WASHINGTON (April 4, 2019) – A group of Howard University doctoral students are receiving an exceptional opportunity to learn the intricacies of higher education presidency through a weekly course taught by Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, as part of the School of Education’s Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies (HELPS) Ph.D. program. The course, titled “ELPS 603-College and University Presidency,” provides a detailed understanding of the structure and governance of colleges and universities, with particular focus on Minority Serving Institutions (MSI).
“The Higher Education Leadership Policy Studies program at Howard is one of the School of Education’s many innovative approaches to prepare scholars for leadership in urban, underserved and diverse education settings,” explains Dr. Frederick, who’s now in his second cycle as an instructor for the HELPS program. “I am extremely impressed by both the first and second cohort of this program. Howard University proudly accepts the responsibility of producing future members of the academe who are analytical, empathetic, solution-driven, and use service justice as the conduit to positively influence the national and global education agenda.”
Students enrolled in the course are working to continue their professional growth post-graduation through leadership positions at institutions of higher learning. Much of the course focuses on preparing students to analyze and reflect on institutional needs and constraints through examining organizational frameworks, competing institutional interests and external factors. ELPS 603 is one of eight courses designed for first year Ph.D. students, and establishes a foundation for students to acquire theoretical and practical understanding of postsecondary institutions.
Robert T. Palmer, Ph.D., department chair and associate professor for the HELPS program, says, a critical goal of the program is Howard’s contribution towards the production of the next generation of MSI leaders. According to Palmer, currently, when critical policy conversations occur in educational contexts, few individuals have a detailed background on MSIs, which limits their ability to discuss how policy impacts these institutions.
“Our program prepares students for careers in higher education such as faculty, researchers, administrators, and higher education policy professionals,” Palmer says. “As our team works to educate the future college presidents, provosts and vice presidents, we are thrilled to have Dr. Frederick’s stellar leadership for the College and University Presidency course. With such an extensive background in higher education, our students are certainly receiving an unmatched opportunity to learn from the leader of one of our country’s most prominent universities.”
Dr. Frederick often takes a different approach by providing descriptive narratives of prior experiences as a starting point for integrating personal accounts with the many concepts to be discussed during the course. Doctoral student S. Divine Sankofa says, the course is a model for higher education programs across the nation.
“One of the main reasons the course is uniquely progressive is because of its diverse instructional strategies and content,” Sankofa explains. “President Frederick’s rich instruction, meaningful readings, the ecology of The Mecca as foci, and distributive facilitation from other Howard University leaders, create a cross-pollination of ideas where we are provided rationale and inspiration necessary to administer salve that present-day institutions of higher education need in order to keep up with our ever-changing world.”
The curriculum for the 72-credit hour HELPS program is designed to provide graduate students with a comprehensive understanding of the social, political, and economic issues encompassing the development, and future challenges of postsecondary institutions in general and MSIs specifically. Students are expected to attain academic objectives through a set of interrelated core courses that examine relevant conceptual and theoretical developments in history, policy, finance, and philosophy. The program also offers students an opportunity to examine multiple research methodologies and to acquire methodological specializations based on interests and expertise. For more information, visit https://education.howard.edu.
Photograph above: Students of ELPS603 engage in Dr. Frederick’s roundtable lecture during the weekly course, held at the Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 70 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.