WSC Receives Accreditation for Graduate Programs; Graduate studies will begin this summer
Feb. 24, 2010 -- It’s final – graduate studies have returned to Western State College.
On Feb. 23, the Higher Learning Commission officially granted Western accreditation for its Master of Arts in Education and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing graduate degree programs.
Studies will begin this July for the MFA in Creative Writing. This August the Master of Arts in Education will begin its courses.
Both programs are now enrolling students through the Office of Graduate Programs, which is overseen by Terri Wenzlaff, associate vice president for academic affairs.
The MFA in Creative Writing is a low-residency program. Students will be on campus for a two-week session in the summer, and then complete most of their coursework through on-line studies, along with close interaction with their advisors. Four semesters of coursework will be required in addition to the on-campus summer sessions.
Three concentrations in the Creative Writing degree will be offered: mainstream/genre fiction, poetry with an emphasis in formal verse, and screenwriting. In 2012, the program will launch a publishing certificate.
The Master of Arts in Education is also a low-residency, two-year program that will be delivered primarily online. The program is designed for candidates seeking initial teacher licensure, as well as for licensed teachers who want to further their education and career options in K-12 schools.
Three tracks are being offered: teacher leadership, reading leadership, and educational administrator leadership.
Both programs mark a new era in graduate studies at Western. The college began awarding master’s degrees in 1923, but the program was discontinued per state legislation in 1989. A bill signed by Gov. Bill Ritter in March 2007 granted WSC authority to again offer graduate degree programs. Rep. Kathleen Curry originally drafted the bill and Sen. Gail Schwartz carried the bill in the Senate. A lengthy curriculum approval and accreditation process followed the initial signing of the bill.
Interested students should inquire through the Office of Graduate Programs at (970) 943- 2885 or (970) 943-2135. Additional information is available at www.western.edu/graduate.