The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's Higher Education Leadership graduate program prepares individuals who aspire to hold leadership positions in higher education. This program takes a critical scholar-practitioner approach, preparing students as future leaders in student affairs, academic affairs, intercollegiate athletics, and two-year college leadership. The program prepares students to be equity-minded change agents across colleges and universities. The faculty and instructors of this program each practice leadership in higher education as high-level administrators. Classroom experiences are grounded in research and theory that guide organizational leadership but provide numerous opportunities for practical application. Students who complete this program will have a strong understanding of how to implement policy, apply theory, collaborate across higher education units, and engage in critical equity-minded decision-making processes. In short, students who graduate from this program are equipped to step directly into fast-paced higher education leadership roles.
Hello, and welcome to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's Higher Education Leadership Program! The primary goal of this program is to develop aspiring higher education leaders into equity-minded scholar-practitioners, combining hands-on practical experience with meaningful and engaging classroom interaction. Our program faculty is a dynamic group of current scholar-practitioners, who, together, have a wealth of diverse experiences as higher education leaders. We encourage you to view the profiles of each of our faculty members who will support your educational journey. What truly sets this program apart from others is the high impact, student-centered practices of our campus and faculty. When you join the UW-Whitewater Higher Education Leadership Program, you join the Warhawk family-a culture that is deeply rooted in preparing educators through practical experiences, holistic development, and lifelong learning opportunities. We look forward to your application and working with you on your educational journey.
Courtney L. Luedke, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor & Graduate Program Coordinator
Higher Education Leadership/Athletic Administration
Students complete 9 foundational credits, 15 content-specific courses in higher education leadership, and a 6 credit capstone experience consisting of a 3 credit practicum and 3 credit career development course.
Prospective students should review the general graduate admission information for Graduate Academic Admission Requirements.
Additionally, our program requires:
1. What are your prior experiences and how have they led you to develop an interest and seek a master's degree in Higher Education Leadership/Athletic Administration?
2. What are your professional goals (short-term and long-term)?
3. How will this program will help you achieve your professional goals?
4. This program has a strong focus on equity and inclusion and preparing our students to become change agents in colleges and universities. How do you see yourself bringing about change? How would this program help you prepare to do this?
**No GRE Required
Send admission materials addressed to Dr. Courtney L. Luedke, HELEAD Graduate Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For admission questions, contact Dr. Courtney L. Luedke, HELEAD Graduate Program Coordinator at email@example.com.
Click here to estimate your cost of attending UW-Whitewater using our tuition calculator.
UW-Whitewater is committed to the scholar-practitioner approach to graduate education, and, in turn, we strive to provide financial support for both adult and continuing students.
Many units on campus work in cooperation with the UW-Whitewater Higher Education Leadership program to employ graduate assistants. These positions typically begin in the fall semester and are organized through each campus unit. A graduate assistantship includes a stipend and health insurance. When funds are available, non-residents receiving at least a two-thirds award will also qualify for a remission of the non-resident portion of tuition costs for the corresponding time period. Students have completed graduate assistantships within residence life, career and leadership development, intercollegiate athletics, recreational sports, and academic advising. Additional opportunities also may be available based on student interest. Students interested in applying should complete the following form: Graduate Assistantship Application Form.
Advanced Opportunity Program (AOP) Grant:
The purpose of the Advanced Opportunity Program (AOP) is to expand the number of minority/disadvantaged students who receive graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Individuals who are residents of the State of Wisconsin and members of an ethnic minority group which traditionally have been under-represented in the advanced levels of major fields of study offered at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater are given highest priority for receiving AOP awards. The University is committed to recruitment, support, retention, and graduation of AOP recipients. AOP awards are offered subject to availability of funds.
To receive AOP applications, please contact: Advanced Opportunity Program, Office of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Multicultural Affairs & Student Success, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 226 McCutchan Hall, Whitewater, Wisconsin 53190, (262) 472-4985.
UW-Whitewater both encourages and supports graduate level research that informs practice as well as career development. Faculty and instructors in the program are eager to assist graduate students interested in completing independent research or taking part in an ongoing project. Additionally, individual faculty members often employ hourly assistants through research grant funding. Students are encouraged to reach out to the program coordinator if they are interested in graduate research.
Use the following link to help register for classes: http://www.uww.edu/gradstudies/register/registerfaqs
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional assistance.
Dr. Beth John has been working in higher education for 13 years in various leadership roles. She is currently serving as the Director of First Year Experience at UW-Whitewater. The First Year Experience office is responsible for summer orientation and registration programs, fall orientation programs, mentor programs, learning communities, new student seminar, and family programs. Beth also serves as an Advisor for the Edgewood College Doctoral program in Educational Leadership. She previously served as the Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Student Activities at Edgewood College and provided leadership to areas of student activities, new student orientation, student organizations, leadership development, and commuter student services. Beth received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education from Edgewood College and her M.S. in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University. Beth believes deeply in the mission and values of UW-Whitewater and believes that this line of work is a "calling" for her. This is evident in her work with students, her commitment to social justice, and her thoughtful, ethical, and reflective practices.
