Educational Policy Studies & Practice
Professor Regina Deil-Amen
Department Head, Educational Policy Studies & Practice

The Department of Educational Policy Studies & Practice (EPSP) includes two programs: Educational Leadership & Policy (EDL) and the Center for the Study of Higher Education (HED). The EPSP department combines the K-12 focus with postsecondary education to create a P-20 perspective that taps into the dominant discourse of education and policymakers today.

Our directors

Professor Regina Deil-Amen is the director for the Center for the Study of Higher Education, while Associate Professor Melanie Bertrand is the director for Educational Leadership & Policy.

Benefits of combined unit

The programs in both units, the Center for the Study of Higher Education and Educational Leadership & Policy, center on equity, inclusion, and social justice. Both units prepare students as scholars, practitioners, and activists consistent with each unit’s professional career paths and state certification standards leading to licensure. However, together, the units offer expertise across multiple PK-20 educational contexts. 

A key departmental strength concentrates on how organizations, institutions (both formal and informal), official practices, and educational professions affect outcomes across local, national, and international contexts and how these entities are affected by societal, economic, historical, and political pressures.

Our graduate degrees

EPSP prepares graduate students at the doctorate and master's levels. Graduate programs in EDL include an Ed.D. (fully online), Ph.D., M.A. (fully online), and M.Ed. The M.A. degree has a focus on policy. The M.Ed. degree is a standards-driven curriculum leading to both a degree and state certification for the principalship. Graduate programs in HED include Ph.D. and M.A. degrees.

Lunch & Learn

Lunch & Learn, which we plan to resume at least once per semester once we’re back again face-to-face, is to facilitate further communication among faculty and students about a range of programmatic, professional, and academic issues, as well as to enhance community among our students.  We encourage you to come with questions, thoughts, and suggestions for us, and we may have some for you as well.

Lysette Davi portrait
Lysette Davi

Known by countless students, faculty, and staff across campus through her many engagements, Lysette Davi is graduating this month with a Ph.D. in Higher Education. Throughout both her master’s and doctoral studies in the college, Davi has worked tirelessly as not only a student, but as a volunteer, advisor, committee member, and leader in many different capacities. As a result of her hard work and dedication, she has made significant, long-lasting contributions to both The University of Arizona and Tucson community at large. 

She is described by her former advisor as “motivated by service,” a deeply held value that has shaped her professional and academic work. Among her many impactful initiatives, she founded the college’s student government in response to student demands for more access to professional development, research, and social support. She also worked with the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and represented the university in Washington, DC to lobby for tuition decreases. Inspired by her previous experience working with the U.S. Peace Corps, Davi created the Honors College Alternative Spring Break program, which engages students with local communities through service-learning volunteer work.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she created a class, titled “How to Serve the Community During a Health Pandemic,” and, after working with the White Mountain Apache Tribe for six years, worked across campus to raise $3,000 to help their pandemic response efforts.

As a student, Davi is curious, thoughtful, and highly dedicated to her work. This semester she successfully defended her dissertation, which involved examining online learning at the university’s microcampuses throughout the world. Her ability to weave together her personal, professional, and academic interests serves as a model to other graduate students, inspiring them to pursue meaningful academic and professional work. 

Lucky for the University, Davi is sticking around as both an HSI Fellow, with focus on access and equity in online learning, and as the Director of Honors Online and Experiential Learning. The college is so proud to call her the Fall 2020 Outstanding Graduate Student.