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Higher Education & Learning Technology

Department of Higher Education & Learning Technologies

Department of Higher Education and Learning Technologies

The Department of Higher Education and Learning Technologies is the home of one of the largest Higher Education programs in the country as well as one of the two largest doctoral programs at the university.  Programs offered by the department include one doctorate, four master’s programs, and one undergraduate program.  The doctoral program in Higher Education was the first doctorate offered by the university in 1962.

The department is committed to accessibility in course offerings for students, recognizing the challenges faced by our traditionally diverse students.  As such, the bulk of the department’s course offerings are offered either online or at one of the university’s remote delivery sites, incorporating web-enhanced and ITV technology.  According to, Texas A&M University-Commerce ranks 20th in the nation among the Best Overall Online Graduate Programs.

Texas A&M University-Commerce has the highest graduation rate for doctoral programs among Texas public institutions.  The Department of Higher Education and Learning Technologies ranks second in the state in the preparation of college presidents and college chief academic officers (Leist & Travis, 2013).

Dr. Dimitra Smith
Associate Professor and Department Head
Department of Higher Education and Learning Technologies
(903) 886-5599


  • Seung Won  Yoon

    Dr. Seung Won Yoon is Professor in Higher Education & Learning Technologies. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Areas of Research:

    His research focuses on connecting leadership, technology, learning and knowledge, and organizational behaviors. Dr. Yoon has published extensively and is currently serving as the Associate Editor of the Human Resource Development Quarterly journal.

  • David  Tan

    Dr. David Tan came to TAMU-Commerce in 2017 after a 27-year career at the University of Oklahoma as Professor, Department Chair, and Graduate Liaison. He is also an experienced peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.

    Areas of Research:

    Strategic planning, institutional research, leadership, assessment, college students, intercollegiate athletics, diversity, statewide coordination, and research methodology.

  • Dimitra   Smith

    Areas of Research:

    STEM education, preparation, and careers, community college leadership, online learning, minority-serving institutions, underrepresented college students, institutional partnerships and collaborations.

  • Sarah  Rodriguez

    Areas of Research:

    Equity, access, and persistence; Latinx students; STEM; gender; community colleges

  • Michael  Ponton

    Prof. Ponton holds the Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from The George Washington University and joined the HELT faculty in 2019. He has extensive postsecondary experience as a professor, researcher, and administrator.

    Areas of Research:

    Self-directed learning, learner autonomy, human agency, and social cognitive frameworks that characterize human and organizational functioning.

  • Anjum   Najmi

    Faculty in Educational Technology Library Science masters program. Experience include, design of learning environments, teaching-learning processes, information technology, and application of learning technologies.

    Areas of Research:

    critical inquiry, information literacy, learning design and technology integration in the classroom (K-20) towards systemic change through student-centered learning and design.

  • Tony  Lee

    Areas of Research:

    Online Learning, Workplace Engagement, Faculty Development, International Student's Experience in Higher Education

  • Kibum   Kwon

    Areas of Research:

    human capital investment, talent management, organization development, employee engagement, and statistical methods for longitudinal data analysis.

  • Katie   Koo

    Areas of Research:

    Collegiate experiences and mental health issues among students of color and faculty of color, psychological well-being and adjustment among international students, underrepresented students success and retention in college, professional and personal development among female faculty of color, and multicultural issues in counseling and student affairs.

  • JoHyun  Kim

    JoHyun Kim has her specialization in higher education and community college leadership.

    Areas of Research:

    Students' access to and success in higher education focusing on high school-to-college transition, dual credit, college readiness, and students' retention and graduation.

  • Madeline Justice

    She teaches online doctoral courses in the Higher Education program. She has served in in teaching and administrative roles in the university, community college and public school.

    Areas of Research:

    Curriculum development, diversity, reading, emotional intelligence and educational research.

  • Alan Francis

    Alan Francis was an instructional designer from 2006-2009. He gained six years of extensive online teaching experience in the College of Business before his move to Educational Leadership in 2014.

    Areas of Research:

    Online course design and testing

  • Mary Jo Dondlinger

    Faculty in Educational Technology masters program. Experiences include teaching college writing, designing career and technical degree programs, and directing college-wide institutional effectiveness efforts.

    Areas of Research:

    Teaching procedure & technologies for complex problem-solving and long dispositions in learning