Teaching and Advising Recognition

2021 Recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Alpha-Iota Prize for Excellence in Teaching at Harvard College, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

2020 Winner, John R. Marquand Award for Excellence in Advising and Support to Harvard Undergraduates

Voted one of the most impactful professors of the graduating class - Class of 2019, Class of 2020, Class of 2021Class of 2022 and Class of 2023 by Harvard Yearbook Publications

Teaching Excellence Award, Facuty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University for every offering of  each course at Harvard: GENED1039 (Fall 2019, Spring 2021), SOCIOL1130 (Spring 2018, 2019, 2021, 2021, 2022), SOCIOL1104 (Fall 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022), and SOCIOL113 (Spring 2017)

Teaching at Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University in 2023-2024 - on sabbatical leave (no courses offered)

Teaching at Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University in 2022-2023

Spring 2023

Higher Education: Students, Institutions and Controversies (Gen Ed 1039) [capped enrollement at 75, in January 2023: 612 petitions for enrollement; cap extended to 100 enrolled]

Why do we seek higher education, how do we experience and conduct higher education and what do we do with higher education?



Enrolling in higher education is an aspiration of ever more people. Within a generation there has been an extraordinary global expansion of higher education, in all but the poorest countries. This remarkable transformation raises questions about the effects of higher education on students and its broader societal impact, access to higher education and its role in addressing social inequalities, and how governments, markets and individuals and institutions shape higher education. This course explores contemporary higher education institutions, their students and controversies through international comparative perspective and diverse multidisciplinary approaches. 

We read what leading international scholars from the interdisciplinary field of higher education studies have written about higher education. We seek to understand the workings of different types of higher education institutions by conducting a field visit outside the Harvard bubble. We look deep into our own experiences of higher education and explore the behind-the-scenes of Harvard. We do so with insights from guest speakers from Harvard administration, personal reflection and collective exploration. The centerpiece of this course is a trilogy of student essays or a capstone research paper critically examining and proposing solutions to higher education issues you care about at Harvard or beyond. This is an opportunity to gain perspectives on established and emerging areas of higher education research, insights into today’s changing higher education landscape, and the tools to explore the most pressing higher education issues. This course helps you develop agency to navigate and shape the higher education spaces we belong to and to design your own pathway through higher education.


(Engaged Scholarship Course) SOCIOL1130 Student Leadership and Service in Higher Education (trailer), Wednesdays, 12:00-2:45pm [in 2023 capped at 15, full booked, 29 petitions in January 2023]

You can see 2018 - 2021 student projects published as a digital book "Students in Service at Harvard" in: https://scalar.fas.harvard.edu/studentpower/index.

This Undergraduate Engaged Scholarship Course specifically targets students in service and leadership roles at Harvard (e.g. student leaders in student organizations, students serving on University committees or as interns in University offices or programs, PAFs, HOCOs, UC members, Crimson, etc.). To these students it offers an opportunity to engage with scholarship from sociology of higher education to better understand and explore student agency in college contexts. Through hands-on student leadership development workshops built into the course, students will also develop skills that will help them in their roles. Students' grasp of concepts, such as university citizenship, mattering, belonging, community-building, and self-formation, is reinforced through their experiential learning in existing service and leadership roles on campus. Based on their campus role, students work on participatory action research and develop blueprint to change practice or policy.  This course challenges the traditional line of inquiry in sociology of higher education which focuses primarily on the effects of college on students. Instead, student action research projects demonstrate student agency and the impact students have on higher education communities at Harvard. 


Mindich Program

Mindich Program for Engaged Scholarship at Harvard College

The Mindich Program for Engaged Scholarship (MPES) is focused on integrating academics and community engagement through innovations in teaching, learning and research. Engaged Scholarship promotes engagement across academic disciplines, diverse sectors of civic and community life, to connect academics to real-world questions, problems, and opportunities. Through courses, research, projects and partnerships, Engaged Scholarship stimulates student and faculty collaboration with community beyond the Harvard context.


Fall 2022 

(Undergraduate seminar course) SOCIOL1104 Sociology of Higher Education, Wednesdays, 9:45am-11:45am ET (no section), capped at 12 (capped at 15)

Pleas see former research papers and publications from this course featured on the HUSRHE platform - Harvard Undergraduate Research into Higher Education: https://husrhe.fas.harvard.edu/

SOCIOL1104 is a research-intensive seminar introducing Sociology of Higher Education. We cover major themes in this field: college impact on students, inequalities in higher education, colleges and universities as organizations, higher education politics and policies, student agency and effects of students on higher education. We read major works, tackle contemporary debates and unravel key issues and concepts in sociological study of higher education.  This Fall, the impact of COVID-19 on higher education will be our meta theme given its major effects on higher education globally.

Each of you conducts independent (conceptual, empirical or applied) research leading to a capstone paper; thus, having an opportunity to generate original knowledge on a topic of their interest. From me you get personalised advising and I connect you to othe rpeople - informal mentors - that can also help with the topic you chose to research. In pairs, you also go (via Zoom or in person) to field visits in a higher education institution or other higher education actor (e.g.,  state agency, consultancy, think-thank, edu technology company, etc. ) to get out from the Harvard bubble and learn in the field. And you do some co-teaching: at the end of each module, we get a student perspective on the module.  

My research is on student agency in higher education, and in classroom I practice what I research - how to empower you as learners, as co-producers of knowledge and empower you to design your learning environment in partnership with me and help shape our collective learning experiences. 

This course offers opportunities to gain perspectives into established and emerging areas of research into higher education and insights into today's changing higher education landscape at Harvard, in the United States and across the world.


Teaching material

Klemenčič, M. (ed.) (2022) Student Leadership and Service Through Student Eyes. A Student Course Review Handbook from SOCIOL1130. Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University. 30 April 2022, pp. 52

Klemenčič, M. (ed.) (2018 - 2022) Scalar Digital Book: Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard featuring student action research projects from SOCIOL1130, Volume 1: 2018, Volume 2: 2019, Volume 3: 2020, Volume 4: 2021,Volume 5: 2022 https://studentpower.scalar.fas.harvard.edu/studentpower/index  (2018 -> )

Klemenčič, M. (ed.) (2017 -2022)  HUSRHE - Harvard Undergraduate Student Research into Higher Education featuring student research papers from SOCIOL1104, SOCIOL1130 and GENED1039: https://husrhe.fas.harvard.edu/ (2017 -> )

Klemenčič, M. (ed.) (2021) Higher Education Through Student Eyes. A Collection of Student Essays from GENED1039: Higher Education: Students, Institutions, and Controversies. Program in General Education, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University. 10 June 2021, pp. 80.

Klemenčič, M. (ed.) (2021) Higher Education Through Student Eyes. A Collection of Student Research Papers from GENED1039: Higher Education: Students, Institutions, and Controversies. Program in General Education, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University. Spring 2021. 

Klemenčič, M. (ed.) (2020) Sociology of Higher Education Through Student Eyes. A Student Course Review Handbook from SOCIOL1104: Sociology of Higher Education. Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University. 16 December 2020, pp. 78.

Klemenčič, M. (2019) Research-based teaching using a collaborative learning approach. (November 25, 2019, Harvard University). Into Practice. Retrieved from https://perma.cc/TGZ7-67JY