Higher Education

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Admission Requirements | Program Requirements | Graduate Courses

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Master of Arts and Doctor of Education

The Master of Arts in Higher Education is designed for those individuals who are interested in entering or expanding their potential for attaining leadership positions in the field of higher education. Students choose from one of the concentration areas: Two-Year College Teaching, College Student Affairs, and Administration.

The Two-Year College Teaching concentration is designed for those who are currently employed as faculty members in two-year colleges or those who aspire to such positions. It includes a minimum of 18 graduate hours in the teaching cognate field plus other required and elective courses that allow students to develop stronger faculty expertise.

The Master of Arts in College Student Affairs concentration is designed for individuals who have special interest in college students and the higher education environments that affect their development. In addition, this program enables working professionals to increase their skills, knowledge, and abilities to compete for professional positions of increasing responsibility and scope. Program graduates are prepared to assume a wide range of administrative and professional roles in the fields of student life and student services.

Administration Concentration

The Administration concentration is tailored for those students aspiring to enter the field of higher education administration. The program enables these potential or currently employed students to develop the skills, knowledge, and abilities to compete for increasingly responsible professional positions in higher education administration. Program graduates are prepared to assume a wide range of administrative and professional roles in the administration of colleges and universities.

Health Professions Education Concentration

The Health Professions concentration will provide the conceptual framework and skills for graduates to engage in the scholarship of teaching as related to the education of current and future pharmacists, physicians, nurses, health related professionals, and public health workers in Arkansas. Using an interdisciplinary combination of resources from the UALR Higher Education graduate program and UAMS as a nationally recognized academic health center within close proximity, students will learn to deliver high-quality health professions education and gain practical experience to link empirical research and evidence-based decision making to design more effective instructional practices and measure student learning.


Doctor of Education

UALR’s doctoral program in higher education (HIED) prepares students for a wide range of administrative and teaching roles in institutions of higher education. In addition to providing the necessary professional skills and knowledge, the faculty seeks to facilitate the development of students’ leadership potential and to inspire commitment and dedication to the field of higher and post-secondary education.

For more information about the master’s degrees in Higher education or the doctorate in higher education, visit the program’s website.


Master of Arts in Higher Education (both concentrations)

Admission Requirements

  • Application for admission to the UALR Graduate School.
  • Graduate Record Exam score of at least 900 (old GRE Score) / 290 (New GRE Score)(verbal and quantitative scales combined), or Miller Analogies Test score of at least 396, taken within the last 5 years.
  • Original transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended reflecting an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    Biographical Data Form.
  • A two-page, typed and double-spaced explanation of the reasons for applying to the program and the goals the student expects to achieve.
  • An interview with at least one faculty member from the program resulting in a favorable recommendation from that faculty member.

Conditional Admission

Candidates who have at least an overall GPA of 2.75 and if only one criterion is achieved (the required test score or required GPA), the student may present a profile demonstrating progressively successful professional development experience beyond the bachelor ’s degree and successfully complete the interview with the program faculty to be admitted conditionally to the program. Upon successful completion of six hours, the student may receive regular admission to the program.

Concentration in Two-Year College Teaching

Program Requirements

Students admitted to the program must complete 36 semester hours of graduate course work. Included will be at least 18 hours in the teaching cognate field, 12 hours in the program core, and 6 hours of elective courses selected in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students have three options for completing the degree: 1) Complete 36 hours of class work and a written comprehensive examination after class work has been completed or in the final semester of class work. The comprehensive examination consists of questions from the teaching cognate field and from the required courses in the program core; 2) Complete 36 hours of class work and 6 hours of academic thesis credit on an approved topic; or 3) Complete 36 hours of class work and 6 hours of applied research project credit on an approved topic.

