The purpose of the School Organization and Educational Policy (SOEP) emphasis is to develop future scholars and professional stakeholders in education policymaking. Our program focuses heavily on the tools for evaluation and analysis of policies and programs across a variety of settings from K-12 schools, higher education institutions, community organizations, and various government agencies. The program exposes students to a variety of critical areas and approaches to education policymaking, including social and cultural considerations, education reform, school finance, legal issues in policy formation, leadership, organizational change, communication strategies, and other topics.
Students in our program are exposed to the concepts, language, and development of education policymaking across a variety of settings. These settings include federal, state or local government agencies, district or school-level contexts, higher education institutions, non-governmental agencies and professional constituency groups, and many other organizational decision-making arenas. Given individuals’ specific areas of interest in education policy, students also immerse themselves in other disciplinary areas of inquiry related to their chosen focus of study (e.g. language policy, higher education, school finance, school reform, teacher effectiveness, etc.) to enhance their topical and methodological knowledge.
A typical course of study includes a series of core courses offered intermittently, an applied methods sequence, and a rich set of electives across both the School of Education emphasis areas, and broadly throughout the social sciences.
Our recent graduates are policy researchers across diverse settings, including higher education institutions (as faculty, institutional researchers, or administrators), research and policy think tanks, community organizations, and a variety of K-12 and postsecondary organizations.