New to Higher Education
Administrators new to higher education may face numerous challenges. This microlearning course provides an overview of the complexities and nuances of navigating a college or university environment. It is designed for business officers at all levels who have worked in higher education for fewer than three years—whether you have started your first job or transitioned into higher education from another industry.
Each module includes about ten minutes of video with campus leaders sharing their expertise on these topics. Complete the course however it fits into your busy schedule—one module at a time or in one sitting. Either way, you’ll earn 1 CPE credit for completing the whole course and we hope you’ll gain some wisdom that will help you along your higher education journey.
Note: the videos used in this course were recorded prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Module 1: The Language of Higher Education
The higher education system in the United States is large and diverse. Each year millions of students enroll in more than 4,000 degree-granting institutions across the United States. These institutions provide immense value to students, communities, and society, and business officers are uniquely positioned to articulate that value from an insider’s perspective. Administrators new to higher education may find navigating the complexities and nuances of the environment a challenge. Module 1 will look at some of the basics of how colleges and universities are categorized, organized, and operated, starting with the basic institution types.
After completing Module 1, you will be able to—
- Explain how colleges and universities are categorized, organized, and operated.
Module 2: Shared Governance and Culture
One of the key tenets of quality higher education, shared governance means that responsibility is shared by faculty, administrators, and trustees in personnel decisions, selection of administrators, preparation of the budget, and determination of educational policies. When done well, shared governance strengthens the quality of leadership and decision making at an institution, enhances its ability to achieve its vision and to meet strategic goals, and increases the odds that the very best thinking by all parties to shared governance is brought to bear on institutional challenges.
After completing Module 2, you will be able to—
- Discuss the role of shared governance in an institution’s strategic goal management and decision-making processes.
Module 3: Student Affairs and Student Success
The student affairs office at higher education institutions comprises professionals dedicated to providing services, programs, and resources that support the academic and personal development of all students. While this department goes by different names and can be organized in a variety of ways, they are all invested in student success. Module 3 will cover some ways the business office supports these efforts through collaboration across the campus.
After completing Module 3, you will be able to—
- Discuss how the business office supports the efforts of the student affairs office and its mission to help all students succeed.
Module 4: The Role of the Board
Independent, nonprofit, and public colleges and universities use a board format for their governing structure, often referred to as the board of trustees. Members of the board are tasked with keeping the institution on track toward achieving its unique mission of teaching, expanding knowledge, and serving the larger community. In Module 4, we will talk to some campus experts about the key functions of the board, starting with how governing boards differ by type.
After completing Module 4, you will be able to—
- Outline some key functions of the board of trustees at an institution.
Module 5: Strategies for Leading Through Change
Higher education institutions must be nimble, flexible, and willing to adapt in times of uncertainty and transformation. This was true prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and has proven to be even more important since. In Module 5, you'll hear from some business officers about their experiences with change and how they navigated those situations on campus to strive for the best possible outcome for the institution as well as everyone involved. While the interviews were recorded before the 2020 pandemic began, there are lessons to be applied now and in the future.
After completing Module 5, you will be able to—
- Discuss some elements campus leaders may need to consider and navigate when leading through change.
Last Updated: December 15, 2020
CPE Available Per Module: 0.2 Credits in Specialized Knowledge
CPE Available for Full Completion of Course: 1 Credit in Specialized Knowledge
Each individual must register for and complete the course separately to earn credit.
NACUBO is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website www.nasbaregistry.org
- Prerequisites: None
- Level: Intermediate
- Type: Nano Learning
- Length: 60 minutes
How to Earn CPE Credit
To earn CPE credit for this microlearning course, you will complete the following tasks under the Modules tab. The Modules tab will be visible once you are registered and logged in.
- Watch the videos in each module.
- Pass the quiz for each module.
- Download your CPE certificate.
Note: Interviewee titles are listed as they were at the time of the recording and may have since changed.
- Melissa Beardmore, vice president, learning resources management, Anne Arundel Community College
- J. Michael Gower, executive vice president for finance and administration and university treasurer, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
- Gerald Hector, senior vice president for administration and finance, University of Central Florida.
- Kristen Hodge-Clark, senior assistant dean of program planning, Georgetown University, School of Continuing Studies
- Carol Kissal, senior vice president for administration and finance, George Mason University
- Rose Pascarell, vice president, university life, George Mason University
- Amir Rahnamay-Azar, senior vice president for business finance and administrative services and CFO, Syracuse University
- Lynne Schaefer, vice president for finance and administration, University of Maryland Baltimore County
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