Meet Noah Sobe, Ph.D.
Interview on the International Higher Education program
Why did Loyola's School of Education develop this program?
We developed this program in response to student interest. Prospective students made inquiries and tried to figure out whether their objectives for master's study would be best served by pursuing a degree in comparative and international education or in higher education. So, after a while it became pretty obvious that we needed to create a program that would integrate the two! We then decided to make the program consist primarily of online coursework both because students have asked us for this and because it lets us reach students across the globe and lets us bring our mission of "enhancing professionalism in the service of social justice" to a whole new level.
How do your personal research interests interact with the curriculum of the program?
I am a historian of education and a comparative education researcher and am particularly interested in how globalization processes and phenomena affect schooling at all levels. The field of higher education is an important research area in this regard because we see national boundaries seeming to vanish in some instances and in other cases local regulatory systems continuing to carefully monitor and control institutions of higher education. And, increasingly, both transnational NGOs and international governmental organizations are playing a role in establishing the standards and norms that shape how colleges and universities work.
What classes will you teach in the program and what excites you about those topics?
I will be teaching the ELPS 448 International Higher Education course that students will take in January of their first year in the program. This promises to be a really exciting class because we will be visiting a range of Chinese universities and learning about changes underway in higher education in Asia, but we will also talk extensively about higher education reforms within the European Union. This will be the first moment in the program when members of this global cohort will gather in-person, something that promises to be enriching and fun. I also teach one of the last courses in the program, ELPS 550, a course on Globalization and Education. This course presents a neat opportunity to bring together many of the themes and questions that have surfaced across the previous semesters.
What overseas experiences have you had during your time at Loyola?
I joined Loyola in 2005 and since then my travels as a Loyola University Chicago faculty member have taken me to Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, South Korea, Turkey, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, and the Netherlands, as well as to our overseas campuses. I have visited our Beijing campus on two occasions as part of serving on the university's Beijing Center Advisory board. It is fascinating to be involved with an undergraduate study abroad program in a city like Beijing that is changing so rapidly. I have also participated in an academic conference in China and worked with some Chinese colleagues. The past several years I have taught at our Rome campus on an annual basis, teaching a Philosophy of Education course as part of the SOE's undergraduate Summer Rome program. I am presently collaborating with some Italian researchers on a project that looks at inter-cultural dialogue. And, when in Rome, in addition to conducting a series of pilgrimages to my favorite restaurants and gelaterias, I have the pleasure of catching up with professional acquaintances in the Ministry of Education and at several Italian universities.
What type of student would benefit from this program?
Students who are looking to build or enhance their expertise and analytic skills as they relate to the field of international higher education. I think the program will be especially useful to a person who works overseas and wants to gain a top-quality master's degree from a highly regarded US university without needing to relocate back to the US.
If a student is preparing his/her application, what advice would you give to him or her?
Think carefully about why this program in particular is the one that you feel will let you best advance your intellectual and professional interests. We are interested in students who have carefully explored our program and know what it involves. I recommend that applicants clearly explain in their personal statement what it is they want to achieve and how the learning and experiences they will gain in this.
How do I learn more?
You can request information by clicking the “Request Info” button on the right-side of this web site. You can also contact the School of Education Enrollment Advisor, at 312.915.8901 or SchlEduc@luc.edu. Or, you can apply online now.