Elective Course, Higher Education
Policy Specialization/Concentration

This course provides students with the
opportunity to learn about the history, characteristics, or impact of a higher
education policy or program in an applied learning setting. In the fall
semester, each student will work with the instructor to identify a real-life
higher education issue that they would like to study. For example, one student
may want to study the history of higher education stratification worldwide,
another student may want to compare the characteristics of higher education
quality assurance policies in a particular region, and a third student may want
to assess the impact of student loans on post-graduation outcomes among
graduates of a particular university. Through an experiential learning process,
students will learn how to translate their interest in a particular higher
education policy issue into researchable questions and how to design a research
proposal for carrying out a policy research project.

In the winter semester, students will carry out the policy research
project outlined in their research proposal. Through a combination of weekly
lectures, in-class activities, independent work, and individualized project
guidance from the instructor, students will learn how to collect, process, and
analyze data and how to present research findings and recommendations to an
audience of higher education experts and practitioners. The course will
conclude with the completion of a research project portfolio, which includes an
executive summary of research findings, a presentation of policy implications
and recommendations, and additional project documents that demonstrate student
skills in implementing and managing a policy research project.