COE: MEd: Adult & Higher Education | Higher Education
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Strengthen the Foundation for Student Success to Transform College Access and Workforce Preparation

Educational leaders and community stakeholders have expressed interest in establishing partnerships with college and workforce preparation professionals from various sectors to address the transition challenges of underrepresented and economically disadvantaged elementary, middle school and high school students who are underprepared to fully participate in and effectively contribute to the global economy as fully functional citizens. Proactive, sustained effort and attention to this crisis is paramount and can contribute to the development of academic and vocational pathways that will inspire a renewed hope among extremely vulnerable student populations and contribute to economic development in our region and beyond.

As there is a renewed national emphasis on PK-16 pipeline initiatives, it is vital that this program can respond to community needs for student services professionals who have the talent and skill to serve as educational liaisons and facilitate collaboration between K-12, community colleges, career and technical education institutions, and 4-year institutions in order to prepare all students for success, whether they choose to pursue a college degree, vocational training or transition to the workforce immediately following high school.

The Master’s degree with an emphasis in Higher Education has been flexibly designed to include an expanded focus related to college access, equity and affordability, social justice, and workforce preparation, as well as student services and higher education leadership. The enhanced curriculum targets K-12 teacher leaders, college and career preparation professionals, and other student services professionals who want to transform the college access and workforce preparation culture in elementary and secondary schools, which would culminate in the creation of transition plans and intensive student support services to ensure success for ALL students.

Student support professionals will be provided with the necessary tools to empower youth and adolescents; a renewed emphasis will be placed on students who are culturally connected to marginalized communities or underrepresented populations to promote achievement and success among these groups. Institutional and community commitment to student success will contribute to realistic and achievable academic and vocational pathways that are vital for a healthy, sustainable economy and region.

Our innovative program aims to provide the foundational tools for practitioners to consider several career pathways: 1) student services professionals in public or private schools who can complement the work of school counselors to provide proactive academic, vocational or workforce planning support to elementary, middle and high school students; 2) student services professionals who will pursue entry to mid-level staff or leadership roles in higher education institutions to effectively serve students who have transitioned to college to earn a postsecondary degree and require various forms of support in order to experience academic success and persist to graduation; 3) educational liaisons who work with K-12, community colleges and 4-year institutions, as well as business and health care agencies and community agencies, to serve as transition planning advocates for all students; 4) student services professionals who have an interest in working with private college preparation agencies to promote and support college access and preparation; or 5) higher education professionals interested in organizing, mobilizing, and leading advocacy efforts related to public policy formulation and analysis within government agencies and national higher education and professional associations, including the American Council on Education, NASPA, etc., as well as higher education think tanks and non-profit research and advocacy organizations, such as the Institute for Higher Education Policy.

Our experienced, student-centered faculty nurture student growth through a targeted immersion in the program curriculum, which serves to build comprehensive competencies to pursue work in these areas. Faculty provide personalized mentoring experiences and incorporate real-world case studies into the curriculum to expose students to practical opportunities to apply concepts to professional practice.

The degree program is a 30-credit hour online program. We offer flexible course delivery and scheduling options designed with working professionals in mind. All courses are scheduled as synchronous via Zoom or asynchronous. The courses are offered using accelerated scheduling formats in 4- and 8-week block schedules. Students follow a prescribed curriculum and also have the option to tailor courses to meet their individual needs and interests.

Contact us today to discuss your interests and discover your passion for advancing the future of student success!

Master of Education (MEd)

Program Director:

Dr. Shawn Woodhouse

123 South Campus Classroom Building (SCCB)
p: (314) 516-5889

Deadlines to Apply:
Fall - July 1
Spring - December 1
Summer - May 1


Slide 1 Education alumna sees her way through tragedy, parenthood to UMSL degree
During her time at UMSL, Kristin Bass assumed guardianship for her two nephews following the death of her mother. She had to take some time off school but returned determined to finish her degree and earned her MEd in 2014. (Photo by August Jennewein)

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Shawn Woodhouse, Ph.D.
Associate Dean

Shawn Woodhouse is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration in the Division of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies for the College of Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. A Gus T. Ridgel Fellow, Dr. Woodhouse completed her Ph.D. at the University of Missouri-Columbia in Higher and Adult Education.