Higher Ed. Commission approves English MA

Paola Marizan

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved a Master of Art degree in English March 13.

The program, which was proposed last year, will offer advanced studies in English for secondary education instructors, individuals who teach in two and four-year post secondary institutions and professional writers in areas like business, industry and the non-profit sector.

The curriculum is comprised of 33 semester hours – 30 of coursework and three of a capstone experience.

“The fact the students can receive dual credits is what stood out the most about the proposal,” said Caren Whitehouse, 8th district representative for the Commission. “It enables the student to have a step forward.”

Whitehouse said the university put together an efficient presentation that was easy to navigate.

“It is a multiple step process,” Whitehouse said.

The program is targeted to a wide range of students.

“Having a variety of degree programs is a plus in every university,” Whitehouse said.

Associate Professor of English Charles Conaway said most programs students apply for are limited to a specific curriculum, but what stands out most about USI’s Master of Arts in English is flexibility.

“Students will have the liberty to shape the program to their needs,” Conaway said.

The program starts this Fall and will have two required classes – introduction to professional studies in English and an elective seminar on early American literature.

“We’ll have an open house soon – before the semester ends,” Conaway said.

He said the faculty is very excited about this and what it will bring.

“Students could develop an advanced understanding of literature,” Conaway said. “This program is what serves best for the people in the region.”

Freshman English major Lauren Abney said the English Department is increasing for the better.

“I am thinking of a future education once I have my BA degree,” Abney said. “I think it’s a really good idea.”

She said she wants to go out in the field once she graduates, but plans to return to obtain her Master’s.