Academic Areas & Divisions
Graduate Program in Higher Education: Mission Statement
The mission of the Graduate Program in Higher Education is to prepare students as effective and transformational college and university leaders. The Program embodies the following values:
- Higher education is part of a broader educational context and students will be encouraged to examine the connections between P-12 systems and colleges and universities.
- Like all of education, leadership in a college or university is a moral endeavor that requires leaders to consider the larger implications of their work within the context of broader social challenges and dilemmas.
- Effective and transformative leaders in higher education are those individuals who are able to competently promote change within colleges and universities that is rooted in: (a) a deep understanding of the tensions between competing values, (b) an empirical and systematic approach, and (c) a passion for improving the lives of those served by colleges and universities.
In recognition of these values, faculty members have created a program that, across all degree options, encourages development of the following skills and competencies:
- Students will gain an appreciation of the history of American higher education and learn how to use their historical understanding as a tool for effective college leadership.
- Students will develop a strong understanding of the institutional diversity within the American system of higher education, with an eye toward examining how these different types of institutions work individually and together.
- Students will develop methodological competence with the goal of being able to design and execute empirical examinations of issues relevant to higher education.
- Students will learn about the financial, legal, and policy dimensions of colleges and universities, and the implications of these dimensions for larger society.
- Students will develop theoretical and practical expertise in how college students develop and change during the college years, and the ways in which college and university environments shape that change and development.
- Students will develop a strong theoretical understanding of multicultural issues within higher education and will be asked to examine ways in which they can, as leaders, promote inclusion.
- Students will learn to work with others whose primary intellectual foci lie in P-12 institutions.
- Students will learn to appreciate the global and international dimensions of higher education issues.
- Students will gain practical experience through internships or other intellectually based experiences that bring their coursework to bear in practical settings