Core Requirements

HIED 7300 Higher Education in the US: An Overview
HIED 8320 The Two-Year College in America
EDFN 7303 Introduction to Educational Research Electives *
HIED 7302 Introduction to Program Evaluation
HIED 7331 College Instruction
HIED 7350 American College Student
HIED 7360 Practicum in College Student Affairs
HIED 8343 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
EDFN 7313 Learning Theories and Instruction Applications
EDFN 7314 Cognition and Instruction
LSTE 7302 Instructional Technology
LSTE 7310 Interactive Technology (Multi-media)
LSTE 7320 Advanced Instructional Teaching, or any other 7000 or 8000 HIED or EDFN course

* Other courses may be selected as electives in consultation with the faculty advisor.

Specialization (18 hours)

18 hours in the teaching cognate field

Capstone Experience (select one)
  • Comprehensive Written Exam
  • Academic Thesis (6 hours optional credit)
  • Applied Research Project (6 hours optional credit)

Total program hours: 36

Concentration in College Student Affairs

The mission of the College Student Affairs program is to provide entry-level professional development to qualified individuals who have special interests in college students and the higher education environments that affect development. Graduates of the program are prepared to function effectively in a variety of positions in the field of College Student Affairs in two- and four-year institutions of higher education. In addition, this program enables working professionals to increase their skills, knowledge, and abilities, enabling them to compete for professional positions of increasing responsibility and scope. Program graduates are prepared to assume professional roles as coordinators, directors, and assistant directors in such specialty areas as academic advising centers, admissions, financial aid, career services, disability offices, Greek affairs, judicial affairs, international student programs, minority affairs, orientation programs, offices of residence life, student life/activities offices, and offices of alumni affairs.

The Concentration in College Student Affairs is a 36-hour program, consisting of three components:

  • Foundational Studies – the study of the foundations of higher education and student affairs
  • Professional Studies – student development theory; student characteristics and effects of college on students, individual, and group interventions; organization and administration of student personnel services in higher education; and assessment, evaluation, and research
  • Supervised Practice – consists of one or two semester-long internships/practical in two distinct areas

The program design follows the standards and guidelines for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) and meets the minimum curricular requirements set by Commission XII of the American College Personnel Association.

Higher Education Core Requirements

HIED 7300 Higher Education: An Overview
HIED 8320 The Two-Year College in America
EDFN 7303 Introduction to Research

Specialization Requirements (18 hours)

HIED 7350 American College Student
HIED 7351 Foundations of Student Affairs
HIED 7352 Student Development Theory
HIED 7354 Student Affairs Programming and Management
HIED 7360 Practicum in College Student Affairs
CNSL 7308 Cross Cultural Counseling
HIED 8353 Assessment and Program Evaluation in Student Affairs

Electives (6 hours)

CNSL 7301 Theoretical Approach to Counseling
EDFN 7313 Learning Theories and Instructional Applications
EDFN 7314 Cognition and Instruction
EDFN 7304 Basic Statistics
HIED 7354 Programming and Management in Student Affairs Administration
HIED 8358 Capstone in Student Affairs
HIED 8356 Organization & Leadership CSA & Master

Capstone Experience (selective)
  • Comprehensive Written Exam
  • Thesis ( 6 hour optional credit)
  • Portfolio

Total Program Hours: 36


Concentration in Administration

The mission of the Higher Education Administration concentration is to provide academic preparation and professional development to qualified individuals for entry-level positions in administrative leadership in public and private institutions and agencies of higher and post-secondary education. Students will gain knowledge, skills, and competencies essential to serving as leaders in a variety of education settings.

Curriculum
Specialization (18 hours)

HIED 7351 Foundations in College Student Affairs
HIED 8321 Organization & Admin of Two-Year Colleges
HIED 8322 Issues and challenges in Two-Year College Leadership
HIED 7331 College Instruction
HIED 7360 Practicum in Higher Education
LSTE 7330 Distance Learning Systems Technology

Electives (6 hours)

HIED 7302 Introduction to Program Evaluation
HIED 7350 American College Student
HIED 8343 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
HIED 8340 Organizational Behavior and Post-secondary Education
HIED 8341 Financing of colleges and Universities

Capstone Course (3 hours)

HIED 8342 Governance and Policy & Masters comprehensive exam
Total core, specialization, electives, and capstone course & exam =36 hours


Thesis or Project Committees

Students who elect the Academic Thesis or Applied Research Project options must select a supervising committee consisting of three people to oversee and approve their thesis or project work. The committee must consist of one of the following:

  • One member as chair who is a member of the Higher Education Program faculty;
  • One member from the faculty of the College of Education who is not a member of the Higher Education Program faculty;
  • One faculty member from outside the College of Education.

