Philanthropy, Advancement, and Development
Degree: Master of Arts in Higher Education
As the importance of philanthropy grows and the field of institutional advancement expands, an increasing number of early-career development officers are seeking advanced degrees to enhance their careers and professional effectiveness. This concentration in philanthropy, advancement, and development has been created to meet the needs of those interested in or already engaged in professional roles in postsecondary institutions, or who work in or with private foundations that operate in the higher education environment.
As with our other master's programs in higher education, a feature of this program is the interaction among students with different professional backgrounds and diverse career goals. Students have opportunities to work with other master's students in required courses as well as with doctoral students in cognate and elective courses. As students work together on assignments and discuss issues in and out of class, students come to appreciate and understand the multiple frames of reference that may be brought to bear on higher education decision-making.
The challenges that face higher education require that educators not only adapt to change but also engage in developing a vision of higher education for society. Our main goal for graduate training is to prepare individuals for leadership in shaping the future of higher education through generating and applying knowledge, advancing the role of higher education in supporting the public good, and improving institutional practice. This is accomplished through coursework and experiences designed to increase students' understanding of higher education as an academic area of inquiry and practice.
This concentration is unique in several ways:
- The Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education has an established partnership with the U-M Office of University Development.
- Students benefit from the program's academic rigor set in the context of the university's renowned development initiatives.
- Graduates of this program can strengthen the field by integrating research findings into a more professional and informed approach to their practice.
- Students have opportunities to interact and collaborate with classmates who have different professional and personal backgrounds, as well as diverse career goals.
- Graduate study in this concentration considers broad issues that affect higher and postsecondary education as well as facets of institutional advancement such as governmental relations, marketing and communications, alumni relations, and development, including roles focused on the individual as well as institutional, corporate, and foundation relations. The contemporary and historical roles played by philanthropy in the culture and values of the U.S. are also examined.
This concentration might be of particular appeal to:
- Development officers interested in advancing their understanding of the higher education context
- Individuals interested in the field of development as a career option
- scholars interested in empirical study that will advance best practice considerations in the field of development
Profiles of student and alumni ambassadors who have participated in the higher education programs provide additional information about who fits in a program and what they might do after graduating.
While this program draws on the expertise of many members of the faculty, direction of this master's program is provided by Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education faculty member John Burkhardt, a former program officer for one of the country's largest philanthropic foundations, who also holds appointments as a special assistant to the provost for university engagement and with the Office of University Development. Such experienced and well-positioned leadership helps to provide a program with a balance of theory, research, and practical experience.
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