Educational Policy Studies & Practice

Center for the Study of Higher Education
Educational Leadership & Policy

The Department of Educational Policy Studies and Practice (EPSP) includes Educational Leadership and Policy and the Center for the Study of Higher Education. The EPSP department combines the K-12 focus with postsecondary education to create a P-20 perspective that taps into the dominant discourse of education and policymakers today.

Professor Gary Rhoades is the Department Head.

Both the Center for the Study of Higher Education (HED) and Educational Leadership and Policy (EDL) maintain their core functions and curriculum, consistent with professional career paths and state standards for certification leading to licensure. However, the combined unit more broadly facilitates and encourages research, instructional, and service and outreach initiatives consistent with a policy development and analysis focus.

A  key departmental strength concentrates on how organizations, institutions (both formal and informal), official practices, and educational professions affect outcomes across local, national, and international contexts and how these entities are themselves affected by societal, economic, and political pressures.

EPSP prepares graduate students at the doctorate and master's levels. Graduate programs in EDL include an Ed.D., Ph.D., Ed.S., M.A., and M.Ed. The M.A. degree has a focus on policy. The M.Ed. degree is a standards-driven curriculum leading to both a degree and state certification for the principalship. Graduate programs in HED include Ph.D. and M.A. degrees.

Degrees & Programs


Lunch & Learn

The purpose of this session, which we plan to repeat at least once more this semester, is to facilitate further communication among faculty and students about a range of programmatic, professional, and academic issues, as well as to enhance community among our students.  We encourage you to come with questions, thoughts, and suggestions for us, and we may have some for you as well.

Alumni Spotlight

Former HED student, Heather Metcalf was interviewed on BBC’s “The World” regarding the comments of Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt that revealed his bias against women working in the scientific labs. This is another great example of UA Higher Ed PhDs engaging in important conversations and addressing issues of social justice—both locally and globally.


Debbie Bergman was inducted into the Sunnyside School Districts Hall of Fame. As part of her induction, they put together this video about Debbie’s history of outstanding work that I thought you all would like to see:


Recent Graduate Spotlight

Lisa Foree will be recognized as the Outstanding Masters Student and will participate in a panel discussion on May 3 at the Leadership Symposium.

WONDERFUL news that Sowmya Ghosh has been awarded a Laura Bassi Scholarship. After what was a superb dissertation defense, this award will help facilitate her ability to translate that important work into publications!

Join me in congratulating Audrey Reff, who conducted an excellent critical policy study on Move On When Reading and has just been awarded the Arizona School Administrators' 2019 Outstanding Dissertation Award!

HED graduate, Dr. Amanda Tachine published an insightful editorial piece in Al Jazeera America. Her article discusses the rare yet crucial experiences of graduate and professional Native American students and how best to support their success. 


Faculty Spotlight

Congratulate Seth Aleshire who will be recognized by the Arizona Professors of Educational Leadership as an Outstanding Adjunct for 2019 and will participate in a panel discussion and will be recognized on May 3rd at the Leadership Symposium.

Professor, Jenny Lee is a guest in the FreshEd Podcast to discuss the underlying U.S. political climate for international students and scholars. Jenny discusses the rise in discrimination and hate crimes since Trump’s election and the presence of neo-racism on campuses.


Student Spotlight

Congratulations, Center for the Study of Higher Education Doctoral students: Amanda Cheromiah, Charlinda Haudley and Bryant Valencia for being awarded the Maria Teresa Velez Diversity Leadership Scholarship for 2019-2020! The scholarship provides $25,000 in cash stipend plus coverage of full base tuition and individual student health insurance if needed. 


Important Documents, Forms, and Resources for:

Faculty & Staff

Teaching Resources