Center for the Study of Higher Education
The Director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education is Dr. Gary Rhoades.
Established in 1977, the Center for the Study of Higher Education offers flexible, interdisciplinary, and individualized master of arts and doctor of philosophy degree programs with concentrations in comparative higher education, organization and administration, college access, and student affairs.
These distinctive characteristics go beyond individual faculty; they reflect a collective synergy and orientation of our faculty to scholarship and practice.
Each year we admit around ten (10) Ph.D. students and fifteen to twenty (15-20) M.A. students. The life experience and perspectives of approximately 90-100 students enrolled here flavor our program. A high proportion of our students are accomplished professionals and we value the practical experience and organizational skills they bring.
Ours is a diverse, supportive, challenging intellectual community. Over half of our students are women, over 20 percent are students of color, and over 10 percent are international students. Many are first generation students. This diversity enriches our community and work.
In recognition for its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, the Center for the Study of Higher Ed has been honored with the Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Award in 2010.
We are supportive of each others' work and that of our students. Most of our students work, yet are fully engaged intellectually in a program that emphasizes a culture of research and reflective practice. Our aim is to bring theories and findings from the academic literature to bear on professional practice in ways that enhance students' abilities to understand, analyze, and act within postsecondary organizations and systems. We seek students who are deeply committed to the advancement and improvement of higher education as students, practitioners, scholars, and activists.
Most of our students advance into positions in various support professions and administration, but some also pursue faculty positions. Although most obtain positions on college and university campuses, we have also placed students in systemwide administration, policy agencies such as WICHE, and in private enterprise.
An important contributor to our intellectual community is the Higher Education Student Organization (HESO). It sponsors formal and informal annual functions and activities that are academic, professional, and social in nature and that address student needs as well as bring students and faculty together for supportive exchange.