Knowledge Center

Understanding Higher Education – FREE

This course has been taken off-line temporarily while we migrate to a new e-learning platform. We expect to restore access in April. 


4.5 General Credit Hours*

Based on CUPA-HR’s widely-popular live workshop, the Understanding Higher Education e-learning course provides higher ed and HR pros who are new to higher education the basic background, information and tools they need to be successful in the unique environment of higher ed.

As a course participant, you’ll increase your knowledge of how institutions function and how higher ed differs from the corporate world. After taking the course, you’ll feel more confident and knowledgeable about the idiosyncrasies of the higher ed community and how you can work successfully within that environment.

Understanding Higher Education was developed in conjunction with the association’s learning framework, which guides all CUPA-HR education and programming.

Gain a Better Understanding of Higher Education

  • Learn how institutions operate with contingent faculty or adjunct professors, online courses, flipped classrooms, MOOCs and more.

    4.5 General Credit Hours

  • Understand how to effectively work within a shared governance environment and across employee groups such as faculty and staff.
  • Find out about common terms and conditions of employment in institutions and how they apply to faculty, staff, union employees and others.
  • Learn about employment laws that are implemented in higher ed institutions.
  • Nurture professional skills that are most transferable from a corporate setting to higher ed.
  • Watch this video to take a closer look at the course.

Understanding Higher Education Learning Modules

History and Culture of Higher Ed

  • History and Purpose
  • Types of Institutions
  • Culture and Characteristics of Higher Education

Practitioner Perspectives

  • Transferable Skills from the Private Sector to Higher Ed
  • Advice and Tips
  • Remaining Current

Structure and Governance

  • Organizational Structure and Governance
  • Faculty, Staff and Students
  • Terms and Conditions of Employment
  • Funding
  • Legal Issues
  • Emerging Issues in Higher Ed

View a full list of modules and topics. With the course, you’ll also have access to an online glossary of higher ed terms and participant guide to walk you through each module.

The three sections of Understanding Higher Education should be completed sequentially and contain both informal and formal assessments to ensure you’ve achieved a basic understanding of the content. Those who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion.

Temporarily Unavailable

*The use of the HR Certification Institute Approved Provider seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute’s criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.