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The Path Forward

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Program Leadership Q & A

Q&A with Program Founding Director, Dr. Melissa Morriss-Olson

What do you love about Higher Education?
I feel so very fortunate that I fell into this career field that I truly do love. There is so much change happening in higher education right now and being in the midst of this change and having the opportunity to innovate and try new things on a daily basis is very exciting. At the end of the day, I am a very mission-centric individual. I love the mission of Bay Path University and find it personally rewarding to know that my work is having an impact in the lives of the students we serve. It doesn’t get much better than that!

What’s the value of a doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership & Organizational Studies (HELOS)?
Professional Growth: Bay Path’s HELOS graduates will be the next generation of educational leaders. They will be ready to manage their institutions with transparency, adaptability, and innovation, and to see them through enrollment challenges, rising costs, public scrutiny, shifting demographics, and challenges we can’t yet imagine.

Job Outlook: Our graduates will find that this degree will open up a world of opportunities for them. The job outlook for higher education administration and leadership roles is very strong right now. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected 10% job growth 2016 to 2026. What’s more, the compensation is competitive. In May 2018, the median annual salary for post-secondary education administrators was $92,360.

Why choose Bay Path for graduate work in Higher Education Leadership
Because Bay Path University’s HELOS program is unlike any other higher education program. It:

  • Focuses on putting theory into practice
  • Prioritizes the skills and mindset leaders need for managing change rather than generic curriculum or current higher ed practices
  • Emphasizes intensive self-assessment and small group mentoring to intentionally develop students as leaders who will be able to see and seize opportunities themselves, and nurture innovation and entrepreneurialism in others
  • Encompasses action-based research investigations, enabling its scholar-practitioners to identify and interpret a current institutional challenge, test solutions for that challenge, and reflect on how their decisions impact their community
  • Allows for customization of the program to fit the personal career goals of each student

Q&A with Program Coordinator & Assistant Professor Dr. Mela Dutka

What do you love about Higher Education?
Strengthening the day-to-day operations of any institution is fascinating work but also really important work that serves a larger educational and social mission. And because higher education is consistently changing, it’s always interesting and challenging work that requires continued professional renewal. You can’t do this work well without being prepared to change yourself, too.

What’s the value of a doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership & Organizational Studies (HELOS)?
Higher education institutions have always been dynamic entities, but recent developments in technology, costs, and student needs have meant a more rapid pace of change and opportunity – and challenge – that is not going to slacken. While there is no single leadership prescription, leaders in higher education and other similar organizations must be adept in managing and anticipating change and must be comfortable finding new ways of doing things. This program prepares leaders to do just that.

Why choose Bay Path for graduate work in Higher Education Leadership
There are many reasons but one that stands out for me is Bay Path’s cohort structure. Beginning with the first Immersive Weekend on campus and continuing through online courses and dissertation work, students complete the program as a group that provides support, diverse perspective, and enriched learning. I think most of us who have worked and studied in higher education know how much a supportive group can matter to our experience, as well as how much more enjoyable it makes it!