The Vermont Connection


Edward Keagle


Graduates of student affairs programs do not all sustain careers in college student personnel. Is that a failure of the programs? What is it about the student personnel point of view that allows many of us to find success in alternative careers? We owe a lot to the lessons learned in higher education administration. The author began his professional career in student affairs before realizing a long-deferred childhood interest to become an architect. Thirty years later, he continues to draw on training from his first career. Perhaps a M.Ed. degree in college student affairs, along with working experience in the field, can prepare people with the organizational, individual and group skills needed to thrive in many arenas outside of the academy. Scan the alumni roster from the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) and Student Personnel Services (SPS) programs from the past 40 years, and you will be struck by the number of graduates now in alternate careers – attorneys, personnel managers, along with the majority of expected job titles. Clearly the profession offers a solid foundation for a variety of pursuits. It also broadens the reach of the profession to have expatriates in other fields.