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Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
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Who dares to teach must never cease to learn. —John Cotton Dana


(For more information, please contact Program Director Prof. Dr. Weijia Li.)

Read: What have GHE alumni said about the program

What are GHE alumni doing now?

GHE 2016 graduation

Working ​in international higher education

  • Assistant Director of SEVIS Compliance, International Student Services, UW-Madison
  • Study Abroad Advisor, Office of International Education, University of Texas Arlington​
  • Coordinator of Intensive English Institute of the Center for Global Engagement, Florida Atlantic University​
  • Study Abroad Advisor and Program Coordinator, Edgewood College
  • Global Education Visa Officer, Spokane Falls Community College (Spokane, WA)
  • International Recruiter and Admissions Counselor, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Program Coordinator, International Center, University of Michigan
  • Coordinator of Faculty-Directed Study Abroad Program, Arizona State University
  • Program Coordinator, International Student Services, UW-Madison
  • International Student Advisor, International Student Services, UW-Madison
  • International Directions Advisor, Language Institute, UW-Madison
  • Director of California International Studies Project, Sonoma State University (California)
  • International Admissions/Recruiter, University of Wisconsin-Stout
  • International Education Coordinator, University of Wisconsin-Richland
  • Language and Culture Advisor, INTO, Drew University , New Jersey
  • Executive Director, Africa Global Education Link
  • Education Program Coordinator, Kaplan International, Washington DC
  • Coordinator for Education Sector, UNESCO Beijing Office (China)
  • International Education Coordinator, International Campus of Beijing No. 4 High School (China)
  • International Partnerships Manager, Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)

Working in higher education administration

  • Director, Office of Student Success, Wisconsin Technical College System
  • Admission and Enrollment Manager, Graduate Programs Office, University of Wisconsin Law School​
  • Admissions Counselor, Office of Admissions and Recruitment, UW-Madison
  • Assistant Director of Admissions, Denison University
  • Academic Advisor, School of Human Ecology, UW-Madison
  • Academic Advisor, College of Engineering, UW-Madison
  • Medical Student Program Administrator, School of Medicine and Public Health, UW-Madison
  • Professional Learning Coordinator, WIDA at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research
  • Lecturer, Srinakharinwirot University (Thailand)
  • Administrator at Chancellor's Office, Shenzhen Graduate School of the Peking University (China)

    GHE students at NAFSA Region V

Pursuing Ph.D. degree in Education

  • Ph.D. Student, University of Wisconsin-Madison (6 students)
  • Ph.D. Student, University of Texas at Austin (2 students)
  • Ph.D. Student, University of Florida (2 students)
  • Ph.D. Student, Florida State University
  • Ph.D. Student, University of South Carolina
  • Ph.D. Student, The State University of New York at Buffalo

What have GHE alumni said about the program?

“In pursuing a Master’s degree through the Global Higher Education program I had the professional goal of becoming a Study Abroad Advisor. Not only did the program help me achieve this goal, but I now have the knowledge and skills necessary to be confident and successful in my career. Through its student-centered approach, GHE provided me a learning community that I was able to thrive in, learning not only from my professors but also my peers. I would not be the person I am proud to be today without the program’s focus on personal and professional development, the relationships built with my cohort, and the overall experience of the Global Higher Education program.” – Dilyn Riesterer (2016 cohort), Study Abroad Advisor and Program Coordinator, Edgewood College.

“Deciding to enter into the GHE program was one of the best decisions I ever made. I didn't have as much experience in international education before the GHE program, but this program allowed me to gain valuable practitioner experience in the field, helped me think critically and creatively about the field to inform my work, and challenged me to exceed my research skills. The things I learned in this program are used every day in my current position, for example when I speak to my colleagues about decisions in the field or improving our reach to international students, and it's due to the dedicated professors and practicing partners in this very program. GHE is also another family to me and I hope others will be able to experience the same by joining this program.” – Christiana ("Tiana") Hennings (2016 cohort), Global Education Program Coordinator for the Community Colleges of Spokane .

“The GHE program exceeded my expectations in everything I hoped to gain in a master’s degree program. Aside from the practical foundational knowledge in the higher education (domestic and international), I really appreciate the emphasis on our professional and personal development. The program coursework allows students to gain knowledge and skills in the various facets of higher education professions with the opportunity to focus on topics of personal or professional interest. I now have a diverse set of skills that I can apply in a wide range of higher education careers.” – Jennifer Frausto (2016 cohort), Admissions & Recruitment Counselor, University of Illinois at Chicago.

 “I entered the GHE program with a few years’ experience in international higher education, and nevertheless felt enriched and challenged in ways that I did not expect. The ELPA faculty pushed me to expand my knowledge of higher education, administration, student development, and what it means to be a leader in education today. The faculty are accessible and supportive of each individual in and out of the classroom, and certainly showed me what it means to be a mentor and a professional. The unique cohort model of GHE provided me with a support network that I continue to lean on to support and challenge my views as a practitioner in the field. Completing the GHE program was more than just earning a Master’s degree for me; it was an incredible step in my continued journey as a professional in international education that yielded a lifelong network of support.” – Samantha McCabe (2016 cohort), Assistant Director of SEVIS Compliance, International Student Services, UW-Madison.

