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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 for the field.


We prepare intellectually curious, socially just higher education leaders and scholars committed to anti-racism and other equitable practices to improve post-secondary teaching and learning environments.


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 and Learning Outcomes

Critical Consumption of Higher Education History and Scholarship

  • Conduct critical reviews of the literature to question socio-historical understandings and underlying assumptions in paradigms, theories, and methods.
  • Synthesize literature on a given topic through drawing in resources across courses.
  • Able to perform a thorough literature review using multiple references that include seminal scholarship in the field as well as integrating relevant scholarship outside the field.

Collaboration and Engagement to Support Equitable Learning Environments

  • Collaborate and engage across and about differences to build equitable, healthy, and sustainable learning environments
  • Proficient with 21st-century tools for teaching/learning and administration, along with the implications for integration choices
  • Understand team roles and effective strategies that include all voices
  • Construct learning opportunities and create resources to enhance knowledge and understanding related to identity and social justice.

Systems, Structures, and Leading Change in Organizations

  • Recognize the influence of leadership perspectives within a variety of institutional contexts and functional areas.
  • Able to apply change theory and leadership theories using critical perspectives to scenarios and practice.
  • Understand multiple organizational approaches and able to apply to practice
  • Examine personal and professional motivations for creating change in higher education.

Inquiry Mindset for Social Justice and Equity

  • Increase knowledge of anti-racist and equitable practices in the examination of higher education practice and understand how behaviors, attitudes, values, and traditional practices contribute to oppression and discrimination.
  • Able to conduct an equity audit within a functional area
  • Develop self-reflective practices to address implicit bias
  • Recognize and identify issues surrounding social justice, including privilege, power, and difference.

Personal Worldview in Scholarship and Practice

  • Knowledge and understanding of personal worldview and paradigms and how this supports inclusion and equity in higher education.
  • Understand international contexts for higher education operations.
  • Challenge oneself through dialogue, critical reflection, and self-exploration about diverse groups of people in relation to self and the larger society.

Research and Assessment across Context

  • Engage in research (experiential, applied, empirical) using literature and theory that uses a data-driven decision making and an inquiry mindset
  • Conceptualize the use of assessment and evaluation to promote student learning across various institutional and programmatic contexts
  • Proficient skills in research design

Why William & Mary?

Located in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, W&M is near many attractions for students of all ages, including Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, the shopping and dining offered at New Town and High Street, and much more. Williamsburg is halfway between Richmond and Norfolk and just a short drive from Newport News, making it convenient no matter where you are in Hampton Roads.  


Completed in 2010, our School of Education building is the host to classes, community outreach efforts by our specialized centers, and many conferences and workshops for educators in the Hampton Roads region and beyond.