A National Leader in Inclusive Urban Education
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About the Department of Higher Education

Learn more about us

The people who teach us 

We have a dedicated and caring faculty. They are available, approachable and committed to student success. Learn more about our faculty members.

The special features of the program 

We build community through unique opportunities in our program, both inside the classroom and out, which foster a sense of belonging and broader purpose.

Our Laboratory in Learning Communities course is the only one of its kind in the nation, and, as such, marks our graduates as uniquely qualified to take on leadership positions in initiatives dedicated to blurring the lines between curricular and non-curricular activities to promote student learning.

We pair each first year masters student with a second or third year student to help with their transition to graduate school. The start of each fall semester is marked by the HED Welcome BBQ, held at the home of Associate Professor, Dr. Cathy Engstrom. Every year the department looks forward to providing this celebratory welcome event. Alumni in the area are also included to make networking an element of the program right from the beginning. Additionally our HED graduate assistants plan occasional get-togethers for mentors and mentees to promote camaraderie between the cohorts.

Students often say that they choose Syracuse because of the welcoming feel of our Open House for Accepted Students held in March. The event culminates with a catered dinner at Dr. Cathy Engstrom’s house, where students interested in the program can interact with graduating students, current students, faculty and alumni.

Our students also have the opportunity to study issues of higher education abroad. We had four students from HED study abroad Brazil last summer, all supported by funds through the School of Education. We also have had numerous students spend a week in Houston for the Spector/Warren Fellowship, studying the Holocaust in an effort to understand how to create dialogue as a way to understand diversity.

In January of 2014, we had a Speak, Listen and Reflect retreat, where we discussed issues of identity and privilege as a way to strengthen conversations in class and enhance the ways we are able to talk about diversity with the students we serve.

The department sponsors support groups for members of the cohort. Currently we have the groups Students of Color and OUT in HED (for students from marginalized gender and sexual identity groups). The department is willing to support additional groups should students request it.

The departments that we serve

We serve as Graduate Assistants and Practicum students in offices across the Syracuse University campus and at other institutions in the area because of our long standing relationships. Our students are often supervised by graduates of our program that work in these offices and institutions.

At Syracuse University:

  • First Year and Transfer Programs
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • International Students
  • Law School Admissions
  • Greek Life
  • Hillel
  • Advocacy Center
  • Residence Life, South Campus
  • Academic Advising and Student Support
  • Admissions
  • Alumni Affairs
  • Athletics
  • Career Services
  • Judicial Affairs
  • iSchool Career Counseling
  • SU Learning Communities
  • Multicultural Affairs
  • Student Activites
  • Veterans Affairs
  • SU LGBT Resource Center

At nearby institutions:

  • SUNY ESF - Academic Services; Career Services; Student Support Services
  • SUNY ESF - International Education; Diversity and Inclusion; Student Involvement and Leardership
  • Cazenovia College - Teaching and Learning Center; Residence Life
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University - Admissions; Multicultural Affairs; Student Success Center
  • LeMoyne College - First Year Orientation; First Year Transition 
  • LeMoyne College - Academic Advising and Support
  • Utica College - Student Activities 
  • Onondaga Community College - Residence Life, Disability Services
  • St. Joseph's College of Nursing - Student Activities
  • Hamilton College - Diversity and Inclusion

The programs we are involved in 

We are committed to reaching out and serving students in a variety of capacities through other programs, both on campus and off.

  • Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life
  • On Point for College
  • Say Yes to Education
  • POSSE Foundation
  • American College Personnel Association (ACPA)
  • NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
  • Creating Change
  • Association of College and University Housing Officers – International
  • SUNY Educational Opportunity Center

The places you’ll go 

Our graduates go places! Our graduates have landed in numerous departments at prestigious institutions.