Higher Purpose – Higher Education

Madonna University's Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration (HEA) empowers you to make a positive impact on students lives and the future of education. This program equips you with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to confidently navigate the complexities of college administration. 



Administrative staff are employed, on average, at each college in the United States. 


Is the average difference in annual pay between a college administrator with a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree. 

19 million

Students are predicted to be enrolled in a college or university in the US in 2031. 

Benefits of an HEA Degree

  • Real-World Focus: Our curriculum integrates theory with current practices and addresses contemporary issues like social justice, diversity, and technology. You'll graduate prepared to tackle real-world challenges and contribute meaningfully to higher education. 
  • Flexible Learning Formats: We understand that working professionals have busy schedules. Choose from online, on-campus, synchronous, asynchronous, and blended learning options to fit your needs and learning style. 
  • Experienced Faculty: Learn from industry experts and passionate educators who bring their expertise and insights into the classroom. 
  • Career Advancement Opportunities: Our program prepares you for various careers in higher education, including academic support, student success, enrollment management, and administration. 

HEA Program Video

What You'll Learn

  • Foundations of Higher Education: Gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical, philosophical, and organizational structures of colleges and universities. 
  • Student Development Theory: Explore theories and best practices for supporting the academic, social, and personal growth of diverse student populations. 
  • College and University Leadership: Develop essential leadership skills in areas like communication, decision-making, conflict resolution, and team building. 
  • And More: You'll also learn about organization, governance, administration, finance and higher education, equity, diversity, and inclusion, law and public policy in higher education, and research and educational practices. 
an image of a document with people on either side and a computer at the bottom with arrows showing a flow chart with text that says finance and higher education
three hands with hearts on the palms and text that says diversity equity and inclusion all in blue
an image of an open book with a lightbulb and text that says research and educational practices all in blue

Experiential Learning:

  • Professional Practicum: Gain valuable hands-on experience working in a higher education setting under the guidance of a mentor. 
  • Higher Education Research Project: Conduct your own research study on a topic relevant to your career goals and interests. 




Take Your First Step Towards a Rewarding Career

Ready to launch your career in higher education administration?  Start shaping the future of education today! 



Educational Leadership (MSEL)

This program offers educational experiences to enhance your role as a teacher, principal, coordinator, or department chair.

Learn More

Faculty Bios

Cliff Camp

Assistant Vice President & Dean of Students
Program Director & Assistant Professor

J.D., Western Michigan University

M.P.A., Eastern Michigan University

B.S., Eastern Michigan University


734-432-5829, Room 1113

Cliff Camp

Cliff Camp brings nearly a decade of experience working with various regulatory compliance requirements; policy drafting, development, and implementation; training; and assessment in a higher education setting. Cliff teaches HEA’s Law and Policy course, EDU 6340, in which he ensures students have the opportunity to apply the concepts they learn in the course through practical exercises such as conducting a policy gap analysis, drafting a policy, and creating a compliance training presentation for a higher education institution.

These experiences provide students with a tangible deliverable to share with current or future employers demonstrating their ability to navigate the complex legal and regulatory environment within higher education.

Cliff received his B.S. and M.P.A. degrees from Eastern Michigan University and his J.D. degree from Western Michigan University – Thomas M. Cooley Law School and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Public Administration at Western Michigan University.

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Christine BensonVice President of Student Affairs and Mission Integration 
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Michigan State University

M.A.T., Madonna University

B.A., Madonna University


734-432-5867, Room 1113

Christine Benson

Dr. Chris Benson brings more than sixteen years of higher education experience in student affairs, retention, and academic affairs. Dr. Benson currently serves as the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Madonna University. She has oversight of student conduct, career development, student life, residence life, counseling and disability resources, and transitions services. Dr. Benson serves as an institutional representative for the American Council on Education Women's Network, Michigan (MI-ACE) and the regional representative for the Michigan division of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA-MI).

Dr. Benson also has served as Title IX Coordinator and Graduate Program Director for the Higher Education Administration master’s program, which she co-created. Chris earned her Ph.D. in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University. She earned a master’s in teaching and learning from Madonna University.

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Nyanatee BaileyAdjunct Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Eastern Michigan University (exp. 2023)

M.A., Eastern Michigan University

B.A., University of Michigan-Dearborn


Nyanatee Bailey

Mr. Nyanatee Bailey has spent the past eight years of his career in higher education. He currently serves as the Senior Intercultural Programs advisor at the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. In this role, he develops, coordinates, and advises for International Education programs across five continents, with a focus on holistic student growth and development. Nyanatee has a passion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, and his work is predicated on eradicating the systemic biases that create inequitable educational opportunities for students from historically underrepresented communities. 

Nyanatee earned his B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in African & African-American Studies from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, as well as a M.A. in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University with a focus on higher education student affairs. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Eastern Michigan University where his research focus is on the efficacy of the chief diversity officer role, through the lens of Critical Race Theory and organizational change frameworks.

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Matthew Rheinecker
Vice President of University Advancement
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Ph.D., The University of Toledo

M.Ed., Bowling Green State University

B.A., Siena Heights University


734-432-5762, Room WC207-B

Matthew Rheinecker

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