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Elon University to launch graduate program in higher education in Fall 2018

The application process for the innovative program, which will enroll an initial cohort of 12 students, is underway.​  

​Elon will welcome the first class of students to a new, innovative graduate program, the Master of Arts in Higher Education, in the fall of 2018. This full-time, two-year program prepares students for a range of leadership positions in the major administrative areas of colleges and universities, as well as for other post-secondary positions such as nonprofit agencies.

Graduates will be prepared to be highly effective professionals in higher education, working in areas that include student and academic affairs, global education, university advancement, diversity and inclusion, and many administrative and co-curricular programs.  

Elon’s curriculum will cover a breadth of higher education knowledge, from admissions to student learning and development, to leadership and institutional decision-making – all with an emphasis on career readiness.

“For years, leaders in the field of higher education have suggested that Elon provide a master’s program to prepare the next generation of higher education leaders in engaged and experiential learning,” says Smith Jackson, assistant to the president and associate professor. “We have done just that with a program that links classroom learning with enriching out-of-class experiences.”

Each student will be immersed in one of the program’s unique apprenticeship opportunities. These experiences, sometimes called assistantships, are paid, half-time professional positions in campus programs with professionals who will support the students in achieving their personal, personal and career goals.  

Apprenticeships are available in academic advising, student leadership, alumni engagement, international student and scholar services, new student orientation and residence life, among other areas. Students will write a final, culminating paper and give a capstone presentation to fellow students, program faculty and other invited guests as they address a vexing and relevant issue in a campus program in research teams.

Building on Elon’s renowned, campus-wide model of engaged learning, the master’s students will “learn through doing.”

Grouped in pairs, students will engage in a funded, 10-day study abroad experience in countries around the globe as part of a two-course sequence on how to design and administer a global education program. Students will conduct research, complete two internships, analyze case studies of other campuses they will visit, and participate in monthly colloquia on hot topics and best practices in higher education. 

With competition among private and public universities nationwide, the inclusion of high-impact educational practices in the MHE curriculum makes Elon’s program stand out, according to Ann Bullock, dean of the school of education and professor of education.

“Candidates will be immersed in engaged learning in their coursework taught by faculty and university administrators who are experts in their fields, along with professional and life experiences,” Bullock said. “These program hallmarks are coupled with the candidates’ apprenticeships, which allow them to integrate into the fabric of the university through deeply mentored relationships and significant university projects. Graduates will be well-prepared leaders, ready to impact students and institutions of higher education.”

The application process is underway, with the Master of Arts in Higher Education program to enroll a diverse cohort of 12 students for the fall 2018. The program is open to applicants from any academic major and the application deadline is Jan. 5.

There has already been an incredible amount of interest in the program, notes Tarah Holland, assistant director of graduate admissions. “While study abroad, paid apprenticeships and other factors are certainly appealing to prospective students, Elon’s reputation as a national leader in experiential learning and its commitment to a student-centered environment are also valuable,” Holland says.

More information about the Elon MHE program and a complete list of apprenticeships is available at www.elon.edu/mhe

Owen Covington,
12/22/2017 9:50 AM