Grace Resident Director Shares Higher Education Program Experience Skip to content

May 10, 2024

Grace Resident Director Shares Her Experience with Higher Education Program

Are you passionate about shaping the future of higher education? Imagine having the flexibility to pursue your dreams while balancing work and life responsibilities. That’s where an online master’s degree in higher education comes in, offering a pathway to personal and professional growth.

Bailey Gagnon, resident director of Alpha Hall at Grace College, recently completed the Master of Higher Education program through Grace Online. She now mentors and leads students from various backgrounds, and her online degree has led her to excel in the higher education field. 


Bailey Gagnon’s Experience with the Program

Gagnon finished Grace’s online higher education program in December of 2023.   

“It is so cool to think about how my education fit my experiences at the time,” said Gagnon. “This was a big goal of mine, and God helped me finish it!”

Gagnon enrolled in the  program in 2021 when her former resident director, Hannah Navarro, encouraged her to apply for the assistant resident director position. Gagnon was serving as a resident assistant under Navarro and knew she wanted to continue serving on the residence life team. 

“I have a passion for serving others, and being an RD requires a master’s degree, so I knew Grace’s higher education program would be a good fit,” said Gagnon

Gagnon accepted the position as the assistant resident director for Indiana Hall and Beta Hall. After serving there for a year, she became the resident director of Alpha Hall. As she progressed through the program, Gagnon went through many seasons of life, from her senior year of the accelerated dual degree program to her first semester as a resident director.

“I experienced the program from different perspectives,” said Gagnon. “Studying felt very applicable to what I was experiencing in each stage of my life.”

One of her favorite parts of the program was being able to choose assignment topics that interested her.

 “The freedom of the program allowed me to make the degree my own,” said Gagnon. 

She often chose to study Generation Z, which has been helpful since she seeks to serve and relate to students in the generation. Through a course called The College Student, Gagnon learned the importance of knowing student’s passions, beliefs, and personalities in order to better serve them. 

One of Gagnon’s favorite parts of her position as a resident director is watching students engage with who they are throughout the year. “The position has given me the ability to see firsthand how students progress and grow,” Gagnon says.

Genevieve Goldsmith, a first-year resident in Alpha Hall,  is one example. Goldsmith and Gagnon’s friendship developed through an event called “Bracelets with Bailey.” At the event, Gagnon noticed Goldsmith’s genuine care, intentionality, and God-honoring personality. Next year, Goldsmith will serve as a RA under Gagnon.

 “Bailey has been such a great friend and leader to me,” said Goldsmith. “I have been able to come and just talk, and she will listen. Bailey brings light to my life. I am blessed to know her and call her my friend.”

Gagnon’s higher education degree has allowed her to build relationships with both resident assistants and residents and to shape dorm culture across campus. Looking ahead, Gagnon knows she is equipped for whatever her career has in store.

“The higher education program has laid the groundwork for my future,” says Gagnon. “I now know, both relationally and administratively, how to complete tasks and prioritize relationships within the educational landscape.”


What else can you do with a higher education degree? 

Although the Master of Higher Education program has benefited Gagnon’s position as a resident director, this is not the degree’s only application.The higher education program equips students for jobs such as:


  • Student affairs administrator
  • Dean of students
  • Director of campus activities
  • Campus chaplain
  • Campus ministries director
  • Learning center coordinator
  • Career services representative


If you are passionate about leading students and making a great impact, the higher education program is for you.


Learn more about the Master of Higher Education online degree program.