​Assistantships

The Master of Arts in Higher Education Leadership focuses on the preparation of higher education professionals and offers an integrated program that includes the development of an individualized learning and leadership plan, rigorous coursework, a bi-weekly graduate seminar, and many professional development and applied learning opportunities. University administrators and SOLES faculty work closely together to integrate academic coursework, current theory and research with best practices in the field, specifically through the seminar that is available to all students.

Program Highlights

  • Classroom environments that engage a broad range of human capabilities and have a transformative effect on students while enhancing leadership skills and abilities
  • Cutting-edge and relevant leadership training for the real world
  • Development of a distinctive character and value system, which emphasizes meaning, purpose, generosity, authenticity, ethical behavior and initiative-taking
  • Personalized attention from university administrators

Employment Opportunities

The MAHE offers a variety of opportunities to gain paid part-time work experience in higher education while in the program. One option is as through an assistantship offered in collaboration with Student Affairs, the Student Affairs/SOLES Collaborative (SASC). Other students obtain Graduate Campus Assistantships (GCA) at a variety of other offices across USD. Still, others pursue Graduate Assistantships at other local universities. You can view these different paths to find the one that meets your goals. 

Additionally, we welcome full-time working students who are already employed in a variety of higher education positions and plan to pursue their education on a part-time basis.


Student Affairs/SOLES Collaborative (SASC)

The Student Affairs/SOLES Collaborative (SASC) is a partnership between the Department of Leadership Studies and USD's Division of Student Affairs. The students who participate in the SASC are a cohort of students in the MA in Higher Education Leadership program who are aspiring to work in student affairs and other areas of higher education.

SASC is an integrated program that includes the development of an individualized learning and leadership plan, a graduate assistantship within various areas of the university, including student affairs, a bi-weekly graduate seminar, rigorous coursework, and many professional developments and applied learning opportunities. University administrators and SOLES faculty work closely together to integrate academic coursework, current theory and research with best practices in the field. Please note that available positions differ each year and not all positions will be available each year. Positions can be viewed at the Student Affairs website.

Eligibility

Applicants should be currently enrolled or newly admitted MA in Higher Education Leadership students in good standing.

Compensation

An hourly wage of $13.50 for 20 hours a week for up to 48 weeks per year, for a maximum of two years. $25,500 (pre-tax) is the maximum amount a SASC graduate assistant can earn over a two-year appointment.

$5,000 tuition scholarship per semester for a maximum of 4 semesters, which equals $20,000 in scholarship total. Please note, positions in Residential life may offer room and board in lieu of this scholarship. Please verify this before accepting a position.

One year appointment with the possibility of re-appointment for one additional year.

Download a detailed information sheet on SASC graduate assistantship compensation.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What hours do graduate assistants work?
  • What are graduate assistants' responsibilities?
  • How can I apply to be a SASC Graduate Assistant?
  • May I apply to more than one graduate assistantship?
  • May I renew my assistantship contract?

Graduate Campus Assistantship (GCA)

The Department of Leadership Studies has worked with a number of departments and organizations across the USD campus to craft graduate assistantships that provide students with up to 20 hours of work a week. Possible placements may include:

  • Black Student Resource Center
  • Career Development Center - Career Counselor
  • Career Development Center - Professional Development Programs
  • Center for Peace and Commerce
  • Graduate Admissions
  • Graduate Records
  • Office of International Students and Scholars
  • Office of Undergraduate Research
  • One Stop Student Center
  • Resident Ministry
  • Veterans Center

Eligibility

Applicants should be currently enrolled or newly admitted MA in Higher Education Leadership students in good standing.

Compensation

An hourly wage of that typically starts at $13 per hours for up to 20 hours a week. Additionally, students are still eligible for scholarship through SOLES and the university.

How can I apply for a Graduate Campus Assistantship?

As positions become available, the below list will be updated, and application will be made directly to the hiring offices.

USD Administration and Off Campus Graduate Assistantship Positings


Off-Campus Graduate Assistantship Postings

The Department of Leadership Studies will continue to partner with local universities to identify and advertise Graduate Assistantships that our students are eligible to apply for.

Off Campus and USD Administration Graduate Assistantship Positings