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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Masters of Science in Leadership in Higher Education - Curriculum

Core Courses

 MSED 601 - Critical Thinking and Communication (3)

This course focuses on critical thinking and communication strategies to advance students' reasoning skills to develop well-thought-out, reasoned, clear, and concise oral and written communications and present them using transmedia. Students learn effective, engaging, and strategic use of interactive media; emerging and distributed technologies for storytelling; and how to convey well-articulated and powerful narratives.

 MSED 602 - Virtual Learning, Collaboration and Transmedia (3)

The course explores virtual and integrated learning technologies and their applications to learning organizations, learning communities, and educational settings. Future-ready technologies and techniques are applied for experiential, collaborative, social, and distributed learning. Students investigate virtual communication tools, integration of social media, virtual collaboration tools, digital storytelling, and their application to their professional and scholarly interests.

 MSED 603 - Ethics, Values and Inclusion (3)

This course introduces the student to the study of ethics as a basis for value clarification, decision making, and responsible leadership in inclusive organizations and communities. Elements of ethical leadership such as cultural proficiency, social justice, power, equity, and privilege are examined. Students investigate applications and practices relevant to their academic and professional interests.

 MSED 604 - Program Design and Evaluation (3)

The course focuses on analysis, design, development, implementation, and assessment of learning-based solutions to organizational challenges in a variety of learning organization environments including K–12, higher education, and private and public sectors. It introduces models and methods of learning theory and cognition and learning assessments as a response to identified needs and gaps in intended organizational results. Students will investigate applications and practices of learning design, cognition, and evaluation relevant to their academic and professional interests.

 MSED 605 - Applied Analytics and Data Visualization (3)

This course introduces students to various methods of applied data analysis with an emphasis on the analysis of quantitative data. Students will learn about modern forms of data gathering including the mining and extraction of big data. Students will also learn to report data using powerful statistical packages and the latest web-based visualization platforms. Last, students will learn the fundamentals of inferential statistical analysis. While basic statistical theory will be covered, the emphasis of the course will be on the development of empirical inquiries and the understanding, presentation, and communication of data in organizational, workplace, and educational contexts.

 MSED 606 - Entrepreneurial Leadership for Innovation and Change (3)

This course examines the role of the entrepreneurial leader in developing innovative solutions that align with personal and organizational mission, vision, and values. Focus is placed on how a leader shepherds sustainable change from ideation, to fruition, and to evolution without positional power. Students will explore methods and engage in processes to support innovation, adaptation, and learning and promote the endeavor by building coalitions and persuasive broad-based organizational support.

 MSED 699 - Capstone Integration Experience (3)

In collaboration with program faculty, students will engage in a culminating undertaking in the form of a scholarly paper, a learning/training program, or a technology-infused product design in which students apply academic, theoretical, and/or practitioner perspectives explored throughout the coursework. All projects must be grounded in literature relevant to students' degree programs and presented using advanced transmedia. The Capstone Integration Experience serves as one of the final program learning outcomes assessments.

Program-Specific Content

 MSHE 631 Higher Education Politics, Governance, and Society (3)

This course focuses on the central mission(s) and governance structures of higher education institutions in American society. The course exposes students to all sectors and levels of the diverse postsecondary landscape in the country, including public and private, profit and nonprofit, four- and two-year schools. Students will learn about the different forms of governance that characterize each sector as well as the historical and current challenges and opportunities associated with each governance structure. Governance will be framed and discussed within the various and often competing political ideologies that prevail in the nation. Broadly speaking, the overarching goal for this course is to increase knowledge about the structures and methods of governance in higher education institutions and how these issues are perceived and shaped by dominant political actors.

 MSHE 632 Student Support and Services in Higher Education (3)

This course is intended to familiarize students with student support services, particularly within the context of higher education institutions. The course focuses on the nature and purpose of student services, their functions, and how they can be effectively coordinated and integrated as part of the broad educational purposes of higher education institutions. It also examines institutional strategies for organizing, staffing, and funding a wide range of programs and services and how to design the learning and development of students. By actively participating in and successfully completing this course, students will become conversant with some of the literature and best practices associated with effective delivery of student services. This course takes a broad look at the essential work of student services and administration, examining the work through historical, theoretical, research, resource, ethical, legal, and best practice perspectives.

 MSHE 633 Economics, Finance, and Policy in Higher Education (3)

The course exposes students to historical and contemporary issues found at the intersection of higher education finance and policy. In more detail, this course will teach students about the financial and policy structures supporting four- and two-year public and private postsecondary institutions and how these structures change in relation to economic fluctuations at the national, state, and institutional levels. Students will also learn about policy creation and implementation in higher education through the lens of economics. For instance, students will learn about various economic ideologies and how these ideologies influence higher education policy in the nation.


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