Center for the Study of Higher Education

A Distinctive Higher Education Program

The director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education is Professor Regina Deil-Amen.

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.

The Center's Faculty

We are happy to announce that we hired a new tenure track assistant professor who began this fall 2019 – Assistant Professor Karina Salazar!

Assistant Professor Salazar is a local Tucsonan and proud graduate of Sunnyside High School! Her dissertation, entitled “The wealth and color of off-campus recruiting by public research universities,” uses sophisticated data science techniques to examine how university recruiting efforts spatially discriminate against high schools and communities with predominantly low-income students and Students of Color, and her work has been featured by The New York Times, NPR, CNN, Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report. Salazar teaches quantitative methods classes on Managing and Manipulating Data using R and Introduction to Multivariate Regression.

Assistant Professor Jameson Lopez and Associate Professor Z Nicolazzo began in August 2018.

Lopez graduated with a bachelors in elementary education from American Indian College, a masters in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University. His doctorate is in Educational Policy and Evaluation at Arizona State University. He focuses on Native American education using quantitative methods with the hope that his experience and research incorporating Indigenous knowledge and western scientific methods will continue to support all generations of Native American people. Learn more about Assistant Professor Jameson Lopez and his work.

Nicolazzo is an expert in Trans* Studies in Education and focuses on how systems of privilege and oppression (e.g., sexism, masculinity, trans* oppression) mediate educational environments. Nicolazzo addresses gender in K-12 and postsecondary education in expansive, non-binary ways that include students with diverse genders beyond just thinking about “men" and/or “women.” Nicolazzo explores how policies and practices, including educational interventions, both inhibit and promote expansive understandings of gender as a social identity. Learn more about Associate Professor Z Nicolazzo.

We are tremendously excited that all three of these exceptional scholars have joined our faculty!

The Center's Affiliates

The Center's work is distinguished by:

  • A commitment not just to improving practice, but also to educational changes that enhance the realization of social justice in higher education.
  • A consideration of how developments in the political economy shape and are expressed in the restructuring of higher education settings, professions, and practices.
  • An exploration of the international/global dimensions, issues, and agencies related to higher education, with particular attention devoted to the Americas.

These distinctive characteristics go beyond individual faculty; they reflect a collective synergy and orientation of our faculty to scholarship and practice.

A Diverse, Supportive, Challenging Intellectual Community

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 of 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.

Faculty at the Center help foster a culture of research

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.

Our Latest Accomplishments

Degrees & Programs                                                                        Course Offerings

Master of Arts, M.A (Application here).                                                                              HED Fall  2020 Course List
Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D.  (Application here)                                                                                       
For more information, visit our page through the Graduate College

Current Students

Graduate College and other resources for students