Transfer Courses

In some cases, students may wish to include in their programs a teaching cognate that is not offered by UALR. In those cases, it may be possible for students to earn those hours at another university where the cognate is offered and transfer them to UALR. Students may transfer as many as one-half of the classes required in the MA program. This means that no more than 18 of the 36 hours required for the program may be transferred from another university.

In order to transfer courses to UALR, grades of A or B must have been earned at a regionally accredited university. If the hours in the teaching cognate field were earned more than five years prior to enrolling in the UALR program, students are required to complete at least six additional hours in the cognate as part of the MA program.


Doctor of Education

The program is designed as a highly personalized experience, focusing on each student’s specific needs and aspirations. It provides a thorough grounding in the major areas of knowledge relating to higher education as a field of study as well as a broad familiarity with the theory, practice, and scholarship of higher education.

The curriculum may include both cognitive and experiential components as well as structured and independent course work. A strong interdisciplinary element provides flexibility and a broad knowledge base. In many instances, students will complete some of their course work in other fields within or outside the College of Education.

Admission Requirements

Admission is based on a total profile of the applicant’s educational and professional background. It is expected that applicants have professional work experience. GRE requirements reflect the November 2011 Guide of the Use of Scores. Unconditional admission requirements include the following:

  • Application for admission to the UALR Graduate School
  • Master’s degree or equivalent in a related field from a regionally accredited institution original transcripts required
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.5 and GRE combined score of 1000 (old GRE score) / 297 (new GRE score) with at least 450 (old GRE score) / 150 (new GRE score) on the Verbal and 450 (old GRE score) / 141 (new GRE score) on the Quantitative sections, and an Analytical Writing score of 4.5
  • Three years of successful professional experience, or equivalent, in an area related to the degree program
  • College of Education Biographical Data Form
  • Interview with and approval of the Higher Education faculty

Conditional Admission

Conditional admission requirements include the following:

  1. A master ’s degree with a graduate GPA of 3.5 or above (required standard);
  2. A score of 400 (old GRE score) / 146 (new GRE score) or above on the verbal section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
  3. A score of 450 (old GRE score) / 141 (new GRE score) or above on the quantitative section of the GRE;
  4. A score of 3.50 or above on the analytical writing section of the GRE.

Additional documented evidence of a student’s ability to succeed in graduate-level work, research, or publications may be required. Program faculty may request the following documentation, including: official transcripts from all post-Master’s studies, successful graduate course work from an accredited university, examples of academic and professional work, writing samples, statements of purpose, and letters of support from faculty members or others familiar with the applicant’s capability for doctoral-level work.

The Higher Education Program Admissions Committee will review and evaluate the documentation. Conditionally admitted students will be allowed to enroll in up to 12 semester hours. Upon completion of 12 semester hours in the program, the Admissions Committee will review the work completed to the point by the applicant as part of the overall admissions application to determine if the student will be granted regular admission to the program. Admission to regular status will be contingent upon the student successfully completing course work to be determined with Higher Education Program Advisor with a minimum 3.5 GPA:

Conditional admission does not guarantee regular admission to the Ed.D. program in Higher Education. Students who are not granted regular admission to the doctoral program will not be permitted to enroll in Higher Education courses beyond the prescribed 12 hours of conditionally admitted course work, but may be allowed admission to the M.A. in Higher Education.

Residency Plan

All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within seven consecutive years of enrollment in the program. Each Ed.D. student must file a residency plan for fulfilling a residence requirement that demonstrates a commitment to the program through continuous and intensive enrollment at UALR.

