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Higher Education Administration (HIED) PhD Program

This nationally recognized Ph.D. program emphasizes informed, ethical decision making in the administration of higher education. It is intended to launch its graduates into new areas and/or higher levels of leadership in colleges and universities.

Students take core coursework in higher education foundations, administration, governance and organization, law, and the college student. Each student, in collaboration with her/his advisor, fashions a four course cognate that leads to specialization in an area of personal and professional interest.

The sequence of four research courses culminates in a dissertation of original contribution to the knowledge of higher education. Based on a full-time cohort model, the program is designed to be completed in three years.

All full-time students are employed in a variety of graduate assistantships that both support and supplement the program, and that include a waiver of all tuition and most fees. The Global Understanding Requirement, a unique feature of the program, broadens and diversifies the student’s conception of higher education and how it is influenced by culture and custom.

A commitment to educational leadership grounded in expressed principles, ideals, ethics, and values;The program is grounded in the following values:

  • A zeal for involvement and advocacy in the higher education profession;
  • A holistic perspective of higher education that reflects an understanding of the interests and concerns of the internal campus environment (its faculty, staff, students, and administrators), external constituents (consumers, governmental agents, the public), and the global community;
  • Expertise in a discipline-based academic speciality, in addition to a command of a core of professional studies in higher education; appreciation for both quantitative and qualitative tools of inquiry, emphasizing an understanding of their application to an array of problems, challenges, issues, and practices in higher education.

HIED Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to integrate and synthesize content across domains.  Learning outcomes are achieved through engagement in course work; independent research; employment; co-curricular and professional experiences; and interaction with faculty, peers, and university leaders.

Administration and Leadership in Higher Education

  • Understand the history, philosophy, sociology, and law pertaining to governance, administration, and leadership in higher education institutions and systems
  • Articulate how higher education is differentiated by mission, sector, curriculum, size, and stakeholders
  • Evaluate and apply organizational theories and models to create and lead effective organizations 
  • Develop effective practices and policies to create socially-just higher education and institutions and systems

Postsecondary Students’ Learning and Development

  • Understand the demographic profile and trends of college students in the U.S.
  • Analyze and critique models and theories of student learning and development and understand the cultural factors that influence their creation and use 
  • Articulate the effect of individual and group differences and similarities on students' learning and development
  • Create environments, policies, programs, and services that promote deep learning and foster the success of all students
  • Collaborate within and beyond the institution to foster student learning, growth, and development

Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice

  • Articulate the experiences of historically underrepresented and marginalized groups in higher education in the United States
  • Understand issues of diversity, equity, and social justice in higher education
  • Evaluate and create socially just policies and practices in higher education
  • Understand a non-U.S. higher education system in the context of its culture
  • Understand how U.S. higher education is similar to and different from other higher education systems
  • Understand the role of globalization in higher education

Inquiry: Assessment, Evaluation, and Research

  • Articulate paradigmatic assumptions that underlie different approaches to research, evaluation, and assessment
  • Understand and interpret results from programmatic and institutional data
  • Develop expertise in at least one research methodology
  • Apply best practices of assessment and evaluation in postsecondary education
  • Analyze qualitative and quantitative data to address research questions
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of research and assessment studies
  • Create and implement at least one assessment project and one research study