Dr. R. Mark Sullivan, former President of The College of Saint Rose; Dr. Karen Hitchcock, former President of The University at Albany and Queen’s University(Canada); Dr. Margaret Kirwin, former interim President of The College of Saint Rose; and Dr. Roger Hull, former President of Union College and Beloit College


The College’s new Master’s program in Higher Education Leadership and Administration is a 10-course, 30-credit graduate degree program expressly designed to enhance the leadership skills of aspiring college leaders.The focus of the program is to provide graduate-level academic courses in higher education administration to prepare students for senior-level leadership positions at colleges and universities, higher education agencies, higher education research organizations and other organizations that develop policies and offer programs in the higher education environment. The program is a 30 credit hour, 10-course program that is geared toward practitioners.


HLA class discussion

HLA 545 professor & small group discussion

HLA 545 Enrollment Management Class

Enrollment Management students engaged in group discussion

The proposed Master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership and Administration (HLA) is a 30 graduate credit program. 7 courses or 21 credits are designated as required courses. Three courses or 9 credits fall into the elective category. The information that follows details the required courses and the list of elective courses from which students will choose 9 credits.

About the HELA Program

What is the Institute for Leadership in Higher Education?

The Institute for Leadership in Higher Education, housed within the Thelma P. Lally School of Education, will offer degree and certificate programs in higher education administration to early career and mid-career professionals intent on pursuing senior leadership positions in colleges and universities, and in other higher education environments at the state, regional and national level. Academic programs and courses will be offered in both traditional seminar and hybrid e-learning formats. The Institute, in addition to offering academic programs, will host lectures and conferences on relevant issues in higher education. Participants in these activities will include prominent national leaders and experts within the field of higher education. Participants in Institute programs will be encouraged and supported to publish articles and research on major issues affecting the future of colleges and universities in America and throughout the world.

Faculty affiliated with the Institute programs, especially degree-granting programs will come from the extraordinarily deep and talented ranks of senior faculty and administrators at The College of Saint Rose. This cadre of exceptional faculty will be augmented by adjunct faculty specialists in various fields such as specialists in higher education law, higher education finance, program assessment and evaluation. Current and former college presidents from throughout the nation will be invited to guest lecture in various Institute programs. Given the range of challenges and opportunities affecting the future of higher education in America, the broadest array of experienced talent will be sought to teach and guest lecture within Institute programs.

What are the Required Courses? (21 credits)

1. HLA 501 ProSeminar on Critical Issues and Challenges Facing Colleges and Universities
2. HLA 510 Quality Control in Higher Education: Assessment, Evaluation, and Accreditation
3. HLA 520 Leadership in Higher Education
4. HLA 530 Ethical Foundations and Decision-Making in Higher Education
5. HLA 540 Strategic Financial Planning and Management in Higher Education
6. HLA 545 Enrollment Management
7. HLA 590 Capstone Seminar for Higher Education and Administration Program

What are the Elective Courses? (9 credits)

1. CSL/CSS 550 United States College Students and the Campus
2. CSL/CSS 552 Student Development Theories
3. EPY/EDA 500 Introduction to Educational Research
4. EPY 540 Introduction to Program Development
5. EPY 544 Grant Writing and Program Development
6. HLA 560 Law and Higher Education
7. HLA 585 Internship in Higher Education Administration*
8. MBA 585-01 Managing Effective Teams
9. MBA 595 Managing Organizational Development and Change

*Students may choose, as an elective, to enroll in a 3 credit, supervised internship subject to approval by the Program Director. Students who elect (and are approved) for an internship will meet with the program director in a mini-seminar at least three times during the semester – at the onset of the internship, at mid-semester and at the end of the semester. A typical internship might partner a graduate student with a college president, a not-for-profit CEO, a senior state official or a senior legislator chairing an Assembly or Senate Higher Education Committee in the New York State Legislature

What about the Instructors and Courses?

Instructors are comprised of senior practitioners in the field including current and former college presidents, provosts and deans. Our full-time faculty are experts in diverse fields of study such as ethics, program evaluation and planning. Courses will cover a wide array of subjects including higher education law, strategic planning, budgeting, risk management, resource stewardship, community relations, enrollment management and effective leadership styles for successful leaders. Taught in small-group seminars to encourage discussion, the degree is designed for those working full- or part-time with courses offered in the evenings and on Saturdays in traditional and hybrid formats. As part of the capstone course in the program, students will produce applied research papers that are intended to be publishable and adaptable in future leadership settings.

What skills will I acquire in this program?

Future leaders in higher education will require superb communications, analytical, research, marketing and decision-making skills to function successfully in a highly competitive and rapidly changing higher education environment. Future leaders will need to be nimble, creative, ethical, intellectual, persuasive and well-versed in all aspects of higher education policy development and administration. These are just some of the skill sets we hope to emphasize in the courses offered in the new Master’s program.

Are there scholarships available?

The College’s Institute for Higher Education Leadership has also established a new scholarship known as the “R. Mark Sullivan
Institute for Higher Education Leadership Founders Scholarship.” Ten full- or part-time master’s students (who are not College employees eligible for the tuition remission plan) may apply to be considered for this scholarship which is the equivalent of tuition for two courses in the master’s program. The courses must be taken in the first year of the program. The scholarships will be awarded to exceptional applicants who apply for admission by April 1, 2014. Successful applicants who apply to the program after April 1, 2014 will be considered for the scholarship as long as all scholarship offers have not been tendered.

Can I complete the program while working full-time?

Yes. Classes will be evenings and weekends.

What is the cost of the program and is there any financial aid available?

The per credit hour tuition rate for the program has not been established by the Board of Trustees for 2014-2015, but a reasonable expectation is that it will be around $750 per credit. Applicants interested in exploring loan assistance through the federal government’s Stafford Loan program should contact the College’s Office of Financial Aid. Full-time admitted students can apply for graduate assistantships through the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education Admissions.

What Type of Career Preparation Can I expect?

For those interested in advancing in the higher education administrative environment, this program will provide excellent preparation to enable its graduates to move up the ranks in the collegiate or university environment, and other higher education environments. Because of the rapid pace of change in higher education, the industry needs well–trained generalists who can lead and adapt to many institutional challenges confronting the industry. Successful graduates who excel in this program will be positioned to advance their careers and become directors, deans, vice-presidents and presidents of higher education institutions and organizations.

Already Have a Terminal Degree?

This program could benefit those faculty members and administrators who already possess terminal degrees but wish to move more aggressively into the higher education leadership environment. It will also be attractive to those from other career tracks who wish to move into higher education leadership positions but lack experience and exposure to the subject matter areas offered in this program. It is, therefore, an attractive option for career changers, especially career changers with demonstrated leadership skills.