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UW Offers Second Distance Master’s Program in English

November 22, 2013

Beginning in summer 2014, the University of Wyoming’s Department of English and the UW Outreach School will offer a distance master’s degree program to a second cohort of students.

Students will take one class each semester from summer 2014 through summer 2016. After they complete their coursework, they will write their master’s theses under the direction of a faculty adviser.

Students who have earned their Master of Arts in English have gone on to many accomplishments. They complete Ph.D. programs and become professors at four-year and community colleges, attend law school, teach high school, become grant writers, work in public relations and marketing, and find careers in radio, business and nonprofit organizations.

“I have been contracted to teach and have already started to teach at a community college based on my position in the English M.A. cohort,” says Buck Tilton, a student from the first cohort who accessed his classes from Lander. “It is what I wanted.”

“The specific content provided background information, new content and depth of understanding that I had not been exposed to before. My students benefit as I share what I have learned,” says Rita Geary, a high school teacher in Sheridan. “The levels of critical thinking and discussion have made me more aware of preparing students to dig deeper and broader in their own research and consideration of ideas, and in their writing. I also appreciate the professional connections I have made with other instructors at the university and in schools around the state.”

The program will focus on delivering classes with a limited number of students in order to offer discussion and interaction between students and faculty. Award-winning faculty of the Department of English teach the classes in this program.

English Professor Susan Frye, now the dean of UW’s Outreach School, teaches a course for the master’s degree program using distance technology. (UW Photo)“We traveled through this program as a cohort, and I feel that we created not only a strong bond, but a sense of collegiality that encourages all of us to work together and help each other,” says Brandie Reed, a student in the program who accessed her classes from Casper. “The combination of our professor and the varied knowledge we each bring as nontraditional students create an atmosphere of pure learning; I would not trade this experience for a traditional path to my master’s.”

“Instruction has been outstanding and engaging; resources used have been high quality,” adds Carol Stewart, a student who accessed her classes from Sheridan. “Expectations have been rigorous, yet attainable. I especially appreciate the accessibility and willingness of professors to answer questions and help when I ask.”

For a Master of Arts degree in English, each student will write a master’s thesis under the direction of a faculty adviser after completing the required coursework. The program’s curriculum offers a wide range of courses that appeal to a variety of interests, while providing a well-rounded background in English studies.

Realizing that not all students are able to travel to Laramie to take college courses, UW’s Division of Outreach Credit Programs offers students an opportunity to complete their degrees in or near their hometowns. Courses are offered using video conferencing technology and hybrid instruction, with a one-week residency in Laramie each summer.

“The live video classes made me feel like I was with my classmates even though I was hours away from them and from our professor,” Reed says. “The course shell also has been useful for sharing information.”

“I appreciate the opportunity this program gave me to grow personally and professionally,” adds Geary. “I am thankful that the Outreach School was willing to provide the venue; I believe the students in the secondary schools of Wyoming will be the beneficiaries of continuing this program.”

The deadline to apply for the second cohort of this program is March 7, 2014. More information about the program, including requirements and coursework, can be found by visiting and selecting English, or by contacting the Outreach School at (800) 448-7801.

Carol Stewart of Sheridan, a student in the master’s degree program offered by the University of Wyoming’s Department of English and the Outreach School, enjoys a light moment during a class. UW is offering the program to another cohort of students. (UW Photo)

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