Higher Education Program Builds College-Focused Careers

Higher Education Program Builds College-Focused Careers

Higher Education Administration and Policy Program

“The career preparation, comprehensive course work and diverse experiences of the instructors prepared me to be an effective institutional collaborator and leader,” says James Ehrmann (MS12), now assistant director of fraternity and sorority life at the University of Washington. Like other graduates of SESP’s Higher Education Administration and Policy master’s program, he says the program prepared him to be a leader in higher education administration.

Some Higher Education students are looking to start a career at a college while others are developing background and credentials for advancing in the higher education field. Many graduates succeed at careers in college academic affairs, central administration, student affairs, development and enrollment management or in policy, government and nonprofits related to higher education.

Student affairs and academic affairs are the most popular areas for graduates of the program. The Higher Education program at Northwestern, directed by associate professor Lois Trautvetter, has distinguishing features compared to other programs:

  • A broad curriculum in the full institutional and social context of the higher education system.
  • Faculty members who are practitioners and researchers in higher education
  • A master’s research project that allows in-depth exploration of a higher education topic of interest
  • Valuable internship experiences
  • Flexibility to complete the program full-time in one year or part-time over a longer time

Students and alumni speak highly of the internship aspect of the program. Internships provide valuable professional experience and connect classroom learning with real-world contexts.  “My internship allowed me a new perspective. From leading meetings to mentoring students one-on-one, planning recruitment and working alongside professional colleagues, the internship gave me a daily opportunity to apply what I was learning in class to my practice in the field,” says Elise Alford (MS10).

The program also has a notable record for job placement. Assisted by career placement services and Northwestern’s fine reputation, 90 percent of graduates find employment within two months of graduation.

Upcoming application deadlines to begin the Higher Education Administration and Policy program in summer or fall of 2013 are May 13 and August 19, respectively.

Jennifer Puchtel (MS11) summarizes the program’s appeal for her: “I chose Northwestern’s program for its balance of course work, internship experience and research. I also valued the small size of the School of Education and Social Policy and the opportunity to complete the master’s program along with a cohort.”

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 3/14/13