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School expands program

Officials from Shepherd College and Marshall University plan to offer more graduate programs as part of a joint agreement.

Officials from Shepherd College and Marshall University plan to offer more graduate programs as part of a joint agreement.

October 11, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Officials from Shepherd College and Marshall University announced Thursday they plan to expand their ongoing efforts to offer graduate programs to students at the Shepherdstown campus.

The joint venture began in 2001, when the schools offered a master of arts degree program for students who do not have a degree in public education but who want to teach.

Shepherd President David L. Dunlop and Marshall University President Dan Angel announced efforts Thursday to offer more graduate programs, including a master's program in curriculum for teachers who want to expand their teaching knowledge and a master's program in computer science.

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Realizing the growing Eastern Panhandle needed a place to offer graduate courses, state lawmakers including Del. John Doyle, D-Jefferson, worked to pass legislation that would allow certain undergraduate schools to set up graduate degree programs, Dunlop said.

Under the legislation, the colleges could develop graduate classes on their own, have another college come onto their campuses to offer the programs or partner with other colleges to offer the programs, Dunlop said.

Shepherd College chose to form a partnership with Marshall University, based in Huntington, W.Va., to build a graduate studies program.

The partnerships allow colleges to more easily develop graduate programs because they can share their resources, Dunlop said. One college may have professors that have expertise in one field while the other college will have teachers that specialize in other areas, Dunlop said.

Professors teach at their own colleges, and the students taking courses at another college participate in the classes through teleconferencing capabilities, Dunlop said.

The college's current program has 23 of the original 26 students who started, which is a high retention rate, Dunlop said.

Dunlop said it is important for Shepherd to offer a computer science graduate program so local residents can capitalize on high-tech jobs in the region.

Doyle said it is "high time" that graduate courses be offered in the area because many students have to drive more than an hour to cities like Washington, D.C., or Harrisonburg, Va., for graduate classes.

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