Adult and Higher Education

Beth Higgins


Beth Higgins

Place of employment: University of Southern Maine
Title: Director of Academic Advising

Job description:

Beth’s work is much more than helping students select classes or choose a major or career path. It offers her many opportunities to touch the lives of individuals in personal and meaningful ways. According to Beth, “My work is about helping students identify and achieve their educational, career and life goals. It is also about helping some students develop self- efficacy and sharing that you believe in them, and then watching them succeed. Sometimes, I am the first person who gets to say to a student, “Do you know that you’re smart and you can do this?”


Beth was encouraged to apply to the adult education program by the mentoring of three special women who saw something in her work in the student activities office. They encouraged her to further develop her skills and abilities in the area of student affairs work by completing a master’s degree. Beth offered this perspective: “I am grateful for their encouragement. I was the youngest person in the program and at first, it was lonely. However, the faculty is sensitive to promoting a community of learners. I realized the other students and faculty didn’t see me as young, instead they noticed my ideas and contributions to the learning conversation.”

Experience in Adult and Higher Education Program:

The Adult Education program developed Beth’s educational confidence and critical thinking skills and gave her a big-picture perspective of the field of adult education. Beth shared, “The master's program has allowed me to be more visionary about my work. I still value and enjoy the process of reflection that is a part of the adult education curriculum.” Courses that are foundational to her work include Program Development, Training and Development, Life Span Development and Counseling Skills. For example, Beth uses the counseling skills of listening and asking probing questions to help others expand their thinking in her advising work today.


For more information about the USM Adult and Higher Education program please contact the Office of Admissions at (207) 780-5670 or visit our homepage.