Adult & Higher Education

Program Overview

The Adult and Higher Education (A&HE) program offers three degrees: Master’s of Education, Doctor of Education, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education. The A&HE graduate program prepares students to work in and/or research both formal and informal educational opportunities beyond traditional Pre-K-12 settings.  Students in the program would be specifically focused on (a) college teaching and college students and their development, (b) higher education leadership, administration, and organization, (c) postsecondary institutional and program evaluation, assessment, and accreditation, and (d) comparative international and diverse postsecondary (e.g., Tribal Colleges) institutional contexts. Special attention is directed at underrepresented student groups and diverse learners within these foci areas. There are three specialization options for the Master’s in Education (MEd) degree: Adult Education, Student Affairs, and Higher Education. 

There are two specialization options for the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree: Higher Education Administration and Higher Education Academics. The EdD in Higher Education Administration specialization is intended for individuals who will contribute to the administrative leadership within a range of diverse postsecondary settings. The EdD Higher Education Academics specialization is intended for individuals who will teach and provide academic leadership in the area of college teaching and learning within a diverse range of postsecondary settings. 

The PhD in Education (PhD) degree is designed for graduate students seeking faculty or research positions in higher education or positions within research organizations that require educational research in highly specialized disciplines. Progress through the degree provides students with opportunities to develop specialized disciplinary content and research knowledge along with scholarly experiences that provides the foundational knowledge and skills required for success as faculty in higher education and in research organizations. Specifically, the PhD program prepares students to develop knowledge and conduct research related to six (6) major areas of strength among our existing faculty: (1) Leadership and Policy Analysis (2) STEM Education, (3) the K-20 Education, (4) Online and Distance Education Delivery, (5) Pedagogy and Teacher Preparation, and (6) Education Evaluation, Assessment, Research Design and Analysis. Special emphasis in these major research areas addresses topics specific to Montana including working with rural communities and Native Americans on state and other educational issues. Graduates of this PhD program in education will be well-positioned to directly and positively affect the data driven culture related to improving the K-20 educational systems. 

The Adult & Higher Education Program also offers a Certificate in College Teaching (CTC) to develop and promote exemplary teaching among graduate students, aspiring faculty, and current faculty wanting to enhance their teaching skills. The goal of the certificate is to make individuals more competitive in the job market as instructors and faculty members at a range of colleges and universities.