Higher Education Administration Program


Molly A. Schaller, Ph.D.
     Program Director


Saint Louis University’s programs in higher education administration prepare professionals to excel in their careers and give back to the greater community. Each program is individually tailored to complement unique interests and professional aspirations. These programs combine theory with practical insights provided by faculty who are both seasoned professors and administrators.

About the Faculty

Faculty members take a genuine interest in students. They provide advising and mentoring for students in their current or future careers as higher education leaders or scholars. 

Social Justice Framework

Our programs are grounded in our Social Justice Framework. Social justice has been a “significant lens” for Jesuits since 1965 and is also vital for higher education and student affairs professionals, educators, and community stakeholders. While the definitions of social justice are numerous, David Hollenbach, S.J., wrote that “Social justice concerns institutionalized patterns of mutual action and interdependence that are necessary to bring about the realization of distributive justice.” 

In an education setting, distributive justice is the claim that everyone should have access to the public good of education. Toward that end, we strive to find ways to address experiences of systemic injustice, displacing oppressive structures with those that provide for all.

As educators, we understand our particular obligation is to prepare leaders for higher education who will not only dismantle systems of oppression but help shape colleges and universities that create vital educational spaces for all, with an intentional focus on those who have been targets of bias and injustice. With these goals in mind, our program is informed by the Jesuit, Catholic perspective on social justice and is guided by the Universal Apostolic Preferences adopted by the Society of Jesus in 2019 for the decade ahead.

The Jesuits encourage specific approaches to bring about reconciliation and justice. Our program’s framework is specifically guided by two approaches: “Walking with the Excluded” and “Journeying with Youth” (The Society of Jesus, 2019).

The approach “Walking with the Excluded” guides our program’s framework. Our students are personally and professionally challenged to address both higher education and society’s systemic inequities through an understanding of reconciliation and justice.

The approach “Journeying with Youth” encourages the Jesuit community, including our work in the University and the School of Education, to be open to formation by those who are new to our community or those who are younger, including students, faculty, and staff. 

As scholars and educators, we aim to co-create a learning environment where students are holistically prepared to:

  1. Identify and analyze processes that dehumanize any persons and assist all in collectively and proactively dismantling oppression.
  2. Reflect on the socialization that shapes each student and faculty member.
  3. Give voice to particular groups’ experiences.
  4. Contextualize the history and context that each person brings to our work by incorporating sociopolitical perspectives into dialogue.
  5. Reflect upon and ask critical questions regarding the systems, structures, and impact of higher education.

EDH 4930 - Special Topics

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

EDH 4980 - Independent Study

Credit(s): 1 or 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

EDH 5250 - History of American Higher Education

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Historical trends and theoretical foundations that gave rise to modern American colleges and universities. Offered every Fall semester.

EDH 5350 - Student Development Theory I

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course will introduce you to the exploration and analysis of attitudes and characteristics of the college student population in context of higher educational institutions in the United States. Theoretical concepts and empirical findings will be examined that help to describe the college student in relation to changing demographics, culture, and development. The intent of the course is to familiarize you with today's higher education setting and strategies for enhancing these environments to maximize student learning and development. Throughout the course, attention will be paid to the impact of learning and development. Throughout the course, attention will be paid to the impact of the campus environment on diverse student populations and a variety of student groups.

EDH 5360 - Student Development Theory II

Credit(s): 3 Credits

EDH 5400 - Law and Higher Education

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Exploration and analysis of selected problems involving legal restrictions and/or protections for colleges and universities.

EDH 5470 - Leadership in Higher Education

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course is intended to provide students pursuing a degree in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education with a background in legal and ethical issues confronted by practicing professionals. A lecture, discussion and problem solving format is used in studying the course material. The course includes a discussion of leadership and ethical principles, selected law cases and their interrelation with the American College Personnel Association Statement of Ethical Principles and Standards.

EDH 5500 - Catholic Higher Education Administration and Leadership

Credit(s): 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

This course offers an overview of leadership and student affairs administration within Catholic higher education. Through a review of literature, as well as in-class discussions, students will understand the unique aspects of working at a Catholic institution. Students will also critically examine and reflect upon various contemporary issues pertaining to student affairs administration at Catholic colleges and universities. Offered fall and spring.

EDH 5600 - Foundations in Higher Education

Credit(s): 3 Credits

EDH 5640 - Social Justice and the College Student

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Exploration and analysis of attitudes and characteristics of the college student population in context of the institutional climate.

EDH 5650 - Intervention Skills

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course is designed to promote an understanding of strong interpersonal communication skills among student personnel administrators. The course will focus on developing skills necessary for facilitating career and educational decision-making, conflict management, and promoting the development of interpersonal relationships and healthy lifestyle habits. This course also focuses on goal-setting and creating strategies for behavior change, and developing an understanding of the kinds of issues that often affect college students.