Students consult with their advisors to choose one of three residency options at least twenty class days before the end of the first semester of the planned residence period. Residency hours must be in degree-related graduate courses. Requirement options are:

  • 9 hours in each of 2 consecutive semesters, Fall-Spring or Spring-Fall
  • 9 hours in a Spring or Fall semester and 9 hours in adjacent Summer terms
  • 6 hours minimum in each enrollment period over 4 consecutive semesters with 24 total hours over 24 consecutive months (summer enrollment is not required but if it is included the student must enroll in at least 6 hours of course credit.)

Program Requirements

The higher education degree requires a minimum of 99 graduate hours, usually 63 to 69 hours beyond the 36-hour master’s degree. (Most students will complete more than the minimum 99 hours.) The requirements include 21 core hours (research competencies, education and higher education competencies), 27 specialization area hours, 15 dissertation hours, and a comprehensive examination as well as fulfillment of the College of Education residency requirement. Students develop, with their committees, a program of study that addresses their individual interests and needs.

Students are expected to develop a thorough grounding in the major divisions of knowledge relating to higher education as a field of study (e.g., history, administration, law, student affairs). In addition, they develop a broad familiarity with the theory, practice, and scholarship of higher education.

The written comprehensive exam is taken after completion or during the final semester of course work and is followed by an oral comprehensive exam. Following successful completion of both components of the comprehensive exam, students develop a proposal for their dissertation. The required dissertation and oral defense develops research capacity and a working familiarity with research in the student’s specialization area. Research competency and literacy are demonstrated in the design and conduct of a study that makes a substantive contribution to the field.

Education/Higher Education Core

HIED 8301 History and Philosophy of Higher Education
HIED 8303 Leadership Theories in Higher Education
HIED 8399 Dissertation Seminar

Research Core

EDFN 7304 Basic Statistics (students without a research course in their Master’s program must complete Educational Foundations 7303 first)
EDFN 8305 Intermediate Statistics
EDFN 8306 Advanced Research Methods and Techniques
EDFN 7373 Qualitative Research Methods

Graduation Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on an approved program of study as outlined above
  • Successfully passing the comprehensive examinations
  • Successful completion and oral defense of an acceptable dissertation

Doctoral Concentration Areas and Requirements

Concentrations are offered in higher education administration, student affairs administration, two-year college leadership, and faculty leadership. Each student will be assigned to work with an advisor to design a plan of study that reflects previous studies and professional experience, while focusing on discrete areas of study that serve the student’s intellectual and professional needs and interests.

Requirements for Administration Concentration

Area of Specialization: 27 hours

HIED 8340 Organizational Behavior in Higher and Post-secondary Education
HIED 8341 Financing of Colleges and Universities
HIED 8342 Governance and Policy Making in Higher Education
HIED 8343 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
Electives: 6 hours of general electives
Electives: 9 hours (3 hours each from each of the other three specialty areas)

Dissertation: 15 hours

Requirements for Two-Year College Leadership Concentration

Area of Specialization: 27 hours

HIED 8320 The Two-Year College in America
HIED 8321 Organization and Administration of Two-Year Colleges
HIED 8322 Issues and Challenges in Two-Year College Leadership
HIED 8340 Organizational Behavior in Higher and Post-secondary Education
HIED 8341 Financing of Colleges and Universities
HIED 8342 Governance and Policy Making in Higher Education
HIED 8343 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
Electives: 6 hours

Dissertation: 15 hours

Requirements for Student Affairs Administration Concentration

Prerequisites (if master’s degree is not in Student Affairs)

HIED 7351 Foundations of Student Affairs
HIED 7352 Student Development Theory

Area of Specialization: 27 hours

HIED 8343 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
HIED 8345/ HIED 8357 Seminar: Topic in Student Affairs Administration
HIED 8350 The American College Student
HIED 8353 Assessment and Program Evaluation
HIED 8358 Capstone Seminar in Student Affairs
Electives: 9 hours (3 hours each from each of the other three specialty areas)
Electives: 3 hours of general electives

Dissertation: 15 hours

Requirements for Faculty Leadership Concentration

Area of Specialization: 27 hours

HIED 8330 College Teaching Problems and Issues
HIED 8332 Curriculum Design in Higher Education
HIED 8341 Financing of Colleges and Universities
HIED 8342 Governance and Policy Making in Higher Education

Cognate courses: 6 hours (equivalent to UALR College of Education 7000-level or 8000-level courses)
Electives: 9 hours (7000-level or 8000-level courses in Higher Education or Educational Foundations)

Dissertation: 15 hours

Courses in Higher Education

HIED 7300 Higher Education in the United States: An Overview
Prerequisite: graduate status. (Serves as introduction to the master’s program and is a requirement for the doctoral program for students lacking background and experience in higher education.) American system of higher education; problems, issues, trends.

