The curriculum for the Master of Arts in Higher Education is informed by the mission and values of Elon University and the School of Education, and reflects the knowledge, skills and dispositions graduates should possess. The courses and learning outcomes adhere to the Council for the Advancement of Higher Education Programs (CAHEP) Guidelines for Higher Education Administration and Leadership Programs for Master’s Degree Level and the American College Personnel Association- College Student Educators/National Association of Student Personnel Association (ACPA/NASPA) Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators.
The curriculum is scaffolded to build on and deepen students’ learning as they progress through the program. First-year courses provide students with a strong knowledge base upon which to build their professional identity. Topics examined in the first year include: the historical underpinnings and evolution of higher education as a field of study; theories of student learning and development, advising/mentoring, and high impact educational practices; research competencies needed to critically analyze, conduct and disseminate empirical scholarship, program evaluation and assessment; higher education financial management practices; and the approaches and processes utilized by college and university enrollment offices. In their second year, students extend their professional knowledge through the application of learning in internships, a study abroad experience, and a team-based capstone project. Second year coursework focuses on social justice, organizational behavior and culture, legal issues, global education, and leadership. The capstone seminar requires students to integrate their knowledge and skills, and apply their understanding to developing a solution to an authentic problem in a campus program/department. Students will write a final, culminating paper, and give a capstone presentation to fellow graduate students, program faculty, and other invited guests. Throughout the program, all students are also enrolled each semester (fall and spring) in a monthly colloquia on Hot Topics, Trends and Best Practices in Higher Education. These sessions are typically held after a class, often with a brown-bag, lunch format.
Collectively, the proposed program of study is designed to equip the graduate of the program with the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to be an effective new professional in the field of higher education.