Penn State Launches New Online Master’s Degree in Higher Education

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More administrators will be needed to serve students as enrollments in colleges and universities across the country increase over the next decade, and a new Penn State online master's degree in higher education will help enable adult learners to take advantage of the job growth.

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We will help students develop their leadership skills and potential in their intended career path in higher education.

As the number of students enrolling in college trends upward over the next decade, the need for more administrators to serve these students will increase, too.

A new Penn State online master’s degree in higher education will help adult learners take advantage of that job growth and further their careers in the field. Faculty from the Penn State College of Education will teach the courses in the 30-credit degree program, which will be delivered online by Penn State World Campus.

The first courses will begin in the fall 2014 semester.

The online master’s degree program will have the same curriculum and requirements as the highly regarded master’s in higher education offered at the University Park campus, such as a research paper, an internship and a research methods course.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth in higher education enrollments will result in the addition of 23,500 jobs in higher education administration through 2022, or a 15 percent increase. In 2012, there were 161,800 of those jobs in the country, and by 2022, that number is forecast to grow to 185,300.

“We will help students develop their leadership skills and potential in their intended career path in higher education,” said Fred Loomis, associate professor of education and the College of Education’s online program coordinator. “They will also increase their breadth of understanding of how colleges and universities operate so that they can interact effectively with the other parts of the university.”

Adult learners in the master’s program can concentrate in one of three emphasis areas:

  •     Student engagement, such as admissions, advising and residence life
  •     Institutional research and assessment
  •     Administration and leadership

Students can also design their own area of emphasis tailored to their interests.

The master’s degree in higher education at the University Park campus has been consistently highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Grad Schools” publication. The program was most recently ranked No. 3 in the 2015 edition’s list of “Best Education Schools.”

The college also houses the Center for the Study of Higher Education, whose mission is to conduct research to improve post-secondary policymaking.

“Penn State was one of the first universities to offer a degree in higher education administration and one of the first to create a research center devoted to the study of higher education,” said associate professor John Cheslock, who is the director of the center. “We are thrilled to be building on our rich history by offering a master’s in education through World Campus.”

The online delivery for the program includes on-demand viewing for classes and interactive forums with classmates.

Applications are now being accepted for the online master’s degree in higher education. For more information, visit the program’s website.

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