What have the classes been like? How have they challenged you intellectually?
"I have found all of my classes to be incredibly thought provoking and applicable. The professors are very energetic and knowledgeable, and they make conscious efforts to make the course material relative to the work we do in Student Affairs. I have especially liked being in a cohort-style program because while we are all supportive and encouraging of each other, we also get to challenge each others' conceptions by bringing our own experiences and perspectives to the classroom and work environments. I have already learned so much from everyone I have interacted with at USF."
How have you grown as a student/future professional since you started the program?
"I find that I have really benefited from the reflection component that is connected to this program. Everything we do causes us to reflect on our own life experiences, and especially our college years. Looking back now, I feel like I have a much deeper understanding of how I developed as a student while I was working on my undergraduate degree and what factors contributed or hindered this development. This, in turn, helps me to understand the experiences of the students I am working with in Student Leadership and Engagement. The HESA program at USF has 100% reinforced that this is what I want to dedicate my life to: helping college students elevate and improve themselves in every way possible."
What attracted you to the program?
"The class sizes are small enough so I am able to get to know my professors and peers in depth. Learning doesn't stop once class finishes, the very idea that I have constant communication with my professors is helpful. The professors cultivate a healthy classroom environment where students have the opportunity to learn the materials in depth because of the small class sizes. I do not feel we rush through the course material, but rather have fullest opportunity to absorb and explore what we are learning. We have the ability to really focus on what the students are interested in and that helps because of the flexibility of the professors."
How is the HESA program preparing you for a career in student affairs?
"USF HESA program is unique in the sense that with all the experience through the practicums, I will be better equipped when I graduate. These two opportunities brings the program into full circle because what we learn in class we are able to apply in our daily work experience. Both classroom and work environments are nurturing environments, so the skills learned through class we are able to refine with the help of our mentors. Anyone can get a degree, but the benefits of the HESA program is there is constant support through staff and faculty that truly care about the future educational professionals."