The last two years have been a watershed moment for higher education. Mounting demographic changes, a staggering worldwide pandemic, and uncertain institutional responses to these realities have produced an unparalleled volatile situation for contemporary higher education. Individuals and institutions who want to navigate these choppy waters need nerve, grit, and a pioneering sensibility. Luckily, ACU Online exists to equip its students for Christian service and leadership in a rapidly changing world—including the world of higher education. Read on to learn how our Master of Education in Higher Education (M.Ed.) is preparing students to lead colleges and universities into the future.
Why an M.Ed. in Higher Education?
Higher education has always been about more than just education; it’s deeply connected to a sense of national identity, personal fulfillment, and professional success. How does an M.Ed. in Higher Education connect to this broader vision of higher education, though?
According to Dr. Brian Cole, the director for ACU Online’s M.Ed. program, the mission of higher education is more important than ever:
“Higher education is always evolving, however, there have been some especially significant changes that have taken place within the past few years. These changes have brought many challenges and opportunities—and there is a need for campus leaders who can effectively guide this work.”
Thus, the purpose of our M.Ed. program is to produce the next generation of leaders in higher education, who are rooted in research and influenced by faith-based principles to evaluate programs, shape policy, grow enrollment, and nurture students along their journey. This robust data-driven and faith influenced outlook prepares leaders who compassionately and strategically propose solutions that consider all learners and tackle challenges facing higher education as a whole. Plus, with a flexible, fully online format emphasizing applied concepts, the M.Ed. in Higher Education accommodates those looking to progress in the field or pivot from another career to one in higher education.
What Will Pursuing an M.Ed. in Higher Ed Look Like?
This program requires 33 hours of coursework, which can be completed in less than two years. Our curriculum is distinctive for both the breadth of its focus and the way faith is intentionally woven throughout the classes.
For example, courses like Foundations of Higher Education introduce students to the history, development, and structure of American higher education; while placing special focus on the interplay of Christian faith within the historical development of U.S. higher education. In Introduction to Student Services, M.Ed. students survey and analyze typical student programs and services at U.S. colleges and universities. Alongside these, M.Ed. students also take a variety of core classes dealing with cutting-edge theoretical research into student development theory as well as legal and ethical considerations in higher education. Additionally, our program teaches highly in-demand skills like data mining and research skills for the purposes of analyzing programs, higher-education environments, and managing enrollment and retention efforts.
Most importantly, woven throughout this program are opportunities to critically and thoroughly examine how higher education relates to personal faith and how Christian principles can shape school environments and influence student success. Classes like Spiritual Development in College Students offer the distinct ability for students to study the principles of Christian spiritual formation as well as a broad range of historical and philosophical approaches to spirituality. All of these general curricular offerings cohere to offer a truly impactful degree that equips students to become exceptional Christian leaders within higher education spaces.
What Will I Do With an M.Ed. in Higher Education?
Further, with three concentrations available, students can customize their M.Ed. degree based on their particular interests. The Academic Advising concentration equips higher-education practitioners currently in academic advising roles for leadership and prepares industry professionals to enter the field by learning proficiencies essential for promoting student success. The Conflict Resolution concentration provides learners with the skills to effectively manage conflicts that arise among students or coworkers within a college or university environment. And the Student Affairs Leadership concentration is designed to equip those leading student services units and administrative areas of higher education institutions.
The diverse range of these classes and concentrations enables those who earn an M.Ed. to pursue a sweeping array of careers: Admissions Administrator, Student Services Dean, Residential Life Coordinator, and a host of other jobs in higher education. And, most importantly, as Dr. Cole says: “The M.Ed. in Higher Education program helps prepare students to step into college and university roles or to advance in their current positions with the knowledge, perspective, and wisdom to both lead in the present and to help influence the future direction of higher education.” Interested in educating the next generation of learners? Visit our website or call 855-219-7300 to learn how to earn your M.Ed. from ACU Online.