Dr. Courtney Luedke is an Assistant Professor and the Coordinator of Higher Education Leadership program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her research focuses on college access, persistence, and success for underserved populations including first-generation, and Students of Color in higher education. She is currently the lead Project Investigator (PI) on a study launched in the fall of 2014 titled, Academic and Career Socialization for Underrepresented Students (ACSUS). ACSUS is a longitudinal multisite case study developed to understand the role of academic and social support programs in critically socializing Students of Color to undergraduate research, career preparation, and strategies for success in college. Most recently, she launched a new study in 2016, which examines the life and collegiate experiences of undocumented Latina/o/x students in higher education. Dr. Luedke welcomes both undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to engage in research with her and her research team, please contact her for more information. Her professional experiences center on pre-collegiate and summer bridge programs; undergraduate research experiences; and student support programs for first-generation students and Students of Color. Dr. Luedke received her Ph. D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis with a concentration in Diversity in Higher Education from the University of Wisconsin, her Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. Dr. Luedke has published several book chapters and journal articles in outlets including: the American Educational Research Journal, Review of Higher Education, Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, and the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education on issues of equity in higher education for Students of Color. Dr. Luedke serves as an editorial board member for the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice. Visit Dr. Luedke’s website to learn more about her and her work at: www.CourtneyLLuedke.com
Attorney Matt Lind has been working in education for 18 years. Matt Lind is teaching the Legal Issues in Higher Education course. He is currently in the Office of General Counsel at the University of Wisconsin System Administration. In this office, he provides legal advice to UW-Whitewater and the other four year comprehensive schools, UW System Administration, and the Board of Regents. He has worked in that office for ten years, starting as a law clerk. He has provided guest lectures at UW-Whitewater and has done many legal trainings across the UW System for UW employees. He is an expert in immigration and civil rights law as it applies to higher education. He also has expertise in a wide variety of areas from accommodations for disability to zoning law and its application to state government. He previously worked teaching Latin and Spanish for mostly middle-school students. However, he has taught a foreign language at every K-12 grade level. Matt received his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School and his M.Ed. from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Matt is dedicated to including and promoting the next generation of leaders from a wider variety of backgrounds.
Dr. Elizabeth Watson, PhD, LPC, CRC currently serves as an instructor of the Assessment in Student Affairs (HELEAD 715) course. As a scholar-practitioner Dr. Watson currently is the Director of the Center for Students with Disabilities at UW-Whitewater and has worked with individuals with disabilities for over 24 years. Elizabeth was awarded her Bachelors and Masters from Steven F. Austin University and her PhD from UW-Madison in Rehabilitation Psychology. She has served as a higher education administrator for the past 14 years. Dr. Watson presents regionally and nationally regarding Universal Design and Students with Disabilities, transitioning to college and success, using universal design to create curricular access, and adaptive technologies for accessing learning. She is involved in governance and institutional committees at UW-W and within the UW-System. In addition to her higher education work she is a Licensed Practicing Counselor and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Elizabeth is a voracious reader and is often found simultaneously reading and watching kids baseball games while wearing sassy red pumps, which, by the way, she can run in.
Dr. Marijuana Vandyck, serves as an Inclusive Excellence Lecturer/Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the College of Education & Professional Studies. Dr. Vandyck holds a PhD in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service in Education, a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Research interests include college access, persistence and graduation, and factors impacting PreK-16 academic achievement in marginalized student populations. Dr. Vandyck previously served as the director of the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program at Beloit College serving first generation, low income, and multi-ability students. From 2009-2015 she served the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater as Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention and Director of the Future Teacher/ Minority Teacher Programs in the College of Education & Professional Studies and academic advisor in the Academic Advising and Exploration Center and the Pathways for Success program. Marijuana loves to read historical romance novels, camp, and kayak while taking care of her loving husband Fredrick, son Isaac, two pigs, 13 ducks, 15 chickens, and 110 guinea fowl. A firm believer in giving back and uplifting others, Dr. Vandyck established the Marijuana Pepsi Scholarship for first generation low-income African-American students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, her alma mater.
Dr. Jamilia L. Lee-Johnson, serves as an Inclusive Excellence Lecturer/Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the College of Education & Professional Studies. Dr. Vandyck holds a PhD in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service in Education, a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Research interests include college access, persistence and graduation, and factors impacting PreK-16 academic achievement in marginalized student populations. Dr. Vandyck previously served as the director of the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program at Beloit College serving first generation, low income, and multi-ability students. From 2009-2015 she served the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater as Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention and Director of the Future Teacher/ Minority Teacher Programs in the College of Education & Professional Studies and academic advisor in the Academic Advising and Exploration Center and the Pathways for Success program. Marijuana loves to read historical romance novels, camp, and kayak while taking care of her loving husband Fredrick, son Isaac, two pigs, 13 ducks, 15 chickens, and 110 guinea fowl. A firm believer in giving back and uplifting others, Dr. Vandyck established the Marijuana Pepsi Scholarship for first generation low-income African-American students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, her alma mater.
Dr. Wesley graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Psychology and Masters of Science in Education. She received a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from Capella University. Dr. Wesley has 16 years of experience working in the University of Wisconsin System. Dr. Wesley is currently the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Previous to this position, she served as Dean of Students and Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Students Affairs. Prior to arriving at UW-Whitewater, Dr. Wesley served at UW System Administration as the Senior Academic Planner for Student Affairs in the Office Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, & Student Success. Dr. Wesley also served as Dean of Students, Assistant Dean of Students and held various other positions at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
Dr. Brian Hoefer has over 25 years of experience working in recreational, professional, and collegiate athletics. He was a NATA Certified Athletic Trainer, a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, a secondary school football, basketball and baseball coach, an Assistant Athletic Director at a NCAA Division III institution, and a staff member with the Harlem Globetrotters Brian received his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education from Edgewood College and his M.S. in Sports Management from the University of Oklahoma. His doctoral research focused on student academic success based on the utilization of self-regulation learning strategies cultivated through past participation in organized athletic programs. Dr. Hoefer’s research reflects his awareness to advance the understanding of the connection between academic success and participation in extracurricular activities. Brian retired from higher education in 2015 to begin his real estate business and continues to stay involved as a Director on the Waunakee Community School Board of Education and the Chair of the WCSD Co-Curricular Committee, Co-Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Medical Ad Hoc Committees.