Historical Perspectives of Higher Education – EDUC 782

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course provides a historical foundation of how ideas and practices from the past influence current trends in higher education.




This foundational course provides candidates a brief historical overview of higher education in the United States with an emphasis on diversity, organizational structure, and individual roles. This course will also examine contemporary issues in higher education which have historical significance and implications for future leaders in higher education. 

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the candidate will be able to:

  1. Review the development of the American higher education system.
  2. Distinguish the role faculty, administrators, students, and external constituencies play in higher education.
  3. Differentiate the varying organizational cultures found within post-secondary institutions.
  4. Articulate what colleges must offer in view of changing environments, expectations, and critiques.
  5. Describe major trends in the American higher education system associated with curriculum development, graduate education, the role of research, and the treatment of academic freedom.
  6. Integrate a biblical worldview into education and especially for higher education.
  7. Produce a piece of research related to an identified issue or program in higher education.
  8. Formulate a working knowledge of higher education as a field of study or professional interest.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the candidate will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forum

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the candidate will examine professional associations and form a list of 6–8 organizations by career groupings (at least 3) in a thread. He/she must include the name of the association, webpage link, basic purpose of the association, membership qualifications and levels, fees, and a short description of how the association could be helpful as a leader in higher education (at least 100 words). In addition to the thread, the candidate is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 100 words. (MLO: C, H)

Group Discussion Board Forums (4)

Candidates will be divided into groups of four members each. Each group will be assigned a leader for that forum. The group leader will post an open-ended question from that module/week’s readings to the group. The group will then discuss the question by posting responses to the topic (3 replies of 200 words each, including at least 1 citation each). The group leader will synthesize all responses into a well-written summary (at least 500 words with at least 3 in-text citations). (MLO: A, B, H)

Historical Review Project


The candidate will choose one of the early American colleges that are still in existence today and write a narrow research question/topic that will allow him or her to investigate a particular theme, era, person, or organizational unit pertaining to its history. In addition to the research question/topic, the candidate will submit a detailed outline.

Research Paper

The candidate will choose one of the early American colleges that are still in existence today and write a 1,500–1750-word paper to address the chosen research question/topic. The candidate must use at least 1 primary source and 1 secondary source, with the focus on the researched primary source (historical information coming from the institution).(MLO: A, B, C, F, G)

Educational Family Genealogy

The candidate will create an analysis of an educational genealogy. The candidate will include 2 sections. First, the candidate will create a family chart and write a description of the educational experiences for each member (the depth of this section will depend on family members and the amount of research). Second, the candidate will author a well-written, APA-formatted reflection paper (750–1,000 words) on how his or her educational genealogy has affected his or her choices and views of higher education today. The paper must include 2 sources. (MLO: C, D, F, H)

Experiential Learning Activity

The candidate will identify an administrator in higher education (at the dean’s level or higher) and shadow this person for at least a half day (preferably an entire day) OR set up a phone interview using 10–12 instructor-approved questions. The candidate will utilize this activity to synthesize course readings with real-life experience from that leader in the field of higher education. The candidate will present his or her experience and learned outcomes in a well-written, APA-formatted paper (1,000–1,250 words). (MLO: C, D, E, H)

Student Affairs Issue Project

Article Critique

Based on the research question/topic, the candidate will use the Jerry Falwell Library to locate and review a qualitative or quantitative journal article that is scholarly, empirical (research-based), peer-reviewed, and current (written within the past 5 years). The article must clearly relate to the research question/topic that will be used for the Student Affair Issues Paper. The candidate will compose a critique of the chosen article in a well-written, APA formatted paper (1,000–1,250 words).

Rough Draft

The candidate will write a 1,500–1,750-word rough draft using the requirements of the final paper as a guide. The candidate will use the research question and article critique as a basis for the rough draft of the final paper. The paper will be submitted to SafeAssign to enable the candidate to ensure all references are properly cited.

Research Paper

The candidate will write a 1,500–1,750-word APA-formatted final paper. The content of the paper must build upon the research question/topic,  critique, and rough draft. The paper must include a minimum of 6 scholarly sources, 3 of which must be current (within the past 5 years), empirical, and peer-reviewed journal articles. The candidate must synthesize all research into a well-blended paper that clearly addresses the research question/topic, provides insight into best practices/strategies to address the issue, or improve the issue, with the intent of improving the overall Department of Student Affairs. (MLO: C, D, E, F, G, H)