Welcome to Arkansas State University!

College Student Personnel Services

Master of Science (M.S.)


Students on a ComputerThe online Master of Science in College Student Personnel Services (CSPS) program is ideal for motivated working professionals who are interested in a superior graduate program that is more flexible than traditional programs.

The CSPS program provides professional preparation for entry to mid-level positions in a broad array of student services areas in higher education. Program graduates will be prepared to assume leadership roles in such specialty areas as residence life, financial aid, career services, multicultural centers, admissions, orientation programs, student leadership offices, academic advising centers, student center management, recreation, recruiting, judicial affairs, disability services, and alumni programs.

  • Admission Requirements


    The Graduate School is open to persons holding at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and whose undergraduate or graduate work has been of sufficient quality and scope to enable them to profitably pursue graduate study. Arkansas State University offers equal educational opportunity to all persons without regard to race, religion, sex, age, creed, color, national origin, or physical disability.


    Applicants for admission to graduate study should apply online at http://www.astate.edu/ graduate. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work must be submitted to the Office of Admission, Records and Registration, PO Box 1570, State University, AR 72467. All applicants also must submit written proof of measles, mumps and rubella immunization. This immunization must have been received after the first birthday and after January 1, 1968. Arkansas law requires that in order to be eligible for enrollment at a public institution of higher learning an applicant who is a U.S. citizen and a male under the age of 26 must be registered or be exempt from registration with the selective service system. Application materials become the property of the university and may not be returned to the applicant or forwarded to other institutions. Application materials will be kept on file. If seeking admission at a later date, applicants must submit a new on-line application for the degree and term in which they wish to be admitted and may be required to update some or all of their application materials.

    All applications must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee. The fee is $50 for students seeking admission to doctoral study and $30 for students seeking admission to specialist or master-level study. A $40 fee is required of international students seeking admission to specialist or master-level study. Fees can be remitted online during the application process, over the phone to the Cashier’s Window at 870-972-3847 or by mailing a check or money order payable to Arkansas State University, Cashier’s Window, PO Box 2640, State University, AR 72467. Applications will be processed once the payment is received. If applications are received without payment, the Graduate School will hold all application materials and notify the applicant that no action will be taken until payment is received. International students apply directly to the Office of International Programs.

    An application may, depending on the timely submission of the required materials and the extent of review required, take from a few days to many weeks to process. Some programs have specific application deadline dates, while others do not. Because application procedures and requirements vary by program, applicants are encouraged to check for particular program requirements and deadlines in the appropriate section of the Bulletin or online at http://www. astate.edu/college/graduate-school/degrees-offered/. Applications to specific programs are reviewed by program faculty before an admission decision is recommended to the Graduate School. Applicants are encouraged to submit all materials at the earliest possible date, preferably no later than six weeks prior to the beginning of the semester, to assist in a smooth application process. Late application may delay registration and limit course selection.

    When consideration of the applications for admission to both the Graduate School and the specific degree program has been completed, the admissions office of the Graduate School will inform the applicant of the admission decision, including any conditions that may be imposed. A student may be admitted into the Graduate School in either Unconditional status or Conditional status.


    Applicants will be required to meet admissions criteria established by the Graduate School for Unconditional or Conditional status in order to enroll in graduate courses. Meeting the minimum requirements for admission to the Graduate School does not necessarily ensure acceptance into a particular graduate degree program. Individual departments may establish requirements for individual degree programs above and beyond the standards for admission to the Graduate School. (See departmental sections of this Bulletin or online at http://www.astate.edu/college/graduate-school/degrees-offered/ for specific program admission requirements.) A degree-seeking student admitted to one program who decides to change to another program must meet the admission requirements of the new program.


    The following Graduate School admission requirements are minimum standards which identify the pool of applicants from which departments select students to be admitted to candidacy in a degree program. To be granted Unconditional Admission Status in the Graduate School, applicants must have:

    1. Submitted a completed application for admission and the designated nonrefundable application fee to the office of the Graduate School at least 30 days in advance of registration.
    2. Earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution (or its equivalent as determined by the Graduate School).
    3. Achieved a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale or a 3.00 GPA on the last 60 hours.
    4. Achieved a minimum 3.00 GPA on any previous graduate courses completed at either Arkansas State University or another accredited university.
    5. Submitted official transcripts from each college or university as requested by the Graduate School. Official transcripts must be submitted directly from the registrar of other institutions to the office of the Graduate School at Arkansas State University.


