HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (Aug. 29. 2013) — The Northern Kentucky University Department of History and Geography has announced the creation of an online major in history, which will debut in fall 2014. The online history degree is the first offered in Greater Cincinnati or Kentucky and is one of the first fully accredited online history majors in the country.
Department faculty developed the program to offer a high-quality, flexible educational experience to meet the needs of post-traditional students who are unable to attend classes due to work or family obligations or because they live outside the region or country.
“The pressures of work and family life conspire to keep many citizens of our region – and further afield – from pursuing a university education,” said Dr. William Landon, interim chair of the department. “They simply cannot make time in their day to come to campus to attend classes. We have designed a fully online B.A. in History that allows students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to come to campus the chance to earn a degree and to receive the highest quality, fully accredited, instruction in a flexible online format that suits their needs.”
History is one of the largest majors at NKU, with more than 300 majors currently. Seventy-three students earned a B.A. in History last year, which was a record high for the program. “Our graduates understand the importance of history and gain fundamentally important skills that transition directly into their professional lives,” Landon said. NKU history graduates are employed in a full range of sectors ranging from law and local government to business higher education.
To declare an online major in history, students must complete two NKU courses – history of the United States through 1877 and history of the United States since 1877 – with at least a “C.” The online program consists of 21 hours of core curriculum that includes courses in European history, African American history, world history, historical research and writing, and a senior seminar; as well as 21 hours of upper-division courses in geography, U.S. history, European history, non-Western studies, race and gender, and two electives. Students must also complete all degree coursework with at least a “C.”
He said students in the program will learn to think critically and communicate effectively; conduct research and assess information in a professional and ethical manner; appreciate differences in the human experience locally, nationally and globally; and understand the fundamental importance of history in our national and global dialogue.
Landon said the addition of a fully online option he expects the NKU history program to grow by at least 20 percent in just two years. “As employers refocus on the need for critical thinking skills, written and oral communication skills, and the ability to assess information that is critical to their fiscal success, interest in the humanities – and in history in particular – is driving growth in our field,” he said.
“Our online courses were designed and are taught by tenured and full-time faculty who have dedicated themselves to learning the skills necessary to deliver classes of the highest quality,” Landon said. “Many of our instructors began offering online classes the moment NKU made the option available and have years of experience delivering exceptional, student-centered online classes. As word about the quality of our online program spreads, we could see much greater and much more rapid growth.”
While students won’t be able to officially declare the online major until next fall, the department already offers an online version of each degree course.