The Master of Arts in Human Development was established by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 1972. It is a 35-credit, low-residency interdisciplinary graduate program that allows students to combine academic interests with career goals. The wholly unique combination of scholarship, mentoring, and program flexibility allows individuals to custom design programs that lead to personal and professional enhancement. Students in the human development program have secured major grants, published both creative and scholarly works, produced commissioned works of art, and received public recognition for their accomplishments.
Possible programs include, but are not limited to, concentrations in adult education, social justice, career counseling, employee assistance counseling, transformational leadership, organizational and individual coaching, writing, organizational development, holistic health/wellness, spiritual studies, music therapy, and ecological studies.
Graduates of the Master of Arts in Human Development program are expected to be able to do the following:
- Communicate effectively in a variety of modes.
- Promote the common good through a commitment to social responsibility and ethical practices.
- Evaluate the efficacy of diverse perspectives, contexts, and ways of knowing.
- Apply knowledge, understanding of principles, theories, and concepts to situations.
- Demonstrate the ability to continue learning through self-directed, integrated, interdisciplinary scholarship.
- Create a new product, project, or model to contribute to the student’s field.
The Saint Mary’s University Master of Arts in Human Development program attempts to provide learners with a vehicle that supports the development of an integrated philosophy of life as well as with means to reach that integration. The program encourages the integration of personal and professional experience into the structure of graduate work. Ethics, the hallmark of the graduate curriculum at Saint Mary’s University, is translated into the human development program as social responsibility. The ethic of social responsibility invites the student to move beyond enlightened self-interest to make a commitment to a greater connectedness and sharing of talents with the community at large.
Moreover, values including integrity, social responsibility, honesty, sensitivity, and wonder are viewed as essential to intellectual, emotional, ethical, interpersonal, creative, and spiritual development, which is human development. The program is designed to develop competence in understanding one’s own experience and growth as well as that of others.
Saint Mary’s University encourages in-depth explorations of basic human concerns and the application of that knowledge to social problems as a direct demonstration of the ethic of social responsibility. The structure of the program is based on the premise that much growth occurs in the context of self-directed learning and that rigorous, scholarly study can and must be balanced with experience and a deeper confrontation with theory in terms of personal meaning.
Program Structure and Delivery
The program is designed to meet the individualized needs of adult learners.
Position Paper and Colloquium
At the culmination of the program, the student develops a position paper which serves as the basis for a colloquium. The position paper is an opportunity for the student to take a position on a more substantive area or issue which has been studied in depth during the program. An ethic of social responsibility is addressed specifically in a section in the student’s position paper. An ethic of social responsibility recognizes that self identity and solidarity with humankind are required for the formation of a better world. Position papers are generally 20-30 pages in length.
The master’s colloquium is the forum and rite of passage in which candidates for the Master of Arts in Human Development integrate the various insights gained during their graduate studies, further substantiate the quality and scope of their work, and share their theoretical and experiential knowledge. The spirit of the word colloquium - speaking together - is the spirit in which each colloquium is conducted. Colloquia last 45 minutes and may include lectures, demonstrations, and multimedia presentations. The adviser, second reader, and program director always attend. Other persons of the student’s choice may also be invited including peers, colleagues, faculty, and family.