    An applicant who fails to meet the GPA requirements for Unconditional Admission Status, who lacks the appropriate undergraduate background for a particular degree program, or whose baccalaureate degree is from an unaccredited institution, may be granted Conditional Admission Status after:

    1. Submission of a completed application for admission and the designated nonrefundable application fee to the office of the Graduate School.
    2. Submitted official transcripts from each college or university as requested by the Graduate School. Official transcripts must be submitted directly from the registrar of other institutions to the office of the Graduate School at Arkansas State University.
    3. Achieving a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale or a 2.75 GPA on the last 60 hours for admission into a graduate program or for admission as a non-degree student (see "Admission as a Graduate Non- degree Student").



    Specific CSPS admission requirements are listed online in the Arkansas State University Graduate Bulletin under the Graduate School and the College of Education and Behavioral Science.

    To be considered for admission to the M.S. degree program in College Student Personnel Services, applicants must have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education, present evidence of personal qualities consistent with those required for effective practice in student affairs, and present evidence of the academic abilities needed to successfully complete online graduate level work. The grade point averages indicated below reflect minimum criteria for consideration of an applicant, and are weighed with other factors in admitting students. A variety of undergraduate majors are acceptable for admission to the CSPS program.  The GRE and letters of recommendation are no longer required for CSPS program admission.


    Applicants who are admitted will be placed in the unconditional admission status if they meet one of the following criteria:

    1. A minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.75, or 3.00 or higher in the last 60 hours of undergraduate study.
    2. Unconditional admission to the Graduate School and a minimum cumulative graduate grade point average of 3.25 on 12 or more hours with no grade less than a “B”.


    Applicants who are admitted will be placed in the conditional admission status if they meet one of the following: 

    1. A minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.50, or 2.75 on the last 60 hours.
    2. A minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 on at least 6 hours of previous graduate work with no more than one grade of “C” and no grade less than “C”.
    3. A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.70, continuous employment, full or part-time, for at least the previous 12 months in a student affairs position at an accredited institution of higher education, and submission of a letter from the Chief Student Affairs Officer of the employing institution attesting that the applicant has shown considerable promise for college student personnel work.

    Inquiries about the CSPS program, and submission of CSPS application materials defined above, should be directed electronically to bsilverthorn@astate.edu, or to the academic advisor, leswyatt@astate.edu, Subject: CSPS Admissions.

    Admission to the online CSPS program is available only to U.S. citizens as mandated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

  • Coursework Overview

    Core Course Requirements (36 hours)


    1. CSPS 6383 Practicum is offered each semester. Permission to take practicum must be obtained prior to registration.
    2. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all CSPS courses, and 3.0 on all graduate level courses is required for graduation from the CSPS program.
    3. The student must file an intent to graduate and pay a graduation fee at registration for the final semester of the program. See the ASU Graduate Bulletin for information about degree completion.

    Information on Academic Credit

    Credit will not be given for any course completed more than six years prior to completion of the degree. Students with dated courses may be required to repeat these courses or engage in other relevant experiences whether or not they have been used to fulfill requirements for another degree.

    Consistent with the Graduate School residence requirement, students may transfer no more than nine (9) hours of course credit toward the M.S. in College Student Personnel Services. Without prior approval in writing from the program coordinator, the practicum must be completed through enrollment at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro. Such approval will be granted only when the program coordinator can verify that the quality of experience is comparable to that at Arkansas State University and that the student will be unable to complete his or her degree without the waiver. The burden of proof in providing these assurances rests with the student.

    Course Descriptions

    CCED 7003 The Community College A study of the history, philosophy, nature, and functions of the community college movement.

    CSPS 6333 Student Personnel Services in Higher Education An overview of higher education with emphasis on student personnel service components.

    CSPS 6343 College Student Development A study of contemporary theory and research related to student development with emphasis on applications to college student personnel services.

    ELAD 6333 Organization and Administration of College Student Personnel Services A study of the organization and administration of college student affairs programs and services. Organizational and management principles and practices used within college student affairs settings are discussed.

    ELAD 6273 Legal Aspects of Higher Education A study of the legal aspects of education for the purpose of familiarizing college and university personnel with the legal features of higher education organization and administration. The course will consider constitutional and statutory provisions, but the major emphasis will be directly to the study of court decisions relating to American post-secondary education.

