Graduate assistantship program benefits students and university

HUNTINGTON, IN Huntington University's graduate assistantship program, now running for three and a half years, provides benefit to students as well as to the university.

The program is designed to provide graduate students with jobs in fields related to their major. As students gain professional experience, they are hopefully also able to reduce the amount of loans they owe. In addition, the school works around their schedules with much more ease than an off-campus job might.

"In such an uncertain economy, students appreciate knowing that the university offers a handful of options for employment," said Drew Clay, graduate admissions counselor at HU. "A few of the positions also provide counseling specific experience, which is of benefit to the graduate students as they work to meet the program's internship requirements."

Matt Culler is a student in the counseling program at HU. He said he appreciates that he gets both classroom experience and more applied practice.

"One of my passions is college students and in my graduate assistantship I've had many opportunities to affect the students on campus. My work in the campus ministries department has stretched me a lot."

Jessica Stearns is another counseling student. She plans to graduate in a year.

"With my graduate assistantship I am able to do what I love mission work," she says. "I am able to plan and organize missions while still being a full time grad student."

The graduate assistantship program also helps the university.

"As we look for ways to advance the services provided to our undergraduate students, graduate assistants offer the university a relatively cost-effective option," Clay says. "I see it as a win-win for all involved."