HIED 7331 College Instruction
Prerequisite: graduate status. Capstone college teaching experience. This course addresses the theory and practice of effective college teaching. Students examine learning styles, their assessment, and how to accommodate them in the classroom. Philosophies and methods of the professorate are studied.

HIED 7347 Practicum: Health Professions Teaching/Learning
Prerequisites: HlED 7331, HIED 8332, EDFN 7313, EDFN 7370. Independent supervised teaching or research practicum for students in the Health Professions Education MA program concentration. Students will assist in teaching a credit-bearing course in the Health Professions or will complete and disseminate an original empirical research study on Health Professions education.

HIED 7348 Internship: Health Professions Teaching/Learning
Prerequisites: HIED 7331, HIED 8332, EDFN 7313, EDFN 7370. Independent supervised teaching internship for students in the Health Professions Education MA program concentration. Students will have primary instructional responsibility for a credit-bearing course in the Health Professions and complete a teaching portfolio.

HIED 7349 Thesis: Health Professions Teaching/Learning
Prerequisite: Completion of 3 hours of HIED degree requirement or consent of instructor. Masters students will demonstrate theoretical knowledge and methods of education research to complete and defend an original thesis project.

HIED 7351 Foundations in College Student Affairs
Introduction to the student personnel profession/student affairs profession, the roles and functions of professionals in the field, the populations served, the college and university settings where the profession is practiced, the skills and competencies necessary to be a professional in the field, and awareness of current issues regarding students and student personnel in higher education.

HIED 7352 Student Development Theory
Introduction to the theoretical framework that serves as a basis for the professional practice of student affairs in higher education. Developmental orientation that emphasizes the value and importance of individual major theories of student development, the role of student developmental theoretical perspectives.

HIED 7354 Programming and Management in Student Affairs Administration
A capstone experience for the Master’s track in student affairs. A forum for integration, synthesis, and application. Emphasis in clarifying student development for students and for a campus. Examines new issues and concepts (e.g. legal issues, budget and finance). Integrates previous course work and practical experiences.

HIED 7360 Practicum in Higher Education
Prerequisites: HIED 7300. Supervised professional experience in the various offices/agencies that comprise a total program of student personnel services within a post-secondary, college, or university setting. Integrates course work with experience in a prearranged, structured setting in any number of student affairs/student service offices/agencies, two-year college instructional settings, or two- or four-year college or university administrative settings. Students complete either 150 or 300 hours of experience under both faculty and on-site supervision.

HIED 8145-8645 Seminar
Prerequisite: graduate status. Specialized study of areas of significance in higher education; possible topics include student financial assistance, admission and records, academic advisement, residence life, institutional research, student center organizations, development and fundraising, current issues, etc.

HIED 8160, 8260, 8360 Practicum in Higher Education
Prerequisite: graduate status, consent of advisor and practicum supervisor. Supervised work or study in an area the student has studied.

HIED 8161, 8261, 8361 Workshop
Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Practical, concentrated (from a few hours to a week) consideration of selected topics of current interest to practitioners.

HIED 8330 College Teaching: Problems and Issues
Prerequisite: EDFN 7373 and EDFN 8306. Examines faculty roles as teachers, scholars, and researchers; explores the existing theory, research, and practice on college teaching and applies it to problems and issues in college teaching; discusses contextual issues influencing teaching and learning.

HIED 8332 Curriculum Design in Higher Education
Prerequisite: EDFN 7373 and EDFN 8306. This course will address curriculum issues in a variety of post-secondary settings, and the primary focus is undergraduate programs, including liberal, general, occupational, and professional education. The course is designed for faculty, administrators, and researchers who are interested in curriculum planning, evaluation and revision, instructional design, or academic staffing.

