Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
Today’s managers and leaders in higher education must take a student-focused approach to programs, services, and all aspects of the higher education experience. In the General Program, explore educational strategies and management principles that will help you address today’s most pressing issues facing higher education institutions and improve organizational and student success.
Estimated time to completion may be less than 2 years, depending on individual progress and credits transferred. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
The program’s courses are delivered online in a prescribed sequence:
Historical perspectives on the development of higher education are useful in understanding the characteristics of our current system and future trends. The social, political, and economic context in which four-year colleges, community colleges, and universities operate is introduced in this course. Education professionals explore how institutions of higher education apply business principles to renew their commitment to student learning and achieve their mission and goals effectively. They also become familiar with the philosophy, requirements, and community of Walden University, The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, and the M.S. in Higher Education program.
The success of any business is tied directly to its ability to serve its customers effectively. In higher education, those customers are students. In this course, education professionals examine fundamental principles of student learning and development as well as the implications of these principles for adult learners from a variety of backgrounds who have diverse needs and are in different stages of the educational process. They investigate and discuss factors affecting students’ educational goals and aspirations, their ability to stay in college, and the impact of their educational experiences on their learning and development; through this exploration and discussion, education professionals gain a better understanding of the ways leaders can improve these outcomes.
Effective leadership within colleges and universities depends on the ability to identify important aspects of an organization’s structure and culture as well as to adapt one’s behavior to that culture. In this course, education professionals examine patterns of organization, governance, and culture in higher education, and they assess strategies for working effectively within governance structures and organizational cultures to achieve desired goals. They engage in readings and assignments that emphasize the organization’s ability to learn and change in response to internal and external factors, including the ever-changing use of technology in academic programs and services.
Making good decisions in higher education requires the effective use of an array of information sources. In this course, education professionals investigate strategies for implementing data-informed, decision-making processes, including critiquing and evaluating research findings, locating and interpreting appropriate data sources and making credible arguments based on current industry trends and institutional data. They also complete learning activities through which they focus on determining the implications of research and data for key institutional issues and using this knowledge to drive quality improvement.
Student success depends not only on the quality of the institution’s academic programs but also on the quality and availability of student services. In particular, the growing need to help increasingly diverse student populations succeed in college requires innovative approaches to retention and support initiatives. In this course, education professionals explore strategies to plan, organize, and manage student services and programs effectively as well as for ensuring that these programs meet legal and regulatory requirements. They also engage in coursework that emphasizes the design and deployment of programs and services, which enables students from diverse backgrounds to achieve their educational goals.
Optimizing quality and productivity in a higher education organization requires the ability to initiate and support positive change efforts. In this course, education professionals explore and discuss best practices for analyzing and evaluating organizational performance; identifying opportunities for improvement; and leveraging available resources, including technological resources, to support productive change initiatives. They also investigate strategies for achieving quality and productivity goals in the context of accountability, including defining outcomes aligned with the institution’s strategic plan, establishing credible outcome measures, and demonstrating how to use outcomes data to improve programs and services.
As costs escalate and resources dwindle, the effective, ethical, and socially responsible management of financial resources becomes an increasingly important skill in higher education. Education professionals are introduced to the fundamentals of financial administration in four-year colleges, community colleges, and universities in this course. They explore financial issues specific to higher education, such as budget management, asset management, state appropriations, administration of financial planning, and fundraising. They also engage in practical learning activities through which they develop and assess strategies for deploying and managing resources to achieve established goals.
Faculty members and staff are the most important resource in any higher education institution. In this course, education professionals focus on strategies for human resource management in higher education, including recruitment and staffing, professional development, compensation, performance evaluation, and legal considerations. They investigate issues specific to faculty members, including promotion and tenure, collective bargaining, and collaboration with adjunct faculty members. They also examine the skills needed to coach, support, motivate, and facilitate collaboration among staff, enabling the organization to move toward desired outcomes.
Higher education institutions achieve their goals primarily through instructional programs as well as through student support programs and services. Stakeholders at all levels within and outside the organization, including students, administrators, employers, legislators, and the public, expect institutions to demonstrate that their programs accomplish desired goals and that processes are in place to support data-driven improvement. In this course, education professionals engage in the cyclical process of program planning and assessment, including establishing goals and outcomes, creating and implementing an assessment plan, sharing results and determining strategies for improvement, and involving faculty, staff, and students in the assessment process.
The master’s capstone experience provides education professionals the opportunity to integrate and apply their learning to real-world issues or problems. Education professionals research and create a product that addresses a critical issue in a particular institution or area of higher education. Examples of such products include a design for a program or service that could be implemented at a particular institution, a professional development program or resource, or a position paper that addresses a particular issue in depth. Education professionals choose an issue or problem that is of sufficient scope to enable them to apply theories, concepts, and practices gained from multiple areas of prior coursework. (Prerequisites: All other courses.)
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