    ELAD 6313 Higher Education Finance An examination of the economic principles and fundamental operational financial procedures which affect the American colleges and universities.

    CSPS 6373 Multicultural Dynamics in Higher Education This course will help professionals effectively support students from increasingly diverse backgrounds. With changes occurring in the world’s population demographics, the need for culturally competent professionals is crucial. We will explore cognitive, affective, and behavioral considerations in supporting culturally diverse students. Restricted to Masters in College Student Personnel Services.

    CSPS 6363 Development and Advancement in Higher Ed This course is intended to provide a theoretical framework. Restricted to Masters in College Student Personnel Services.

    CSPS 6393 Assessment, Accreditation, and Accountability in Higher Education Students examine and evaluate current polices in accreditation, performance-based funding, and federal compliance and analyze best practices in assessment of student learning in higher education. Students design curricular and co-curricular assessments at the course, program, and university levels. Restricted to Masters in College Student Personnel Services.

    ELFN 6773 Introduction to Statistics and Research An introductory course in methods and techniques of research, and the statistical treatment and interpretation of research data.

    ELFN 6763 Philosophies of Education Presuppositions of various philosophies with emphasis on the implications of these presuppositions on educational theory and practice.

    CSPS 6383 Practicum in College Student Personnel Services Supervised practice (minimum of 100 clock hours) in a broad array of services typical of student affairs. Requires at least 40 hours of direct service with clients, including individual counseling and a minimum 10 hours of group work; at least one hour per week of individual supervision with a program faculty member or designee; and at least one and one-half hours per week of group supervision with a program faculty member. Prerequisites: CSPS 6333, CSPS 6343, and permission of degree program director. CSPS 6333 must be taken before or concurrently with CSPS 6383.

  • Faculty

    The CSPS faculty is a diverse group of practitioners and scholars with extensive theoretical knowledge and practical expertise in higher education, student affairs, and administration. Students will have the opportunity to expand their understanding of campus life through exposure to graduate-level faculty from numerous disciplines, an important aspect not often found in student personnel programs. CSPS faculty is intently committed to educating and mentoring developing graduate students preparing for careers as student affairs professionals.

    Dr. Les Wyatt


    Dr. Leslie Wyatt

    President Emeritus and Tenured Professor of Art and Higher Education
    CSPS Program Advisor


    Dave McKinney


    Dr. Dave McKinney

    Director of Parking Services

    • Ed. D., Arkansas State University
    • Ed.S., S.C.C.T., Arkansas State University
    • M.A., Arkansas State University
    • M.A., Luther Rice University
    • B.S., Arkansas State University
    • CAPP, International Parking Institute and University of Virginia

    Craig Johnson


    Craig Johnson

    Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs

    • Ed.D., Arkansas State University
    • M.S., Mankato State University
    • B.A., Bethel College

    Years of Student Affairs Service: 29

    Jason C. Penry


    Jason C. Penry

    Vice Chancellor for University Advancement

    • Ph.D., Texas A&M University
    • M.S., Louisiana State University
    • B.A., Louisiana State University – Shreveport

    Years of University Advancement Service: 10

    William R. Stripling


    William R. Stripling

    Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs

    • Ph.D., Southern Illinois University
    • Ed.S., M.R.C., Arkansas State University
    • B.A., University of Tampa

    Years of Student Affairs Service: 33

    Josie Welch


    Josie Welsh

    Director of Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes
    Assistant Professor of Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Research

    • Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University
    • M.A., The College of William and Mary in Virginia
    • B.A., Muhlenberg College

    Lonnie R. Williams


    Lonnie R. Williams

    Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs

    • Ed.D., Ed.S., M.Ed., B.S., University of Arkansas

    Years of Student Affairs Service: 36

  • Practicum Opportunities

    The practicum is a supervised work experience in a student services' office, department, or related area in a higher education setting. Many practicum options are available at Arkansas State University and at other colleges and universities within the region and nationally. The practicum is a required core course. It is the student's responsibility to identify a practicum site and receive site approval from the instructor. Some examples of practica opportunities on the Arkansas State University campus include:

    For more information on practicum opportunities, contact Beth Silverthorn, Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs at 870.972.3118 or bsilverthorn@astate.edu.