About the Higher Education Program

Our small size and elite faculty generate high scholarly expectations for students in intellectually stimulating environments, foster interactions among K-12 and higher education doctoral students, and prepare emerging practitioners well for the field.

Mission:

We prepare intellectually curious and culturally responsible higher education leaders and scholars who will influence change to improve post-secondary teaching and learning environments around the world.

Vision:

We seek to

  • foster K-12 stakeholder connections and collaboration.
  • cultivate and grow students’ intellectual capacity.
  • develop leaders through a transformational learning experience.
  • mentor scholar-practitioners who are creative problem solvers.
  • create the space for innovation to occur.
  • facilitate integration of learning.
  • help students find their academic voice.
  • support and sustain inclusive environments for teaching, learning, and practice.
  • expose students to international perspectives to foster intercultural competencies and complement our national efforts in that area.
  • produce graduates with skills that are relevant to community needs.

Program Objectives:

  • To engage graduate students in post-secondary professions and prepare to assume competent, reflective, and ethical leadership roles in policy-making and planning and in responsible and meaningful research.
  • To promote the production and application of responsible and reflective scholarship, applied research, and service on national and international post-secondary education.
  • To encourage in its students a broad understanding of the past, current, and projected issues and practices that characterize post-secondary educational institutions, agencies, and constituencies and an in-depth specialization in a specific professional role or line of research.
  • To promote and safeguard the exploration of divergent ideas, theories, values, and methods for its faculty and students without fear of retaliation or ridicule.
  • To contribute to the development and understanding of post-secondary educational endeavors in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Mid-Atlantic region, and national and international arenas.
  • To develop students' analytical and expressive skills through immersion in inquiry and scholarship.
  • To prepare ethical, culturally aware, and socially responsible professionals for lives of personal and professional service to their institutions and communities.
  • To engender an appreciation and respect for cultural diversity and global competencies.

Who we are:

  • Diverse professional and administrative experience among its faculty
    • Institutional governance and leadership
    • Academic administration
    • Student affairs administration
    • Governmental and non-governmental  policy analysis and development
    • Diversity of institutional types
    • International tertiary systems, structures, and issues
    • Community college administration
  • Distinct lines of inquiry and scholarship among its faculty
    • Faculty and academic life
    • Policy
    • Leadership
    • Law
    • Student Services
    • Institutional types: research and comprehensive university, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges
    • International systems, policies, and issues
    • Governance and organizational models
    • Student development and collegiate outcomes
    • Finance of postsecondary institutions
    • History of higher education
    • Diversity: Gender in education, minority inclusion, and class/cultural differences
  • Rigorous but supportive program culture
    • Emphasis on diverse conceptual and methodological  scholarship and application of research to practice
    • Competitive and limited admission
    • Accessible faculty
    • Administrative in-service laboratory through graduate assistantships and internships
    • Community of scholars with active student participation in professional conferences and in writing opportunities