HIED 8333 College and University Faculty
Prerequisite: EDFN 7373 and EDFN 8306. Exploration of the existing data and theory on college and university faculty. A chronological approach in considering how recruitment to the profession occurs, the socialization process is involved, the preparation of future professors takes place, and similar topics.

HIED 8340 Organizational Behavior in Higher & Post-Secondary Education
Prerequisite: graduate status. Management, leadership, administration of higher education institutions; literature about the administration of higher learning; may focus individual study on two- or four-year public or private institutions.

HIED 8341 Financing of Colleges and Universities
Prerequisite: EDFN 8306 and EDFN 7373. Processes, policies, and issues in higher education funding; funding sources and use, revenue and expenditure categories; budget priorities, development and analysis, and financial management reporting; roles and authorities of institutions, states, and federal government in financing higher education.

HIED 8342 Governance and Policy Making in Higher Education
Prerequisite: EDFN 8306 and EDFN 7373. Shared governance, roles, and authorities of internal and external governance participants; policy analysis and development, policy making for higher education at the institutional, state, and federal levels; unique character of lay governance in the roles and authorities of lay governing and coordinating boards in the U.S.

HIED 8343 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
Prerequisite: graduate status. Legal rights, responsibilities of faculty, students, staff, administrators, governing board members.

HIED 8344 Legal Aspects of Teaching
Prerequisite: graduate status. Examines the legal issues of interest to higher education faculty members. Areas of focus include academic integrity, student rights and responsibilities, intellectual property rights, fair employment, due process, tenure, affirmative action, and legal liability. Court cases, statues, the Constitution, and regulations serve as the basis for discussion.

HIED 8350 The American College Student
Examination of the nature and characteristics of contemporary and historical college student populations in American post-secondary and higher education. Explores the effects of different institutional environments on student outcomes and psychological development, as well as a variety of research methods.

HIED 8353 Assessment and Program Evaluation in Student Affairs
An overview of evaluation as an inquiry process and will examine the philosophy and practice of assessment and evaluation in higher education. Examines the usefulness and appropriateness of various program evaluation methodologies (quantitative and qualitative), theories of evaluation practice and use, and theories of valuing in college student affairs. Explores these and other issues shaping contemporary evaluation practices.

HIED 8358 Capstone Seminar in Student Affairs
Enhances student understanding of administrative leadership through the examination of questions and issues related to the management of student affairs. Broadens student perspective through discussion and debate. Increases the degree to which student experiences, knowledge, and values are effectively integrated, and to allow students to personally examine ideas, test assumptions, express opinions, and recognize the accountability associated with presentation.

HIED 8370 Policy and Politics in Higher Education
Prerequisites: Doctoral Status. This course focuses on the relationship between higher education institutions and public policy. Issues to be addressed include legal, academic, financial, and governance accountability to local, state, federal , and other external agencies. Students will consider examples of how the political process impacts higher education policy making and how higher education institutions influence the political process.

HIED 8390 Research Practicum in Higher Education
Prerequisites: HIED 8311, EDFN 8383 and EDFN 8308. Supervised independent study for students in the Higher Education doctoral program. Students will conduct an original empirical research study, submit a manuscript for major peer- reviewed journal review, and prepare a research proposal for national conference presentation.

HIED 8397, 8697 Internship
Prerequisite: graduate status, consent of instructor and internship supervisor. Supervised field experience in college or university setting provides work experience putting theory into practice.

HIED 8399 Dissertation Seminar
Prerequisite: consent of instructor, student’s doctoral chair. (Open only to doctoral students.) Formulation of topic for dissertation research; development of dissertation prospectus in form satisfactory to student’s doctoral committee.

HIED 9199-9999 Dissertation
Prerequisites: consent of committee chair. Development of doctoral-level research paper or field-based project.

HIED 9390 Dissertation Colloquium
Prerequisite: dissertation prospectus approved. Development of various components of doctoral-level dissertation.
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