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Higher Education Student Access and Success Certificate

About the Certificate

The Higher Education Student Access and Success Certificate (HESASC)provides an understanding of myriad factors that influence students - from beginning in high school (with the process of considering and applying to college) to completing post-undergraduate education - and their ability to access, persist, and succeed in higher education.  

Target Audiences

Higher education professionals who seek to explore significant and timely issues, dive deeper into their profession, augment their understanding of the nuanced and complex landscape of higher education, and expand their career opportunities, will find at Northwestern a Higher Education Certificate that is perfect for them! 

  • Staff and faculty at the pre-college/college access, undergraduate, and graduate levels who work in college access programs, admissions and financial aid, academic advising and student services, and other student facing roles. 
  • Upper-level administrators (with an academic background other than higher education or student affairs) whose work directly or indirectly impacts student access and success. 
  • NOTE – While not as common as with the HEFC, HESASC students may – in the midst of their Certificate coursework – apply for matriculation into the MSHE degree program. All coursework for the HESASC is counted toward the MSHE degree requirements. 

Curriculum Overview

The HESASC curriculum exposes students to the historical contexts, current landscapes, and future trends in enrollment management (admissions, financial aid, retention, etc.), student development theories and support services, campus crises and climate, and student outcomes. Woven throughout the curriculum is examining these topics through a diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice lens. 

View Curriculum

Donna Wang Su

Since I already had a Master’s degree, Northwestern’s Higher Education Certificate program was a great option where I was able to expand my knowledge, collaborate with classmates and colleagues, taught by some of the top leaders at both Northwestern and other universities. ”

— Donna Wang Su, Associate Director, Office of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid at Northwestern University, 2020 Higher Education Certificate Recipient

Contact Higher Education Administration and Policy

Our staff is available to provide in-person assistance Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Remote office hours are Friday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 

Phone Number 



Physical Address 

1800 Sherman Avenue, Suite 7-300 
Evanston, IL 60208 
Northwestern University