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Course Descriptions

Below are course descriptions of several regularly offered classes

American College and University
The American College and University course provides a context for understanding the current and emerging nature and role of higher education in contemporary American society. It introduces students to the American higher education system--its purposes, institutions, faculties, curriculum, organization and administration, constituencies, and relations with society--through discussions and analyses of major historical influences and current issues and practice.

College Student Development
This course requires students to examine developmental patterns of college students from several theoretical viewpoints, particularly cognitive-developmental and psychosocial perspectives, and the relevance of these theories for practice. Students are asked to consider the inclusivity and applicability of theoretical perspectives being studied to the range and diversity of college students (e.g. students of various races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation, ages, genders, and disabilities). In addition, they are introduced to assessment approaches appropriate to each theoretical perspective.

Gender and Race in Higher Education
This course examines the ways our ideas of gender and race are constructed by scholars and other members of the academy, and how these ideas have changed over time. Class members develop historical case studies using archival material and other resources.

Legal Issues in Higher Education
This course surveys legal issues arising from the relationship between higher education institutions and their governing boards, administrators, faculty, students, and governmental bodies. Students explore higher education law, the role of law on campus, the relationship between law and academia, and the relationship between lawyers and administrators.

Organization and Administration in Higher Education
This course examines colleges and universities as organizations through such topics as models of organizational functioning, organization adaptation and decline, processes of governance, organization culture, and authority and leadership in colleges and universities. Throughout the course, students apply course concepts to institutional situations and problems.

Public Policy in Higher Education
This course focuses on how the public policy-making process pertains to higher education. Specifically, the course examines the effects of public policy on the functioning of higher education institutions and explores the various sides to public policy issues. The course also applies models of the public policy decision-making process to real and hypothetical public policy issues.

Research on the College Student
This course offers a wide-ranging survey of research on the college student which covers both the range of students now being served by higher education and the types of institutions in which they participate. The topics that are covered include the values and orientations of today's students, the varying experiences of students of different ages, race, gender, and work status, and the impact of college on student learning and persistence. Active participation and willingness to engage in collaborative class activities is a course requirement.

Understanding Educational Research
This course is designed to meet the needs of masters' students and beginning doctoral students who have had little, if any, exposure to research methods. It seeks to provide an overview of research methods as they are commonly applied to the study of education and a deeper understanding of the process through which research projects are constructed. Students will learn how to read, make sense o,f and, within reason, critique existing educational studies.