Department of Leadership

Welcome to the Department of Leadership! We are comprised of two academic programs — Leadership and Policy Studies (LDPS) and Higher Ed/Adult Education (HIAD). Both prepare current and aspiring leaders with necessary skills to excel in a variety of leadership positions, including K-12 school administrators, district superintendents, higher education administrators, and leaders of government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and industry.

Excellence is not just what we strive for; it's what we do. Our faculty have received national and international recognition for their work, published a wide range of research, engaged in national and international outreach and service projects, and demonstrated a wide variety of practitioner experiences. As student-centric educators, we strive to prepare you for excellence as an educator, practitioner, researcher or school/university leader. Begin your path to leadership with the Department of Leadership today.

Department Vision

The Department of Leadership cultivates innovative scholar-practitioners, through rigorous, innovative educational programming in Leadership, who become premier leaders that make meaningful, sustainable contributions to the global workforce and societies in which they lead and serve.

Alison Happel-Parkins

Alison Happel-Parkins
Interim Chair and Associate Professor
Email | 901.678.2369
Office: Ball Hall 123


Our Programs:

Leadership and Policy Studies

Leadership and Policy Studies

Learn more about LDPS
Higher Ed/Adult Education

Higher Ed/Adult Education

Learn More about HIAD


Want to begin your path to leadership with the Department of Leadership? If you would like to apply for Higher Education, our deadline is April 1st, and your classes will start in the Fall of that year.

Apply Now >

Where We Can Take You

Our graduates serve as:

  • Community College Presidents
  • Higher Education Vice Presidents
  • Deans, Associate Deans, and Assistant Deans
  • Department Chairpersons
  • Faculty Members
  • Researchers
  • Student Affairs Administrators
  • Educational Program Directors
  • Health Services Administrators
  • Community Organization and Non-profit Directors
  • Human Resources Administrators

Academic Program Rankings

Our programs are ranked among the top in the nation, based on both quality and affordability.

Intelligent's #9 Best Online Doctorate in Higher Education Program 
(LEAD's EdD of Education in Higher & Adult Education)

BestValueSchools #13 Best Doctorate in Education Degrees 
(LEAD's EdD of Education in Higher & Adult Education)

GetEducated's #20 Cheapest Online Doctorate in Higher Education 
(LEAD's EdD of Education in Higher & Adult Education)

MyDegreeGuide's #21 Best Online Doctoral Program in Higher Education 
(LEAD's EdD of Education in Higher & Adult Education)



Have questions about the Leadership program or degrees? We're here to help. Give us a call at 901.678.2369 or email us. If you are a current student that needs to set up an advising appointment, please email Melynda Whitwell.