The Graduate Certificate Program in Higher Education (GCPHE) is designed to provide an overview of historical and contemporary issues in higher education for doctoral students who wish to gain a greater understanding of higher education research, policy, assessment and/or administrative practices. Current Washington University doctoral students who are interested in pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education may begin taking courses pursuant to the Certificate upon entry into the University.
Doctoral students interested in pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education must take a total of 12 total credit hours. Options include taking either four courses or three courses (9 total credit hours) plus engagement in a (3-credit hour) Mentored Experience in Higher Education (MEHE) through the Department of Education. The MEHE will be approved, after consultation with the Practicum Supervisor, by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in the Department of Education. During an MEHE, a student would work with an administrative or faculty supervisor to gain deeper experience in the student’s particular area of interest in higher education. Examples of MEHEs include working in an administrative office at Washington University (or another institution) or completing an institutional project related to program development, evaluation or improvement. Students must also complete a 10-15 page capstone paper that reflects upon and synthesizes what they have learned through their coursework related to higher education issues, policies and practices, and their MEHE if applicable.
Doctoral students must fulfill all requirements of the Ph.D. within their respective home departments, the Graduate School, and the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Program requirements as specified. Students in departments outside of the Department of Education must obtain approval from their home department in order to officially enroll in the GCPHE.
Students pursuing certificates will complete only one course from each of the course groupings detailed below until their 9 or 12 credit hour requirement has been met. The course groupings consist of the following: (1) Foundations of Education, Assessment, and Evaluation, (2) Diversity and Inclusion in Education, and (3) Critical Issues in Higher Education. Students may elect to take a further course in Critical Issues in Higher Education or enroll in an MEHE.
Upon completion of their credits toward the certificate, students will write a 10-15 page capstone paper as described above and as part of this paper discuss strategies for incorporating what they have learned in the certificate program into their academic and professional goals. For students involved in writing original dissertation work relevant to the work in the certificate program, a chapter of their dissertation may be substituted for the 10-15 page capstone paper. The capstone paper will be presented to and reviewed by a panel of faculty teaching in the program and higher education practitioners before the awarding of the Graduate Certificate. Standing members of the panel include the Department Chair, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Chair of the Curriculum Committee in the Department of Education.