Jun 25, 2024  

Higher Education Administration EdS

Program Description

The Higher Education Administration program seeks to empower diverse scholar-practitioners for service in national and international colleges and universities, committed to Christian values and high professional standards.

Higher Education is one of the fastest growing areas of education in the world today. Graduates at the master level typically work in administrative and executive positions in student services such as enrollment, admissions, financial services, athletics and residence halls. At the doctoral level, the program serves those who wish to pursue careers and academic positions in teaching and research in colleges and universities, as well as corporate training or policy making positions at the private and state level. The curriculum has an international focus that includes visiting international universities to interact with faculty and students of institutions in different countries around the world.

The Educational Specialist program in Higher Education provides advanced graduate education and training of high quality midlevel  administrators for postsecondary institutions. It prepares professionals seeking administrative advancement and service to local institutions of higher education. This degree is appropriate for positions such as:

  • Deans and assistant deans
  • Assistant to the president
  • Director and in-service directors
  • Department chairperson in selected areas
  • Program manager

Program Delivery

This program is offered on campus and as an interactive online program (see School of Distance Education Definitions). The online courses follow fixed enrollment with semester start and end dates.  Participants interact with each other and with instructor throughout all courses.  The online program requires summer on-campus attendance in the first year.  Students are also encouraged to come to campus for graduation.

Total Credits: 64

Degree Core

Concentration - 20

Cognates - 9

Choose from outside Educational Administration, such as Business, Communication, Social Work, Psychology, Religious Education, Curriculum, Leadership, Research, or transfer credits.

Additional Requirements


The degree programs require the completion of a portfolio that documents the participant’s work. These portfolios require documentation that evidences a level of mastery appropriate to each degree and can be presented in person or via electronic media. The portfolio must be assessed and approved by a faculty committee. More details on portfolio requirements are provided in the introductory course, LEAD 630, required in all programs.


Participants comply with registration guidelines by enrolling in a course at least one semester out of three consecutive semesters until their program is complete. If participants want to remain active and not register for regular course work they will need to register for EDAL 650 Program Continuation at least every third semester. This course has no credit but allows access to faculty advising and access to the Andrews University library. As an alternative to the above, a participant may request to go Inactive. When Active Status is desired, the participant may request reactivation and, if approved, pay the current Reactivation Fee.

Time Limits

Participants must complete the requirements for the MA within four years; EdS, EdD, and PhD degrees within seven years from the beginning of the first semester of class work after acceptance into the doctoral program, irrespective of admission classification.

Program Electives

As needed, in consultation with your advisor.

Admission Requirements

Application Process

Applicants must meet School of Education admission requirements for the specialist degree. Applicants may transfer up to 32 credits from previous graduate work into the specialist degree at the discretion of their academic advisors. Candidates must complete LEAD 630 - Introduction to Leadership  and LEAD 630 - Introduction to Leadership  as an introduction to the philosophy of leadership and review of the standards that will guide their educational plan. The curriculum consists of a minimum of 64 semester credits beyond the baccalaureate degree and requires the completion of both an internship and a portfolio. Many courses are offered as variable credits; therefore, candidates should consider their credit needs when planning their course work and registering for courses. The portfolio serves as a component of the EdS comprehensive examination. There is no thesis requirement for the EdS.

Program Objectives

Guiding Principles

The Higher Education program of Andrews University is committed to the fundamental guiding principles of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), a consortium of 35 professional associations concerned with the development and promulgation of professional standards and guidelines for student learning and personal development support programs and services in institutions of higher learning.

According to the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, the five guiding principles for Higher Education can be summarized as follows:

1. Students and Their Institutions (the student must be considered as a whole person)

  • Each student is a unique person and must be treated as such.
  • The student’s total environment is educational and must be used to achieve full development.
  • Students seek higher education in responsible ways and will, when encouraged to do so, access appropriate educational resources when they are provided, made known, and relevant to students’ felt educational and developmental needs.
  • Institutions of higher learning are purposeful and function as social and cultural resources to provide opportunities for students to learn and develop in holistic ways.
  • The primary responsibility for learning and development rests with the student.
  • Institutions of higher learning reflect the diversity of the societies and cultures in which they exist.
  • Institutions are responsible for creating learning environments that provide a choice of educational opportunities and challenge students to learn and develop while providing support to nurture their development.

2. Diversity and Multiculturalism

  • Institutions embrace diversity and eliminate barriers that impede student learning.
  • Justice and respect for differences bond individuals to community.
  • Education for multicultural awareness and positive regard for differences is essential to the development and maintenance of a health-engendering society.
  • All students must have access to the educational and co-curricular resources available to the academic community at large; no student, for any reason, should be denied access to them.

3. Organization, Educational Administration, and Human Resources

  • Capable, credible, knowledgeable, and experienced educational administration is essential for institutional success.
  • Organizational units are most successful when their missions and outcome expectations are effectively documented and understood by all concerned.
  • Effective programs and services require well-qualified staff members who understand and support the student learning and development outcomes the programs are intended to provide.
  • Leaders and staff members alike must possess effective managerial skills, be properly titled, and be well-qualified by both education and experience.

4. Health-Engendering Environments

  • Educational programs and services prosper in benevolent environments that provide students with appropriate levels of challenge and support.
  • The primary purpose of education has always been to promote change, both in individuals and in society. College and university student support programs are first and foremost educational enterprises.

5. Ethical Considerations

  • Ethical standards are essential to guide the behavior of staff members in ways that enhance the program’s overall integrity.
  • Because special mentoring relationships develop between students and those who facilitate their learning and development, support service providers must exemplify impeccable ethical behavior in both their professional relationships and personal lives.

International Focus

Higher education is becoming an increasingly global phenomenon characterized by international trade in educational services. For this reason, the Higher Education program is structured with an international focus. As an international Adventist institution, Andrews University is uniquely positioned to offer the following opportunities:

International Study Tour. A seminar in International Higher Education in the format of a summer tour to visit systems of higher education that have influenced post-secondary education in different parts of the world, such as Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. The tour includes campus visits and interaction with faculty and students of public, private, and Adventist international institutions of higher education, and meets the requirements of master’s and doctoral programs. Travel expenses are mostly covered by tuition credits.

International Internships. The Higher Education program works with international Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities to develop an internship program that integrates theory and research with the practice of higher education in international settings. The extent and format of these programs vary and are negotiated on a personal basis between the participant and the institution.

Intercultural Seminar. This is a seminar in intercultural communication that explores the role of culture and diversity in today’s organizations in order to develop cross-cultural competence and sensitivity. Explores issues such as effective communication across group barriers, leadership and culture, and the impact of cultural differences on relationships, decision making, motivation, conflict management, human resource development, and other leadership issues.

For further information, students may contact the coordinator of the Higher Education program.