EDH 5700 - Assessment and Evaluation in Student Affairs

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of current assessment and evaluation methods in student affairs administration. Topics will include defining and measuring student learning outcomes, assessment processes and designs, and methods for collecting and analyzing assessment data.

Prerequisite(s): (EDR 5000 with a grade of C or higher or SLU Ed Research Methods with a minimum score of S)

EDH 5910 - Internship: Higher Ed Admin

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

Supervised experience in appropriate administrative offices. Permission of Instructor required. Offered every Fall and Spring Semester.

EDH 5915 - Internship in Student Personnel Administration

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

Supervised experience in appropriate student personnel administrative offices. Permission of instructor required.

EDH 5916 - Internship: College Teaching

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

EDH 5930 - Special Topics

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

EDH 5950 - Special Study for Written Comprehensive Exams

Credit(s): 0 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

EDH 5980 - Graduate Reading Course

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

EDH 6010 - Doctoral Residency

Credit(s): 0 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

EDH 6020 - Professional Seminar in Doctoral Studies in Higher Education

Credit(s): 1 Credit

This course introduces doctoral studies to beginning students by engaging in a full review of the doctoral process, writing for doctoral coursework, preparation for the dissertation, development of a curriculum vita, and establishment of professional goals through the doctoral process.

EDH 6040 - Universal Design in Higher Education: Principles and Practices

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course introduces basic concepts, issues, principles, approaches, practices, beneficiaries, institutionalization, and resources regarding the application of universal design (UD) of instruction, technology, physical spaces and student services for making postsecondary educational products and environments welcoming to, accessible to, and usable by everyone, including students with disabilities.

EDH 6050 - Disability in Higher Education & Society

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This theory-to-practice course provides graduate students with a multi-dimensional understanding of disability, particularly as it intersects with higher education and student development. Focus will be on the social construct of disability and creating an inclusive educational environment.

EDH 6060 - Disability Administration in Higher Education

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This pragmatic course explores the field of disability education and students with disabilities in higher education as related to disability services administration. Students will engage in practical lessons from this discipline, experience disability administration roles and responsibilities, and explore ways to create access and inclusion in the higher education setting. Offered in spring.

EDH 6080 - Disability Social Justice Theory in Higher Education

Credit(s): 3 Credits

A social justice approach to disability in higher education begins with the assumption that all faculty, staff, and students’ abilities contribute to the mission of the institution regardless whether their bodies or psyches conform to majority norms. Yet, in higher education, this ideal of social justice is challenged by barriers, residing in the attitudinal, organizational, and physical aspects of the college or university, which limit all to succeed in achievement of goals and contributions to the mission. This course examines the various ways individuals with and without disabilities creates and sustains systems which limit the personal and professional experience of college faculty, staff and students with disabilities. In addition, the course will address how these barriers can be reduced or eliminated by all college stakeholders with and without disabilities.

EDH 6150 - Organization and Administration of Higher Education

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Designed to improve the student's ability to conceptualize the total field of administration through studies of administrative theory, behavior, processes, organization, and current research.

EDH 6350 - College Student Choice, Access, and Success

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course examines key theories and current research exploring access to higher education; college choice; and college student retention, persistence, and success. Drawing from relevant empirical and theoretical literature, students will develop a deeper understanding of the barriers to college access and success for today’s students. Special emphasis will be placed on examining college access and success through the lenses of race, class, gender, and ability. Students will apply their learnings by considering how to (re)design equity-informed interventions.

EDH 6580 - Financial Admin in Higher Educ

Credit(s): 3 Credits

General introduction to the multiple aspects of financial administration in higher education including administrative organization budgeting and financial reporting, fund accounting, purchasing, management of endowment funds, loan funds.

EDH 6600 - Curriculum in Higher Education

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Survey of practices and problems in the development of curricula in American colleges and universities. Offered in spring.

EDH 6640 - Social Theory & Social Justice in Higher Education

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Exploration and analysis of social theories as they relate to attitudes, characteristics, and experiences within postsecondary contexts and institutional cultures.

EDH 6700 - College Teaching

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Critical analysis of practices, expectations, strategies, and responsibilities of the college teacher based on an analysis of the teaching-learning situation.

EDH 6925 - Higher Education Student Society

Credit(s): 0 Credits

Higher Education Student Society.

EDH 6930 - Special Topics

Credit(s): 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

EDH 6950 - Special Study for Written Comprehensive Exams

Credit(s): 0 Credits

EDH 6960 - Project Guidance

Credit(s): 0-4 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

EDH 6970 - Research Topics in Higher Ed

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

Discussion of theories of research and the process of hypothesis development. Offered every Spring semester.

EDH 6980 - Graduate Reading Course

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

EDH 6990 - Dissertation Research

Credit(s): 0-6 Credits (Repeatable for credit)