ATU SAA Program’s Influence on Education Evidenced

ATU SAA Alumni Fall 2023
Photographed: (front row, left-to-right) Dr. Valerie Breashears, MeKinzie Kyle, Melissa South and Betsy Corona; (back row, left-to-right) Tyler Bittle, Dr. Rene Couture, Joey Hughes, Megan Ridenhour and Eli Fuentez.

When more than 600 high school students from across the region gathered for a college fair at Arkansas Tech University in fall 2023, it also represented a reunion of graduates, current students and faculty from the ATU student affairs administration master’s degree program.

Among the ATU student affairs administration alumni and students in attendance were Tyler Bittle, Arkansas State University-Beebe director of admissions (Class of 2015); Dr. Valerie Breashears, ATU director of admissions (Class of 2005); Besty Corona, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith admissions advisor for diversity outreach (Class of 2022); Eli Fuentez, Subiaco Academy counselor (Class of 2014); Joey Hughes, University of the Ozarks executive director of admissions (Class of 2015); MeKinzie Kyle, ATU admissions officer (Class of 2025); Megan Ridenhour, Sacred Heart High School counselor (Class of 2014); and Melissa South, ATU coordinator for family engagement and events (Class of 2024).

“The impact of ATU’s graduate program in student affairs administration was well noted with alumni and current students from across the state working in various roles on their campuses,” said Dr. Rene Couture, ATU associate professor of student affairs administration and head of the ATU Department of Emergency Management, Professional Studies and Student Affairs Administration.

According to information published online, the ATU student affairs administration program is “committed to the growth, development and success of students by combining academic preparation, mentorship and field experience in student affairs.”

Coursework offered by the program can lead to a Master of Science degree in student affairs administration and/or a collegiate advising certificate. The program also oversees first-year student course offerings as a means of helping entering college students make successful transitions to ATU.

Learn more about the ATU student affairs administration program at