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Online Teaching & Program Administration Concentration

This is a 12 course (36 credit) program. The concentration in Online Teaching and Program Administration is designed for students seeking to gain expertise in online teaching and exposure to issues of higher education management and leadership. It helps the graduate to position themselves in their organizations as knowledgeable of trends and best practices in online teaching, curriculum development, designing and teaching online courses and building online communities. Students will gain an understanding of online educational pedagogy, course design and delivery, educational technologies, higher education management, and leadership.


Core Courses (8 courses): MHE 500, MHE 505, MHE 610, MHE 622, MHE 628, MHE 632, MHE 650, MHE 670

Electives (choose 4 courses): Students can select from a wide number of approved graduate electives, and can check with their advisor for help selecting electives from the Higher Education Administration, Nonprofit Management & Philanthropy, Communications & Information Management, or MBA programs that interest them.

Curriculum & Schedules

Code Course Name Credit Hours
MHE500 Introduction to Higher Education Administration 3

This course provides a basic introduction to the administration of colleges and universities in modern-day America, including the role and purpose of various functions and departments and major organizational participants (e.g., faculty, students, administration/staff, board). Current topics affecting University and university operation are reviewed and the impact of state and federal policy on institutions is explored.

MHE505 Organization and Governance of Higher Education 3

This course provides an overview of the organizational characteristics and processes of colleges and universities with an emphasis upon the governance structure, i.e., the process for making major policy decisions. Additionally, students will be introduced to the sources of power and influence typically found in academic organizations, along with the primary issues related to organization and governance of higher education.

MHE610 Higher Education Curriculum Development 3

This course provides a comprehensive understanding of curricula found in higher education. The course will briefly examine the historical and philosophical foundations from which current curricular models developed. Also included will be coverage of current practices in curriculum development in colleges and universities. Specific attention will be given to the role and impact of assessment and accreditation as related to curriculum development.

MHE622 Foundations of Online Learning 3

Provides an overview of the history, principles, philosophies, and pedagogy of online learning and how it differs from traditional face-to-face instruction. The role of the instructor, students, curriculum and technology will be closely examined. The applications of various learning theories, including adult learning theory, and their relationship to online education will also be explored. Students will evaluate the need for online learning opportunities and analyze the challenges associated with implementing online learning programs within an educational institution.

MHE628 Designing and Teaching Online Courses 3

This course provides students with an understanding of various instructional design approaches to online learning and their impact on students. Topics relating to backward design, developing assessments for the online classroom, constructivist teaching methods, and working with multiple intelligences and learning styles will also be examined. Students will apply their knowledge while developing engaging course content activities.

MHE632 Building Online Learning Communities 3

This course focuses on working with learners and communicating within an online learning environment. Topics covered will include synchronous and asynchronous communication and interaction, online, discussion facilitation strategies, developing clear course policies and expectations, engaging students in active learning, planning and managing group activities, strategies for working with difficult students, and developing a course community online. Effective course management strategies for the online classroom will also be explored. Students will examine the importance of clear, consistent communication in the online classroom.

MHE650 Leading Change Through Research in Higher Education 3

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to lead meaningful change through creating an original research project in higher education. During the course, each student will design a significant project (applied independent research) pertaining to a higher education management issue or problem. This course focuses on specific methodologies and frameworks for analysis to use in preparation of the research required for their individual capstone project. The course focuses on creating working drafts of the first four chapters of the research project (Introduction, Literature Review, Theoretical Frameworks and Methodology).

MHE 650 and MHE 670 have been designed as complementary “sister” courses to be taken as a sequence. Assignments in the MHE 650 course allow students to hone and refresh research strategies and skills to guide them through the initial phases of the capstone paper that will be completed in MHE 670.

In combination, the two courses work to provide students with the following three goals:
1. A deeper understanding of some of the challenges facing higher education;
2. A strong command of the analytical tools students have learned during the MHE program, which they can selectively utilize to effectively address those challenges; and
3. An appreciation of his or her own potential to be a change agent.

These goals will be achieved through a blend of readings, reflections and assignments, which in combination will “cap off” students’ learning in their respective graduate programs.

MHE670 Capstone: Advanced Management Seminar 3

This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply and demonstrate their mastery of new skills and knowledge. Each student will complete and publicly present the results of a significant project (applied or independent research) pertaining to a higher education management issue or problem. Students will begin their project design while enrolled in MHE 650. Students will also complete a learning outcomes portfolio.