Education Policy and Management

Education Policy and Management

Program Description

The Education Policy and Management Program (EPM) is a one-year, full-time master's program designed to prepare graduates to assume challenging policy and management positions in a variety of governmental, intermediary, nonprofit, school, and other educational organizations related to U.S. K-12 education. The program introduces students to the world of policy and the intergovernmental systems that provide “public education” in the United States. EPM students grapple with strengths and weaknesses of policy as a tool for school improvement. They delve into contemporary policy and management issues utilizing research skills and evidence, political analysis, and organizational knowledge. All share a dedication to the ideals of social justice and a desire to effect a more equitable environment by working within the existing system or endeavoring to change it. The EPM Program aims to equip graduates with the ability to understand, participate in, and ultimately manage and lead complex initiatives involving policy and practice.

As we strive to build 21st century systems of education that work for all students, educational policy is an important instrument of change, the subject of controversy, the object of research, the hope of many practitioners, and potentially, the salvation of many students.

What is policy? How can it be used to promote learning and opportunity especially for those who have historically been least well served by our education system? What skills and knowledge are essential to becoming an effective policy manager and/or practitioner? What does research tell us about the strengths and limitations of policy? What kinds of organizations and leaders are needed to advance the powers and practices likely to accomplish the greatest good for the greatest number of students? What kind of politics surrounds the policy process?

All of these questions and more are central to the Educational Policy and Management Program. We aim to prepare our graduates to be active and effective participants in shaping policy that will encourage, support, and develop an educational system that enables all children to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the 21st century.

Students are required to take courses in educational policy, research & evaluation, and management. Students also have access to the full range of courses at the Graduate School of Education, and many opt to take related courses elsewhere in the University, such as the Harvard Kennedy School or the Harvard Business School. Many of our students participate in the Field Experience Program, gaining real-world experience through internships in a variety of organizations. There is also an active student association that generates a diverse menu of social, professional and recreational opportunities throughout the year.

For many experienced educators and education activists, the EPM Program opens the door to a world of new professional opportunities for influencing policies and practices that ultimately impact schools and the lives of children. Graduates of the EPM Program work in federal, state, and local government; national foundations; advocacy organizations; professional associations; policy “think tanks”; school improvement organizations; and local schools and districts. They fill diverse roles, enjoying success as leaders, advocates, policy analysts, consultants, researchers, planners, educators, and philanthropists; and provide current students with a rich network for professional learning and career opportunities.

EPM Class Photo