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May 18, 2022

Paving the Way for Others: How a Degree in Higher Education Helped Clark Make a Difference

Do you have a passion for helping others? Do you want to see people fulfill their dreams? Here’s a degree you may not have yet considered: a master’s degree in higher education.

What does a master’s degree in higher education entail? Centered around developing you professionally and creating an impact in higher education, the degree will teach you everything you need to lead effectively in the field of higher education. You will graduate with knowledge surrounding trends in higher education and a sharpened perception of the world.

While that all sounds great, what can you do with a Master’s in Higher Education? Well, for Katelyn Clark, a graduate of the Grace College Online Master of Higher Education degree, helping others reach their full potential is central to the work she does every day. 

Clark is a Student Affairs Administrator at Purdue University, Polytechnic Richmond. She graduated with her bachelor’s of psychology from Grace in May of 2016, then graduated with her Master’s in Higher Education in August of 2016 through the accelerated master’s program

“What I do is pretty much anything in student-service,” shares Clark “This can include recruiting, on-boarding of new students, advising new and current students, completing graduation audits, helping students understand their financial aid and billing, career planning, event planning, alumni connections, scholarship communication and selection…pretty much anything that comes into our office, I either do or at least help with or have knowledge of!”

This vast assortment of roles is exactly why Clark loves her career. She loves the variety that keeps every day interesting. But what she loves most, of course, is the students.

I enjoy interacting with students and community members,” Clark explains. “I love planning and attending our commencement ceremony each spring and seeing all the students’ hard work pay off. It is so rewarding to see so many students with different backgrounds and skills achieve this educational milestone. Being a small part of something that is such a big accomplishment in their lives is incredibly rewarding.”

And to the question: “What can you do with a master’s in higher education?”, Clark has countless answers. 

“I think that people are shocked when they hear about all the things that are included in my job,” laughs Clark. “I have so many different responsibilities and various roles. Normally there are multiple departments or teams for each of those areas, but because we’re so small, we do it all!”

Looking back at her educational journey, Clark can confidently say that a degree in higher education opened the door for her to take on a role she loves.

I do not know that I would have been considered for this role without a degree in higher education,” she says. “The degree gives you a mindset to adapt to a job in the world of higher education. It sets up a framework for you to go into the field ready to grow and adapt to the needs of students.”

And according to Clark, there are countless options to pursue beyond student affairs administration in the vast world of higher education.  

“There are many professions people can go into with a degree in higher education. Just to name a few, you can be an advisor, a recruiting/admissions counselor, a financial aid specialist, a residence life staff, or an alumni service director. There are also several non-profit organizations that are closely related to higher education like 21st Century Scholars, scholarship/financial aid organizations, and testing agencies like SAT/ACT.  Depending on the size of the school, some high schools might even hire college counselors that work with students for college prep!”

So, what can you do with a Master’s in Higher Education? More than you might think! Interested in using a degree in higher education to help others? Get a Christ-centered degree online at Grace College Online!

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