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Main Office

Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
School of Education
253 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
MadisonWI  53706-1326

Tel: 608/262-3106
Fax: 608/265-3135

Email: elpa@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form
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Education is not the piling on of learning, information, data, facts, skills, or abilities—that’s training or instruction—but is rather making visible what is hidden as a seed. —Thomas Moore

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis offers degrees with a focus on Postsecondary Education Leadership at the Master's and Doctoral levels.

The Department's focus is to develop a knowledge base that includes an understanding of the institutional context of postsecondary education, academic leadership, culture and governance, and student services administration. Program faculty have expertise in a variety of institutional types and educational contexts, including research universities, historically black colleges and universities, community colleges, vocational technical colleges, adult learning in non-traditional settings (see notes on bottom of page), and the view that education should be approached as a K-16 system. Students receive a strong foundation in research methods (both qualitative and quantitative), and an understanding of the institutional dynamics and policy context of post-secondary education.

Recent graduates of the program are

faculty members at research universities, researchers in research centers and consulting firms, University administrators and University presidents. Graduates are also student service coordinators, academic advisors and other leaders in the field higher, postsecondary and continuing education. 

Higher Education Faculty
in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

Elton Crim - whose focus is the teaching, advising, and directing of HPCE graduate students.

Clif Conrad - Clif Conrad's research focuses on enhancing student learning and equal educational opportunity for all students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  He focuses on programs and practices that contribute to the learning and success of students--including "new majority" students: students from diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic backgrounds and first generation students.  His most recent books are Cultivating Inquiry-Driven Learners (2012) and Educating a Diverse Nation (2015).  He served for nearly three decades as an expert witness and consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice and Office for Civil Rights in major civil rights cases involving race and gender in higher education.  

Nicholas Hillman – who studies higher education finance; public policymaking; student financial aid policy; college access and equity.

Jerlando F.L. Jackson – is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education and the Director and Chief Research Scientist of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His central research interest is organizational science in higher education, with a special interest in hiring practices, career mobility, workforce diversity, and workplace discrimination. He also has a portfolio of research focused on interventions designed to broaden participation for underrepresented groups in the scientific workforce. 

Xueli Wang - who is interested in studying factors that contribute to college student success, with a particular emphasis on students beginning at community colleges.  Her current and immediate future work deals with student participation and success in STEM fields of study at both four-year and two-year institutions, as well as the effect of postsecondary co-enrollment and institutional transfer on student outcomes. 

Rachelle Winkle-Wagner – whose research is on underrepresented students' access and success in college; Doctoral education for students of color; The influence of race and gender on college experiences; Critical qualitative methods; Sociology of high education; Identity development.


Research Centers  

Department faculty and faculty affiliates include directors and senior scholars of several policy research centers on campus. Many doctoral students in policy are employed at one or more of these centers during their stay at the University.

  The Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education: The Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE) is a relatively new center on campus designed to engage key stakeholders – researchers, faculty members, university staff, senior administrators, and community and government leaders – in an ongoing dialogue about postsecondary education. This exchange enhances the understanding of postsecondary education and its role in improving our society and our lives. WISCAPE engages key audiences through three broadly defined themes: financing postsecondary education, managing and leading the entrepreneurial university, and expanding the boundaries of postsecondary education. Students participate in WISCAPE through attendance and participation in conferences and forums, and by participating in a research circle, which brings together doctoral students around campus with research interest in postsecondary education issues.

  The Wisconsin Center for Education Research: The Wisconsin Center for Education Research is one of the oldest, largest, and most productive education research centers in the world. A part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Education, WCER provides a productive environment where some of the country's leading scholars conduct basic and applied education research. Examples of research conducted by other faculty with an interest in educational policy issues include research on math and science education reform at the K-12 and post-secondary education levels, research on assessment and standards-based reform, and research on child care policy.

  The Wisconsin Center on Education and Work:  The Center on Education and Work (CEW) is a research, technical assistance, and resource provider within the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Established in 1964, the Center has a rich tradition of assisting educators and career development practitioners with program evaluation, qualitative and quantitative research, professional development training, and career resources. Through its work, the Center seeks to enhance the quality of career-related learning and outcomes for all youth and adults, including those with disabilities or other factors that challenge performance and success.

  Wisconsin's Equity and Inclusion Laboratory:  Wisconsin's Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei Lab) is an externally-funded research lab housed within the world-renowned Wisconsin Center for Educational Research (WCER).  The Wei Lab is dedicated to design, conduct, and disseminate research that informs policymakers, practitioners, and concerned citizens on how to best promote equitable and inclusive learning and work environments in education in general, and higher education in particular.  The Lab's research agenda and priorities seek to engage the most difficult and important equity and inclusion topics confronting the education system.  



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