Humanities Launches a New Master’s Program

Byline: by Ashley Wetzel

Posted: January 16, 2012

In July, the Middle States Commission approved Wilson’s new Master of Arts degree in Humanities. Wilson will begin taking applications as early as Nov. 2011 and will begin enrolling students in the program during the fall 2012 semester.

A new opportunity for students at Wilson

The M.A. in Humanities degree is designed to engage both working professionals and students in the Humanities field. The degree will utilize coursework from the existing curriculum in the Humanities Division.

The M.A. requires students to choose from two concentrations, Language and Literature or Arts and Culture. The M.A. requires ten course credits, which includes two credits dedicated to a Master’s Thesis. Most graduate programs take two years. The new M.A. could be completed in as little as 18 months.

Alums and community members speak out for new program

According to Program Director, Dr. Michael Cornelius, the driving force behind the new M.A. are the students. He said, "There were a number of students in the English and Mass Communications program who pushed for it. The students really planted the seeds."

When asked what students the program hopes to reach, Dr. Cornelius said, "The original pushers were really the adult learners who wanted to continue their education. Adult learners and students in the Women with Children Program are the ones who really need the program. They can’t move across country to go to grad school."

The M.A. in Humanities was first proposed three years ago, but the process didn’t begin moving until 2009. Based on community outreach and the availability of graduate programs in this area, Wilson began the process of adding the M.A. The new M.A. provides the community with an opportunity to further their education. High school teachers or other working professionals will be able to obtain a Master’s degree that may help them further their careers.

Prior to the approval of the M.A. in Humanities, Wilson only offered one other Graduate Program in Education. Dr. Cornelius believes the addition of the new M.A. could bode well for the addition of future graduate programs. Dr. Cornelius said, "We have to be wise about how we do graduate study at Wilson. I think there is a real opportunity for growth but, I don’t think there is a need for us to grow too quickly. We are well prepared to respond to the needs of the community. I think there is a real potential for judicious growth."

Future plans

On Thurs, Oct. 27, Wilson will be holding an information session for students interested in the program. The session will take place at 5:30pm in Norland Parlor. Faculty will be present to answer any questions regarding the new degree. Applications for the program will also be available during the information session.

Last Updated: February 29, 2012

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