"After studying and teaching English abroad for a few years, I sought a program that would help me enter the field of international higher education.  The GHE program did more than that.  It enhanced my writing, research, and networking skills, all of which will be invaluable throughout my professional career.  The most unique aspect of the program is the international cohort model, which allowed me to hear the diverse perspectives of my colleagues in class.  The GHE students and the ELPA faculty were always willing to help and support me, both academically and professionally." -- Jacob Koelzer (2015 cohort), Program Coordinator, International Center, University of Michigan

The Global Higher Education Program provided me with a hands on discussion based curriculum, and the opportunity to link the theories and skills I learned to professional opportunities.  Through GHE I was able to explore areas within the realm of higher education that I had not previously been exposed to.  In particular, the assessment and legal courses I took, helped to shape my understanding of global higher education through a more refined lens.  I utilize the skills that I learned from the program in my current role, and know that my skills and knowledge will be transferable throughout the entirety of my professional career.  -- Katrina Tijerina (2015 cohort), Assistant Director of Admissions, Denison University.

"The Global Higher Education Program has not only prepared me to be a mindful, intentional, and culturally savvy international student services practitioner, it has also shaped me into a never-resting inquiry driven learner, equipped me with solid research skills, as well as cultivated my longing for and determination in advancing human knowledge in no matter what capacity, now or in the future.
Moreover, through the cohort model of the program, I was able to establish deep friendship with many of my colleagues and create a fabulous professional network which stills lends me tremendous help even today, one year after my graduation.
Job preparation vs. education has always been one of the hottest debating points in the popular discourse regarding the purpose of Higher Education. Well, guess what? The Global
Higher Education Program will be able to give you both!" -- (Max) YIFAN ZHANG (2014 cohort), Chinese Language and Culture Advisor, INTO @ Drew University.

"Pursing a master degree at GHE is one of the greatest choices I’ve ever made. The program has the greatest and most supportive professors, as well as most friendly learning environment. Before joining the program, I was a practitioner in education field. Now I am a PhD student.  It is the program that endowed me with the opportunity and ability to choose and change. Thanks very much to the program!" --
Jiayao Wu (2014 cohort), currently PhD student at University of Florida.

“Before committing to the GHE program in 2014, I was also looking into t
en other M.S. programs. Choosing the GHE program was the best decision I could have made because not only did it help me prepare for my current position, but it also introduced me to some great people and connections. Professors and advisors were incredibly helpful with connecting me to two incredible internship opportunities and preparing me for the international education field, which has led me to where I am now. I couldn’t be more grateful for this program and what it has done for me. I’m proud to be a GHE alumni!” -- Kerryn Johnson (2014 cohort), Interantional Admissions Counselor and Recruiter, University of Wisconsin-Stout

After having worked in the field of international education for several years, the GHE program allowed me to focus in on the history of higher education and current trends in globalization. This knowledge has enhanced my understanding of the field and given me new ideas to bring back to my work. Completing the program was a great way to further my education and open new opportunities for professional growth
." -- Sarah Melin (2014 cohort), current position: Assistant Director of International Programs,  Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"GHE's intentional cohort model allowed me to form enriching connections with my classmates, professors and practicum advisors in just one year. These connections, and the ongoing conversations, allowed me to feel confident about representing a unique perspective among graduate students on campus. Since completing the program, I have worked with bright and motivated people in the midwest, on the East Coast and the West Coast; the knowledge base I gained through the GHE coursework and practicum has served me well in each of these environments." -- Michelle Mazzeo (2013 cohort), current position: Director of California International Studies Project, Sonoma State University (California).

"I entered the Global Higher Education program in 2013 with very specific ambitions and professional goals. Over time, however, thanks to the diverse curriculum, student body, and close exposure to a variety of scholars on campus, I became fascinated by different dimensions of globalization and higher education of which I had never previously been aware. As a current doctoral student in the ELPA department, and given the essential tools and skills gained from the M.S. program, I am actively searching answers to questions I never thought I would have had the insight and confidence to ask." -- Chelsea Blackburn Cohen (2013 cohort), currently Research Scientist / Senior Program Officer at Scholars at Risk Network at NYU.

"The years I spent at the GHE program is some of the most memorable and important years of my life. In the friendly and inspiring environment I was able to focus and really learn a lot. The GHE program connected me to wonderful mentors who encouraged me to be inquiry-driven, rigorous and creative. This particular program also prepared me well for my current position." -- Jingning Guan (2012 cohort), current​ position: Project Assistant for Education Sector at UNESCO Beijing Office (China).

GHE Current Students GHE students at conference

Who are we?

In the academic year 2017/2018, we have 15 students in the program, ​about 2/3 of which are from the United States, and the rest are from countries such as China and Thailand. ​It is very important for us to have students from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds who bring their various global perspectives and personal experiences with other countries' higher education to the program.  

Educational Backgrounds

Students in the GHE program are not required to have taken education courses in the past. Our current students have a variety of training backgrounds, including bachelor’s degrees in English, Spanish, Psychology, Sociology, Chinese, History, International Relations, International Studies or Global Studies. Some have also acquired language and TESOL training and have taught at various levels in schools across the world. Many of our domestic students and international students have traveled or studied abroad, therefore GHE students have the "common language", the shared global consciousness, the common interest in international higher education already at the beginning of their program.

Work Experience

Some of our students entered the master’s program immediately following their undergraduate education, and others have years of work experiences. In the past, our students have taught English as a second language; Chinese, Spanish, or Portuguese as a second language; have held residence life, advising or administrative positions at higher education institutions; or have traveled and volunteered abroad with various programs such as People to People and City Year.

Goals and Aspirations

Our current students have a variety of aspirations and goals beyond the GHE program. Some wish to help other students access and pursue study abroad opportunities or help with providing services to international students in the United States. Others hope to use their knowledge in a teaching or student affairs capacity, or to potentially apply for doctoral programs in a related field. Some students are unsure of their specific goals and will use the GHE program to learn about opportunities and trends in the internationalization of higher education.  

For more information, please contact
Program Director Prof. Dr. Weijia Li
Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
University of Wisconsin-Madison
253F Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706

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