Higher Education Administration & Leadership at Adams State University

The Higher Education Administration and Leadership (HEAL) online program prepares higher education professionals to manage and lead in institutions of higher education, especially Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and to enhance the success of the students they serve.

The HEAL program has been recognized by Excelencia in Education as making a positive difference in the educational achievement of Latino students in higher education.

Our Mission

Our mission works with the mission and goals of Adams State University and the Office of Graduate Studies.

The master’s in Higher Education and Administration and Leadership program will provide high quality courses that are rigorous, transferable at the graduate level and reasonably priced.

Learn More About HEAL

HEAL Program Admission Requirements schedule a meeting

Contact Us!

Melissa L. Freeman
Program Director

Curtis Garcia
Education Division Director


Adams State University
HEAL Program | Suite 3160
208 Edgemont Blvd
Alamosa, CO 81101

Member of WICHE/WGRP and was originally funded by a FIPSE grant.

Supported by Title V PPOHA-EA Grant

Adams State campus north

Higher Education Administration & Leadership Highlights

  • Focus on cultural diversity, cultural needs and learning style differences, especially among individuals affiliated with Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
  • Learn from outstanding national level faculty committed to your learning success.
  • Join learners from diverse backgrounds with professional higher education experience.
  • Experience the best of convenient on-line study and cohort collaboration.
  • Expand your personal communication skills and develop practical, useful leadership skills.
  • Attend an affordable, fully-accredited university.
  • Gain comprehensive knowledge about higher education as an enterprise beyond your work experience.
  • Excelencia in Education
  • National leader in online learning since 1989.
National leader in online learning since 1989.

Higher Education Administration & Leadership Outcomes

An Adams State University MA-HEAL Graduate will be able to:

  1. Recognize and apply leadership principles, consistent, identification of potential leaders, and delegation and trust in others by inspiring confidence, securing group action, and showing productivity in accomplishing goals and objectives.
  2. Identify and explain how mission and vision inform organizational strategy and decision-making.
  3. Demonstrate ability to manage the human, physical, and financial resources of Hispanic Serving Institutions.
  4. Analyze and evaluate quantitative and qualitative data for continuous improvement including essential and effective steps in the decision-making and problem-solving process for individuals and organizations.
  5. Employ effective communication skills—writing, listening, speaking—and how to carry out a communication plan and create a climate that encourages open and non-defensive communication and fosters a learning organization.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to work well with others toward a common purpose/good and in a culturally competent and ethical manner based on a core set of values and beliefs that underlie the decision-making process.
  7. Illustrate knowledge of the higher education industry in general and Hispanic Serving Institutions specifically.
  8. Identify and assess legal and political considerations that influence dimensions of decision-making.
  9. Recognize factors that may influence student access and success in Hispanic Serving Institutions.

Networking and Mentoring Opportunities

Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) Option

Students currently holding a masters degree or higher and admitted into the masters program may elect to pursue the ELI option. Certificate of Completion issued upon completion of the first year of the masters program (18 credit hours).

Adams State University Richardson Hall with Mt. Blanca in the background

Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators (AHSIE)

Higher Education Administration & Leadership Curriculum

Explore Some of Our Courses

HEAL 500: Historical/Contemporary Issues (3 hours)
This course provides students with an overview of the evolution of American higher education as we know it today. The first half of the course is an examination of the history of American higher education, beginning with colonial times and tracing its development to the present. The second half of the course examines current topics in higher education, focusing on perennial issues and why they continue to perplex higher education officials.

HEAL 520: Leadership in MSIs (3 hours)
This course examines the various leadership theories that inform the practice of administration in colleges and universities and the higher education industry in general. Through assignments, special attention will be geared toward applying these theories to leadership within the context of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).

HEAL 590: Entrepreneurship in Higher Ed (3 hours)
This course provides an understanding of the various relationships that enable Institutions of Higher Education to expand their resource base to help them fulfill their missions. Students will examine the importance of external partnerships and activities related to such partnerships, including but not limited to grantsmanship, institutional advancement, and strategic collaborations with public and private entities.

Curriculum at a Glance

Higher Education Administration & Leadership Testimonials

Andrew Garcia

My decision to enroll in the Adams State University Higher Education Administration & Leadership Program (HEAL) was one of the best decisions I have made for both my academic and professional career. This program gave me the opportunity to complete my graduate studies online while I continued to work full time and gain valuable experience. I was able to apply what I learned in class to my position and able to gain a better understanding of the higher education climate around me and how I can make an impact. I was also drawn to the program because of its focus on Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). While in the program I was able to enhance my understanding of the field and accepted a new position at an HSI. Since obtaining my degree I am much more qualified for management positions and have more opportunities ahead. I would recommend this program to any aspiring higher education professional.

Andrew P. Garcia, M.A., Welcome Center Manager, Community College of Denver

Beth Apodaca Ruybal

I participated in Executive Leadership Institute option of the Higher Education Administrative Leadership program in 2011; I was a member of the first program cohort, Cohort A. I chose to apply for the program because my MA degree in Educational Leadership was focused on K-12 education, and I wanted to be able to merge that background with the work I do now at Adams State University. It was a great decision on my part! When I started the program, I was serving as a course reviewer for Extended Studies at Adams State. Since then I have been made supervisor of two positions, one classified and one exempt. In addition I have been given the charge of restructuring and directing the Quality Assurance unit, and I have acquired the new title of Director of Academic Quality Assurance for Extended Studies. One of the strengths of the HEAL program is its flexibility; each student has the opportunity to create an individualized learning plan that directly supports the work they do in higher education. This in itself makes the program meaningful for anyone who enrolls. I believe my participation in HEAL has allowed me to be more assertive and feel confident in taking on new leadership roles in my department.

Beth Apodaca Ruybal

Brian Reeves

I’ve been promoted to Division Chair of Arts & Humanities for the Valley Campus AND elected Faculty Senate President for all of TSJC. I would like to think that my HEAL experience prepared and positioned me for these career advances. Thank you, Melissa!

Brian Reeves

I owe the HEAL program, faculty, and staff so much for providing me with the fundamentals and so much more regarding higher education administration. I have actually gained a passion for budgeting & financial management, something that I never thought I could love. My new position here at CSU will allow me the opportunity to practice that passion and continue doing what I love, and that is working with and assisting my students in their efforts toward achieving a higher education!

Amanda Atencio, HEAL 2013 Graduate, Director of Upward Bound CSU-Pueblo