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Overview of the Program

The Higher Education Program is located in the Department of Education Policy Studies within the College of Education at Penn State University.  Its primary goal is the preparation of educational leaders who are capable of researching, analyzing, and addressing critical challenges in postsecondary education.  The Program uses the knowledge of several related disciplines to study postsecondary education systematically, and then applies this learning to the professional challenges faced by researchers and practitioners in the field.

Graduates pursue a wide variety of careers, including positions as administrators, researchers, faculty members, and staff officers in colleges and universities or in public or private agencies and associations.  That our graduates are so highly placed is due, at least in part, to the emphasis of the Program on providing a variety of opportunities for students to work with faculty and other professional staff at the University.  Professional staff in other administrative offices at the University serve as affiliate faculty members in the Program and are available to assist students in their educational and career development.  All Program faculty are able to provide students with individually tailored opportunities for study leading to the master’s and doctoral degrees.

Although the positions for which students in the Program prepare themselves are diverse, students and faculty alike recognize the need for a degree of unity in the pursuit of higher education as a field of study.  Consequently, a core of courses is offered in all degree programs, while still allowing for sufficient individual variation in order that special interests and expertise may be cultivated.