The President-in-Residence: A Unique HGSE Experience

As Harvard students, we are fortunate enough to learn from some of the leading experts in our fields of interest. When I was searching for graduate programs in Higher Education, Harvard’s President-in-Residence component was one of the most compelling reasons to apply – and it definitely has lived up to my expectations!  As part of the Higher Education Program, the President-in-Residence component provides students with a yearlong opportunity to learn from a former college or university president. The president attends class and advises students.  This year, we are lucky enough to have Lawrence “Larry” Bacow, president emeritus of Tufts University.

(Lawrence Bacow at Tufts University. Photo credit: Brian Loeb from Tufts Journal )

It has only been a couple of months with Larry and his input adds a wonderful dimension to our readings, giving our class in-depth knowledge about issues in higher education. It is one thing to read about an event or change in a university and quite another to listen first-hand from someone who has a wealth of knowledge and experience. To some, having a former president in class may seem intimidating yet Larry is nothing but approachable. From the beginning of the semester, Larry welcomed students to chat with him over a meal or even go on a run. I look forward to learning even more from our President-in-Residence as the year continues!

Jessica Acosta is Master’s in Education candidate in the Higher Education Program.  Deeply passionate about issues of race, equity, and college access, Jessica aims to gain knowledge and tools to promote a deeper understanding of multicultural issues and to help students of color strive towards academic success in college and beyond.