission.

Additional items of note for International applicants: English Proficiency must be demonstrated through providing evidence of an IELTS score of 6.5 or above, a TOEFL score of 550-(paper-based) or 80-(internet-based) or an ACT/COMPASS® English score of 270 or above (the ACT/COMPASS® may be taken through the UCCS Office of International Affairs). Please contact the UCCS Office of International Affairs at: or call: (719) 255-7218 to make arrangements to take the ACT/COMPASS® at UCCS.

Applicants with any post-secondary course work from an international higher education institution that is recognized by their country’s Education Ministry must submit a course-by-course foreign degree evaluation by member of NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, AACRAO ( or World Education Services/Wes (

Financial Aid Resources

The financial aid priority filing date is March 1st annually.

Financial Aid Resources for Graduate Students available at:

Financial Aid Office:

Graduate School: //

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status in admission and access to, and treatment and employment in, its educational programs and activities.

Positions will be posted here throughout the Spring semester for Summer/Fall 2019 openings. Please check back frequently. For students applying to the SAHE program for Summer 2019, please begin preparing your application materials for the positions listed so that you are prepared to meet the deadlines for the openings soon after receiving admission to the program.


A 100 hour practicum experience in higher education is a requirement of the SAHE program. Students choose a site based on their learning and professional goals. The SAHE program has strong connections to area campuses and recent students have completed their practicum at UCCS as well as nearby institutions, including Colorado College, Pikes Peak Community College, University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University-Pueblo, the Air Force Academy, and Regis University. Below are on-going practicum experiences that are available to students. Students may also create agreements with other departments and other campuses based on their goals.

UCCS Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Practicum Experience

Colorado State University-Pueblo Office of Student Affairs Practicum Experience

United States Air Force Academy Center for Educational Innovation Practicum Experience

UCCS Academic Advising

UCCS Career Center Practicum Experience

UCCS First Year Experience

UCCS Global Engagement Office Practicum Experience

UCCS Orientation Practicum Experience

UCCS Student Leadership Conference Practicum Experience

UCCS Residence Life and Housing

Colorado College Residential and Campus Programs

Colorado College Campus Events Practicum Experience

Colorado College Admissions Practicum Experience

Pikes Peak Community College TRiO Disabled Student Support Services Practicum Experience

Pueblo Community College Fremont Campus Student Services Practicum Experience

UCCS Campus Connections Practicum Experience

UCCS Pre-Collegiate Program Practicum Experience

UCCS UC Programming/UCES Student Employment Program Practicum Experience

UCCS Event Services/Event Production Practicum Experience

Students are expected to adhere to the highest codes of personal and professional ethics, as set forth by the Honor Code of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, which appears each semester in the Schedule of Classes. Students who do not meet these standards may be dismissed from the Graduate School by the Graduate Dean upon recommendation of the chair of the Department of Leadership, Research, and Foundations (LRF). Additionally, SAHE faculty will be systematically assessing students' progress in :

  1. Academic Performance
  2. Student Affairs skills development
  3. Professional and personal growth throughout their program of study, as recommended by CAS.

Year 1 (21 credits)

Summer Semester

Course/Title Semester Credits Alignment ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies
LEAD 5010 - Personal and Professional Development in Student
Affairs in Higher Education
3 Leadership/Personal and Ethical Foundations/Values, Philosophy, and History

Fall Semester

Course/Title Semester Credits Alignment ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies
LEAD 5030 - Vision, Values, and Leadership in Student
Affairs in Higher Education
3 Leadership/Personal and Ethical Foundations/Values, Philosophy, and History
LEAD 5610 – Social and Cultural Foundations of
Higher Education
3 Values,Philosophy, and History

Spring Semester

Course/Title Semester Credits Alignment ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies
LEAD 5260 - Counseling & Student Development Theories 3 Student Learning and Development/Advising and Supporting/Social Justice and Inclusion
LEAD 5210 – Counseling and Helping Skills in Higher Education 3 Advising and Supporting/Social Justice and Inclusion

Summer Semester

Course/Title Semester Credits Alignment ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies
LEAD 5280 - Legal & Ethical Issues in Higher Education 3 Law, Policy, and Governance
LEAD 5700 - Introduction to Research & Statistics 3 Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
(*summer course meeting dates are not on the typical Saturday schedule; consult the SAHE Program Coordinator for more information if you require information about the course meeting dates prior to the release of the summer schedule online).

Year 2 (12 credits)

Fall Semester

Course/Title Semester Credits Alignment ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies
LEAD 5290 - Budgeting & Finance of Student Affairs in Higher Education 3 Organizational and Human Resource
LEAD 5310 - Student Services Program Development & Evaluation 3 Assessment, Evaluation, and Research/Student Learning and Development


Course/Title Semester Credits Alignment ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies
LEAD 5110 - Culturally Responsive Practices in Higher Education OR LEAD 6000 - International Study of Higher Education 3 Social Justice and Inclusion
LEAD 6830 - Practicum for Student Affairs in Higher Education 3 Varies based on responsibilities and student's desired learning outcomes

The SAHE program has taken 39 students abroad through the LEAD 6000: Internationalization of Higher Education course since 2013. Occurring biennially, students have studies abroad to Ireland (2013), Italy (2015), and London, Paris, and Amsterdam (2017). Through the course, students immerse themselves in an international study of higher education through an overseas experience, which includes site visits to higher education institutions abroad. Topics include the administration of higher education, the practice of student affairs work, as well as study of the history, culture, and politics of the chosen location.

The next study abroad course offering will be to Japan from Friday, November 16th-Sunday, November 25th, 2018.

More information will be available in March 2018.

Travel Tour:

The SAHE Travel Tour is a biennial domestic travel experience where SAHE students travel outside of Colorado to visit institutions and continue to explore professional opportunities. Since 2016, the SAHE program has taken 20 students to explore new opportunities during the Southwest (New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah) tour (2016) and the Los Angeles tour (2018).

Here is what some participants have to say about the program.

"The SAHE Travel Tour is a great opportunity for students to learn a wide array of student affairs practices across institutions."

"The travel tour is a great opportunity to learn about other people and get a better understanding of your life and career goals."

"It was such a great experience getting to visit 3 different institution types and really feel how their vibes differed."

UCCS students on the SAHE travel tour.
UCCS students on the SAHE travel tour.


Professional Development Sessions Offered on Campus:

Monthly professional development sessions are provided for students to prepare them for transitions that occur during and after the SAHE program experience. These include:

  • Mock Interview Night for Graduating Students
  • Engaging in Professional Development and Professional Association Involvement
  • Cover Letter Workshop · Doctoral Student Panel
  • Careers in Student Affairs Institute
  • Creating Inclusive Communities
  • Transitioning from Graduate School
  • Using Your Summer Wisely