The College of Education launches the M.Ed. Urban Higher Education program

UIC campus photo

With a focus on the urban university context, it is one of the first graduate programs of its kind in the country

The UIC College of Education has launched its newest master’s program, the M.Ed. in Urban Higher Education. The program explores issues within the academy related to, and informed by, the urban context, and is geared toward early to mid-career professionals looking to launch or advance a career in higher education.

"This will be one of the first graduate programs focused on urban higher education in the country.  More and more students are seeking out urban colleges and universities since cities are dynamic, exciting places to be, and UIC is the key urban, public institution,” says Dr. Marc VanOverbeke, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the College of Education.

“Through this program, we are poised to contribute to an understanding of urban education, how all are leaders, and how all can contribute to making urban institutions dynamic, engaging places for all students."

“It has been great to witness the faculty's commitment to transform urban higher education,” says Dr. Alfred Tatum, Dean of the College of Education. “This degree moves us toward becoming a more comprehensive College of Education, and it will extend our impact into the higher education landscape.

Themes and areas of emphasis

Six key themes guide the program:

  • The urban context’s specific opportunities and complex challenges
  • Equity and authentic diversity in higher education
  • Everyone in higher education serves as a leader and advocate that contributes to the improvement of the organization
  • Principled leadership and ethical behavior as the foundation for sound professional practice
  • Teamwork and collaboration are crucial for continuous organizational improvement and advancement
  • Best practice in higher education requires evidence-based and data-informed decision-making

Students can choose between two areas of emphasis depending on their career interests: Leadership, Governance, Organization and Policy; or Institutional Research for Decision Making.

This will be one of the first graduate programs focused on urban higher education in the country. More and more students are seeking out urban colleges and universities since cities are dynamic, exciting places to be, and UIC is the key urban, public institution.

Marc VanOverbeke  |  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Associate Professor, Education Policy Studies

A program that meets the growing demand for advanced study in higher education

Dr. Celina Sima, the program’s coordinator and founder, has already received an outpouring of interest in the program from inside and outside of UIC.

“Prospective students have told me that that they believe this urban-focused program curriculum will better prepare them to take advantage of the opportunities, and address the challenges of universities in urban centers. They are already looking at the curriculum, and tell me they are excited to get started!” says Sima.

According to national and state labor statistics, there are more higher education positions available than there are individuals with the higher education credentials to fill those positions. Fifty-four percent of respondents to the Occupational Employment survey collected by the U.S. Census Bureau stated that a master’s degree was required for entry into a postsecondary administrative position.

“In addition to entry-level preparation for administrative positions in higher education, graduate programs in higher education provide a great opportunity for professional and academic development for those who already hold positions. It’s a way keep up with the most recent theory and models of best practice,” says Sima.

Applications now open for Fall 2019

Applications are currently open for the program, which will enroll its first group of students in the Fall 2019 semester.

There will be an information session for anyone interested in the program on July 10 at 6 p.m. in the UIC Daley Library. Register for the session here.