The higher education concentration prepares future professionals to develop and administer programs and services that support diverse student bodies and retain students through data-informed practice. This interdisciplinary concentration, designed for flexibility and student interest, draws on the expertise of the higher education program at George Mason, and that of faculty in related fields—sociology, women and gender studies, counseling and human development—across the university. The concentration offers small classes and individual attention from the faculty.
Faculty expertise includes social justice and educational practice, leadership and organizational development, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and assessment of student learning. Organizations funding our scholarship include the National Science Foundation, the US Department of State, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Google.
Students in the concentration have the opportunity to work in faculty-student teams on current research projects. Teams have focused on veterans’ transition into college, social justice advocacy in higher education, gender microaggressions, and successful pedagogy in STEM. Students are required to complete internships in areas such as academic advising, disability services, non-profit education associations, and educational bridge programs. Internships allow students to apply theory to practice.
The location of Mason in the Washington, D.C., area provides terrific opportunities for our students, who take advantage of the rich education research and policy-making environment for their professional development. Graduates of the concentration have gone on to work in academic advising, career services, and residence life at universities such as Northern Virginia Community College, Mary Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, and Texas A&M, as well as non-profit associations such as the American Council on Education.