music Often students come to the program and they know they’re interested in higher education, but don’t necessarily know which aspect. One of the jobs that we have in the program is to help students learn where their passions lie in higher education and help them prepare for those careers. There are a number of opportunities for those who study higher education in policy, in the policy world. So you can work as a policy analyst, for example, in a legislative office or an executive office at the state level, at the federal level. There are also opportunities to work for a number of nonprofit organizations, including those that advocate for access to higher education for certain individuals. There are also opportunities to work in policy within higher education institutions. So a number of colleges and universities have policy research institutes, such as the Tower Center that we have here at SMU. And so students can pursue the study of higher education policy within a campus as well. I knew that I wanted to get into higher
education because I really do have a passion for helping kids in college. I decided to go into higher education because I wanted to connect my students that I was working with in K through 12 to college. I know how hard students work, and when they can’t reach their goals because of some roadblock, it’s frustrating. So I want to help students out, earn their degree, and just have a great time at college. Higher education is a unique industry in that you have a variety of different career opportunities even within one college or university. A graduate degree in higher education really is the essential entry point for anybody wanting to work in the field of higher education in today’s environment. A lot of times a master’s or a doctoral degree in higher education is required in order to move up in the ranks within a university or a college setting. If people are at a staff level position within a university, a master’s degree will provide them with the opportunity to potentially move up to be an assistant director or a director position. I love that the higher education program at SMU aligns with the broader ethos of the Simmons School of Education, which deals with improving lives. My passion, my mission is to really help bridge the gap between college access and college success, and so I’m studying higher education to figure out how to do that. So when I’m done here at SMU, I feel like my degree is really going to help me move into my next job either within athletics or as an administrator or as a higher education professional because I understand what makes a university tick.