MA in Higher Education Leadership for Changing Populations (online)

Education Department

Degrees offered





The online M.A. in Higher Education Leadership for Changing Populations is designed as a pathway for two types of professionals:  those already working in a college or university setting looking to advance to director-level positions; or those without higher education experience looking to break into the field.  Courses cover a range of topics and how they work in tandem including education policy, strategic planning, learning theory and more with optional concentrations in enrollment management or philanthropy.  Students in the program build the broad knowledge base and expertise of best practices, processes, and regulations needed to be successful in a college or university setting. 

Optional Concentrations

  • Enrollment Management
  • Philanthropy

Curiculum (30 credits, plus option 12 credit concentration)

      Changing Populations Core Courses (9 credits)

          EDU-557 Leadership (3)
          EDU-698 Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in Higher Education (3)
          EDU-760 Legislative and Legal Decisions affecting Changing Populations (3)

      Higher Education Core Courses (15 credits)

          EDU-722 Education and Policy Analysis for Higher Education (3)
          EDU-803 Assessment, Accreditation, and the Strategic Planning Process (3)
          EDU-804 Finance, Pilanthropy, and Budgeting in Higher Education (3
          Choose two of the following:
             EDM-500 Principles of Enrollment Management and Retention (3)
             EDU-677 Student Affairs: Policy, Planning, and Practice (3)
             EDU-699 Internship (3)
             PLAN-501 Principles of Philanthropic Development (3)

      Research Core Courses (6 credits)

          EDU-543 Reading, Analyzing, and Interpreting Education Research (3)
          EDU-567 Learning Theory and Practice (3)

      Optional Concentration - Enrollment Management (12 Credits)

          EDM-500  Principles of Enrollment Management and Retention (3)
          EDM-501  Financial Aid and Data Analytics for Enrollment Planning (3)
          EDM-502  Enrollment Marketing and Cofmmunications (3)
          EDM-503  Leadership and Strategic Planning for Enrollment Management Professionals

      Optional Concentration - Philanthropy (12 credits)

          NPM-545  Fundraising and Grant Writing (3)
          PLAN-501  Principles of Philanthropic Development (3)
          PLAN-502  Cultivating Donor Relations (3)
          PLAN-503  Communication and Branding (3)


EDU-543 Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Educational Research

Provides an interactive learning environment that will enable students to acquire knowledge, skills and abilities required for the analysis, interpretation and evaluation of educational research. In addition, the course will enable students to cultivate the skills necessary for engaging in their own creative and meaningful research. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-557 Leadership Seminar I

Analyzes various models of leadership and explores societal and personal assumptions about leadership. Students investigate key elements of effective leadership and raise questions from several cultural viewpoints. Participants will be encouraged to integrate and apply diverse leadership perspectives in order to enhance their leadership abilities and strengthen their capacity to lead as educational professionals. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-567 Learning Theory and Practice

Evaluates theories of learning from cognitive, physiological and affective perspectives as a basis for effective instructional practice. Research into the theoretical basis for learning and higher level thinking skills is applied to educational planning, implementation, and evaluation. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-698 Linguistic and Cultural Diversity

Assists educators in better understanding the nature of language and language acquisition in the context of their relevance for education. First and second language acquisition will be studied in detail, primarily from a cognitive perspective with emphasis on the analysis of the diverse variables that play a role in language acquisition and how these affect literacy development. The focus of this course will be on the study of language development of K-12 students who are linguistic minority students, including those for whom Standard English is a second dialect and those for whom it is a second language. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-699 Independent Study: Education

This is reserved for specialized topics and independent study.   [3 credits]

EDU-722 Education and Policy Analysis

Creates awareness of recurring issues and tensions inherent in providing educational opportunities in a democratic society. Examples are: impact of linguistic and cultural diversity on equity, ethical issues confronting teachers and policy-makers, tensions between individual and collective interests, limits of democratic authority and equality of educational opportunity in a democratic society. This course introduces the process by which such policies are accomplished: identifying context and relevant antecedents, framing of problems and solutions within policies, policy implementation and anticipating and responding to policy consequences. The course includes theoretical and applied readings on state and national policy issues as they affect the educational environment and the learning needs of mainstream and non-mainstream students. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-760 Legislative and Legal Decisions Affecting Changing School Populations

Applies analytical and legal reasoning skills to issues emerging from implementation of recent legislation setting standards for: achievement expectations for specific student populations, mandatory testing requirements, teacher quality and licensing, instruction for students for whom English is a second language and related issues. Using the case study approach, students apply the precedents established in previously studied landmark cases to cases and problems currently pending, or soon to come, before district courts and the Supreme Court. Emphasis is placed on alternative dispute resolution in a wide variety of situations that present the possibility of
litigation with focus on issues affecting changing student populations. [ 3 credits]

EDU-803 Assessment, Accreditation, and the Strategic Planning Process

This course provides a comprehensive and inclusive overview of federal, regional, and state mandates for accountability and compliance; systems and processes for the assessment and evaluation of institutional and student learning outcomes; and patterns and standards in regional and professional accreditation. The course also presents methods and models for assessing the strategic plan, and links these models to institutional effectiveness and success. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-804 Finance, Philanthropy, Budget and the Strategic Planning Process

This course provides a comprehensive and inclusive overview of the financial aspect of higher education, including budget models and planning, philanthropy, and financial issues and challenges, all explored within the context of planning and strategic priorities. The course also presents methods and models for developing and implementing financial plans, and links these model to institutional effectiveness and success. [ 3 credits ]

NPM-545 Fundraising and Grant Writing

Explores the various methods that nonprofits use to raise funds to support the organization's operations and programs. Addresses basic grant acquisition methodologies including conducting grant research, making contacts, and creating standard and comprehensive case statements. Learners complete a fundraising plan or write a grant for a nonprofit organization. [ 3 credits ]