20 Courses Missing From Your Higher Education and Student Affairs Master’s Program

HESA 401: Icebreakers
HESA 403: The Art and Science of Table and Chair Re-Arranging
HESA 410: Ordering Catering for Groups
HESA 414: Crafting for Beginners – Bulletin Boards
HESA 435: Managing Email, Managing Your Inbox
HESA 440: How To Fit 10 People in a Hotel Room Meant for 4
HESA 480: Shopping on a Budget

HESA 501: The Development of Two Truths and A Lie
HESA 503: Advanced Table Skirt Hanging
HESA 507: Parents
HESA 514: Advanced Crafting – Button Making
HESA 540: Estimating Crowd Sizes Visually
HESA 550: Dealing With Duty Phone Paranoia

HESA 614: Thesis in Crafting
HESA 620: Managing Up: Supervisors
HESA 630: What is “The Process?”
HESA 651: Understanding Other Duties as Assigned
HESA 660: Ordering Correct T-Shirt Sizes for Groups
HESA 690: Campus Politics

HESA 699: Directed Study in Crafting

Have your own course to add?  Put them in the comments below.

62 thoughts on “20 Courses Missing From Your Higher Education and Student Affairs Master’s Program

  1. While I appreciate the humor in all these suggestions, they really diminish the value of all of us as student affairs educators and our place in supporting student development. Our work is so important and critical to our campuses, and oftentimes we actually fight these kinds of stereotypes. I hope that people who already misunderstand our work don’t see this and feel like there is some truth in our satire.

    1. Thanks for your perspective Phyllis!

      I agree that we are educators, we should be proud of being educators, and that sometimes our contributions to the educational experience are devalued. I don’t, however, think that being able to poke fun at ourselves devalues our work. For instance, an elementary school teacher may joke that they were never taught how to get glue out of a four years old’s hair, and yet, I don’t think we’d call that teacher any less of an educator because of it. That’s not to say there aren’t limits or that perhaps our relative standing as educators is less firm than others.

      I have my own code of ethics when it comes to posting humorous posts on my blog. I will not post something that I believe:
      1. Disparages or harms an individual or group.
      2. Demeans the values of the profession.
      If an idea or post can’t pass these two criteria in my mind, then I don’t pursue it. I’ve also deleted some comments from readers that I felt they violated these principles. In this case, I don’t think highlighting job skills that weren’t taught in a Master’s program demeans the important things those programs do teach.

      While I agree that we shouldn’t devalue our work as educators, I also don’t think we should deny or ignore the other aspects of our work that help us create these educational environments. They are a part of our work too, and sometimes they go “missing.”

  2. How to disarm a malfunctioning smoke detector at 2:14 a.m. during Finals Week.
    How to make friends with the Director of Maintenance so he will give permission via phone to disarm a malfunctioning smoke detector at 2:14 a.m. during FInals Week.
    The physics of moving vast amounts of water to a floor drain using a standard issue broom.

  3. It’s all about the Benjis: Budgeting for Beginners

    Strategery Plans: The Who, What, When, Where, and Why (oh and by how much)

    You Can Handle the Truth (Or Judge Judy’s Truth Serum Seminar): Preparing for General Counsel Meetings and Possible Depositions

    Jumping on the Bandwagon: A Theoretical Analysis of the Best Practice

  4. HESA: Scheduling 101 (meetings, 1-1s, programning, etc.)
    HESA: Room reservations

  5. HESE: Get Buy In: Making your idea someone else’s brilliant idea.

  6. HESA 471: The myth of work life balance
    HESA 634: MEdiating the ME generation
    HESA 528: Budgeting… Planning, spending, tracking, and reconciling
    HESA 801: Helping students make friends
    HESA 586: How to be ‘present,’ ‘meaningful,’ and ‘intentional’
    HESA 350: Crafting… With Pinterest.

  7. -How to explain to students you actually have a life outside of your job
    -“No, I am not a student” 101

  8. HESA 595: How to concisely explain what your job entails to those not in Higher Ed
    HESA 596: How to contact other schools to ask them what they are doing
    HESA 597: How to take a day off when you are still in the building
    HESA 598: How to show up for 8am office time when you were up until 3am dealing with student conduct.

    1. Yes! Sign me up for HESA 597 and 598, except not necessarily up ’til 3 am dealing with student conduct, but submitting a proposal for any one of the 100’s of conferences by 11:59 pm.

  9. HESA 102 Learning how to respond when asked “when do you graduate?”
    HESA 103 Tetris master: Loading up cars/vans/carts with event equipment, suitcases, retreat supplies, etc.

  10. HESA 602: How to move furniture, backwards, in heels. And look good while doing it.

  11. HESA 602: How to move furniture, backwards, in heels. And look good while doing it.

  12. How to raid the maintenance supply closet…..how much TP to take without notice

  13. For res life – vacuum cleaner repair and the art of completing a word order
    For all – finding your faculty allies, time management 101, 102, and 103, add “parents 102, and 103” and “how to plan when everyone else wants to wait until the last minute”

  14. For those of us with Residence Life background
    HESA Elevator Troubleshooting in a 22 story building
    HESA Toilet problems and other Plumbing repairs
    HESA Health and Safety Room Inspections — outlets, screens and appliances OH MY!!
    HESA Interrogation and Investigation Techniques

  15. Love your list! Here are my other ideas:

    Being two places at once. Literally.

    Troubleshooting programming [when 1000 flyers are printed without the time listed]

    Ordering the right food within a budget with every possible dietary restriction respected

  16. HESA 615: Mind Reading: Yes, I know your student is having a roommate problem, I learned how to read minds in Grad School

  17. Self care- when & how to actually take a sick day. Course includes practice in detecting self-deception re: physical and mental well being and practical assessment tips.

    1. HESA: How to actually use “vacation” days before you lose them at the end of the year.

  18. HESA: “Let’s stop pretending that students will respond (or even care about) to e-mails”

    OR – HESA: How to actually get students to respond to e-mails


  19. HESA 445: Delivering High Impact Practices on a small budget; HESA 446: Maintaining your composure when all you want to do is laugh; HESA 448: Finding the meaning beyond the meaning and interpreting feelings

    1. HESA 401b: How to get work done with an open door.
      HESA 401c: When people knock on your closed door.

  20. Sorry I just thought of this one too! HESA 101 Campus Politics and YOU

  21. And it’s not a lecture-style class, it’s just be a professor that sends assignments to your inbox when you’re already really busy. Also, they’re all due tomorrow.

  22. HESA 214: Advanced Carnival Skills: Balloon Art, Cotton Candy Sculpture, and Popcorn Machine Operations

    1. I hope this would include Proper First Aid Procedures, I’ve sustained a few substantial burns from working the popcorn machine.

    2. I’d have to also throw in there copiers–I can’t tell you how many I have dismantled to clear a paper jam. I’ve even managed to dismantle and rebuild a laminator several times over because people didn’t follow directions!

      1. Our Copier/Fax Machine is possessed. It worked when the company maintenance guy came to show us how to use it…

  23. HESA: #what?, lessons in social media, HESA: Discipline meetings with students who don’t ccare

  24. Bailing or Failing – deciding whether to help a student organization event or to let them experience the natural consequences of their actions

      1. Campus Police: Why they have your phone number memorized.

  25. HESA 361 Working in groups (especially class assignments)

  26. HESA 136: “Reply All:” Case Studies in Necessity and Effectiveness

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