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September 20, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

SRU launches online history master's

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -Slippery Rock University is bringing back the master of arts degree in history, this time as an online program that gives students anywhere convenient access to graduate level education.

Philip Way, SRU provost and vice president for academic affairs, reinstated the master's degree, which the University placed on moratorium in 2012.

Registration begins in April with an August program launch, said Lia Paradis, SRU associate professor of history and department chair.

"The program has the potential for a global reach," Paradis said.

She said the program targets recent graduates, teachers who want to enhance their credentials and military personnel.

Paradis said within the military, it is understood that an advanced education is necessary to rise above the rank of captain.

SRU's 30-credit program, which does not require a thesis, will offer courses in U.S., European, Asian, world history, Middle Eastern history and Native-American history. She said two courses would be offered fall and spring semester and one over the summer. Eight of SRU's history professors have been trained to supervise online courses and have previous experience teaching at the graduate level.

Students will read articles and monographs by historians, discuss content online and write analysis essays.

One of the advantages of the online courses, she said, is students will have access to SRU's entire digital collection. "The program will be rich in history content and provide access to the University's resources even if you're on the other side of the world," she said.

An informal inquiry of potential students indicated broad interest. The history department posted a status on its Facebook page polling interest in the program.

"We have already been soliciting alumni and we have had an overwhelming response," she said. Some of posts include "yes, absolutely interested," "I think it's a great idea" and "bring it."

Paradis said a history education is valuable for those in other fields, including law, because it enhances critical thinking and persuasive argument skills.

"A large number of graduates going on to law school are history majors," she said.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.