Developing creative, evidence based leaders and decision-makers who seek to create meaningful change in higher education.

School of Graduate and Professional Studies

Master of Arts in Higher Education Leadership


Graduate Admission


Why Pursue a Master of Arts in Higher Education Leadership at North Central College?

You want to step to the higher education forefront and make an impact on the community. You have the drive to go beyond the basics and a desire to see and hear innovative practices that colleges are implementing to impact students' lives. The Master of Arts in Higher Education will not only provide you the space for self-exploration, but also the practical experiences to dive deeper into a variety of areas. You will learn all the tools you need to utilize your gifts and advance your higher education career.

Understand the System + Lead the System

The education world is moving at a fast pace, so we are committed to delivering a unique curriculum that teaches you how to bring thoughtful change into future-thinking institutions. Our degree is designed to help you understand and lead within higher education.

  • You will learn about campus culture, college students, and fiscal management while concurrently practicing the skills to teach, practice, and apply principals of creative problem solving, conflict resolution, and leadership and ethics.
  • You will be coached by a range of expert higher education leaders in creating personal and professional development plans.

Degree Features

  • Speaker Series Events - in-person or online series that focuses on your career and personal development. Faculty and higher education professionals provide training on emerging trends in higher education
  • 100% Online Curriculum - flexible courses designed to fit your busy schedule so you can keep your job while earning your degree
  • Comprehensive Curriculum - a strong curriculum that looks to the future by offering courses in trending higher education leadership topics.

Master of Arts in Higher Education Curriculum

  • Creative and Future-Focused Curriculum: You will learn theories and concepts in higher education and discover how these concepts can be introduced, discussed, and used in higher education.
  • Ethically Responsible: Our core as an institution is to develop ethical and purposeful citizens and leaders in local, national and global contexts. Ethics is a foundational principle that is integrated into each and every core course.
  • Practical Application: Practical experiences are part of the entire program. Through case studies and assignments designed for real-world application, students will apply course concepts in each and every class.

Degree Format 

  • The program consists of 12 courses, 36 credit hours.
    • 5 core courses
    • 7 elective courses  
  • All courses are offered in fully online formats and are delivered in 8-week sessions.
  • 2019-20 Academic Calendar (PDF)

Leadership Core Courses

Leadership Core Course descriptions (PDF)

  • MORG 500: Leadership and Organizational Theory 
  • MORG 525: Diversity and Inclusion 
  • MORG 550: Communication, Group Dynamics and Conflict Resolution 
  • MORG 575: Evidence Based Decision Making 
  • MORG 696: Innovation Project 

Higher Education Leadership Courses

Higher Education Leadership Course descriptions (PDF)

  • MHED 620: Higher Education Past, Present and Future
  • MHED 610: Higher Education Administration 
  • MEHD 630: Student Development and Campus Culture 
  • MHED 640: Law and Policy in Higher Education 
  • MHED 650: Financial Models in Higher Education 
  • 2 elective courses from the following list:
    • MFIN 510: Financial Management
    • MHRM 515: Strategic Human Resource Development
    • MBUS 500: Data Analytics for Managers
    • MBUS 520: Applied Managerial Marketing
    • MHRM 645: Workforce Training & Development (MHRM 515 is Prerequisite)
    • MORG 625: Assessment, Evaluation & Planning
    • MORG 600: Leadership Coaching
    • MSPT 609: Facilities & Events Management

Speaker Series

The Speaker Series provides you with an opportunity to engage in dynamic discussions on relevant higher education topics and network with experienced college professionals. It is designed to supplement your classroom learning and go deeper into the challenges and issues that students and institutions face today.

Building Your Higher Education Network

The Speaker Series allows you to connect to North Central's campus and develop relationships with faculty and classmates that go beyond the online classroom. It provides a space for you to not only learn from higher education experts about evidenced-based strategies that work, but also collaborate with colleagues on how you can apply practical methods into your own work and career. 

Speaker Series Topics include:

  • Social Listening to Advance Enrollment and Fundraising
  • Freedom of Speech on Campus
  • Starting a Social Media Student Champion Group
  • University Shootings: Prevention Strategies 
  • Leading Strategic Change in Academic Institutions
  • Dreamers and Higher Education
  • Disruptive Practices in Higher Education
  • The Role of the University in a Changing World

Speaker Series Details

  • You are encouraged to attend the series in person, but the series will be also available via livestream for your convenience. 
  • Each speaker series event is 1.5 hours long and will take place on a weekday.
  • Students will not be charged tuition/fees for their attendance and there is no limit to the number of speaker series events that students attend.

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