MS in Higher Education Administration - Curriculum

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Prepare for Higher Office in Higher Education

In SNHU's 36-credit higher education administration master’s degree program, you'll learn the communication, leadership, organization and technical skills required of today’s leaders in higher education. Do so while gaining deep insight into the history and theory that have shaped higher learning in the United States. All throughout, take advantage of SNHU’s own institutional experience driving change in the field.

MS in Higher Education Administration Outcomes

Students will develop into informed leaders who understand how to move an agenda forward amidst the conflicting pressures and perspectives of the higher education industry. You’ll obtain a keen sense of the role higher education has in enriching the wider community and the obligation administrators have to support and nurture it. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Design, develop and implement innovative strategies based on empirically derived data and research to address the challenges facing higher education which further an institution's mission, vision and goals 
  • Apply empirical research methodologies to evaluate program effectiveness that address underrepresented needs of the increasingly diverse college student population 
  • Critically evaluate the historic and social context of higher education for its reciprocity between institutional, local and national policy
  • Utilize compliance, regulatory and accreditation standards to inform institutional decision-making
  • Apply strategies for facilitating effective communication, collaboration and data-based continuous improvement as an administrator across institutional units
  • Apply empirically based financial management skills related to budgeting, resource allocation and funding to support an institution's strategic goals

MS in Higher Education Administration Curriculum

Higher Education Core Courses

HEA-510: Philosophy and History of Higher Education
Candidates seeking to become degreed higher education administrators must first understand the historical, philosophical, and social influences that have built America's concept of higher education and articulate their own personal philosophy of higher education. Emphasis will be placed on the reciprocal relationship between higher education models and their socio-historical contexts.
HEA-520: Contemporary Issues in Higher Education
Through the use of contextualized cases representative of the technological, demographic, and intellectual shifts that have influenced higher education's evolving role in the twenty-first century, candidates will examine the issues facing higher education today and link their judgments to historical foundations. Candidates will create alignments between current issues in higher education and how they influence the twenty-first-century student.
HEA-530: Data-Driven Decision-Making in Higher Education
This course will further candidates' ability to methodically apply empirically based, data-centric approaches to inform institutional decision making across multiple university sectors. Through contextualized, authentic experiences, candidates will analyze, evaluate, and assess programs using contemporary technologies and develop evidence-based approaches to meet desired outcomes. Candidates will be required to justify the empirically based process by which they reached their programmatic decisions. Specific modes of inquiry driving this course will be strongly represented in subsequent course work.
HEA-510 or HEA-520
HEA-540: Program Evaluation
This course will explore the theories and processes of higher education program evaluation. Candidates will - within the context of a university's mission, strategic goals, and objectives - learn necessary skills to methodically evaluate higher education programs. Candidates will analyze given sets of case-based data and offer evidence and research based justifications for programmatic changes. Project management concepts and tools will be applied throughout the course.
HEA-550: Higher Education Law and Regulation
With an examination of the key laws, policies, and concepts specific to higher education in the United States, candidates will gain a sense of higher education law's complexity and how law has assumed a greater role in establishing patterns, modes of conduct, and equitable procedures in an attempt to assure the rights and responsibilities of administrators, faculty members, staff, and students in the institutional context.
HEA-610: Enrollment Management and Marketing
?This course will address the data-centric enrollment management process within higher education, including how to attract, admit, and retain students. Candidates will examine the tools for effective admissions marketing, predicting admissions yields, and assessing how financial aid influences enrollment behavior. Candidates will gain the evidence-based skills necessary to understand the tactics for successful onboarding and continued retention of students, as well as the structures and approaches aimed at improving student achievement and persistence.
HEA-620: Budget and Financial Management in Higher Education
?This course will require candidates to empirically make sense of quantitative data sets related to financial management of an institution. Candidates will manipulate tuition and fee revenue models and make justifiable, quantitatively-based budgetary decisions regarding how those decisions map onto given institution's strategic initiatives and mission. Through the use of fiscal management models, candidates will how account for how government appropriations, financial aid regulations, large grants, and investment income influence these decisions.
HEA-630: Leading Change in Higher Education
This course explores the responsibility of innovative - and accountable - change agents who must manage institutional responses to major external or internal forces. Candidates will consider how to apply empirical data and quality improvement principles to planning. Candidates will demonstrate how strategic approaches may be applied to successful navigation of individual, collaborative, and organizational structures. Through the examination of effective communication strategies, consensus building, and negotiation candidates will focus on creative problem solving through innovative approaches and models related to the administration of institutions of higher education in the 21st century.
HEA-540 and 550

Higher Education Elective Courses

Choose three courses of the following, two must be HEA courses:

COM-600: Communication for Leadership
This course aims to prepare students for a variety of leadership roles in dynamic organizations and environments. Students will analyze key aspects of leadership, relationships, and organizations such as: organizational culture, conflict in interpersonal and organizational settings, organizational roles and socialization, power in personal and professional relationships, and group communication theories. Students will contend with these concepts from a personal standpoint by using examples from their own relationships and workplaces to apply best practices and improve their own communication and leadership skills. Additionally, this course takes a systems theory approach to organizations and teams, looking at the interrelationship of events, people, and ideas and the systemic impact of small and large changes.
HEA-560: Educational Policy Making
Higher education and its administrators are increasingly influenced by federal and state policies. Candidates will employ current higher education regulations to develop policies that further an institution's mission. Candidates will examine the policy making process by analyzing national industry organizations and research, data sources, and trends that affect existing legislation.
HEA-540 and 550
HEA-640: Critical Issues in Student Affairs
This course explores student development theories and court decisions related to student-institution relationship, privacy, ethics, and civil rights as they relate to critical issues addressed by the department of student affairs. Candidates will develop a program related to student affairs to address an institutions underrepresented need.
HEA-540 and 550
HEA-660: Community College Administration
This course traces the evolution of community colleges in the United States, their organizational structures, and how those structures function to meet the needs of traditional and non-traditional learners. Candidates will examine community college goals, policies, instructional and student service programs, and how community colleges influence the broader context of higher education. Attention will be given to community college learning goals and how administrators obtain and utilize community and financial resources to meet the desired outcomes.
HEA-540 and 550
OL-500: Human Behavior in Organizations
This course is a study of individuals and groups and their interaction. Students examine theories of motivation, communication, leadership, power and change with practical relation to contemporary issues. They also study organizations for key design variables and reward systems aimed at improved performance and organizational efficiency through employee motivational programs, participative management and cooperative decision making.

Capstone Course

HEA-690: Capstone in Higher Education
In the capstone course, candidates will be given the opportunity to reflect on their coursework in order to consider their evolution as administrators and leaders in the field of higher education. Candidates will synthesize prior learning to design, develop, and execute a project related to higher education in their chosen subject as a culmination of their studies.
Senior standing (30 credits or more)
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