Fairleigh Dickinson to Launch Low-Residency M.A. Program In Creative Writing for High School Teachers
MADISON, N.J. (July 23, 2009) — Fairleigh Dickinson University is taking applications for a new “low-residency” master’s program, Creative Writing and Literature for Educators. Expected to begin in June 2010, the program will be unique in combining the two disciplines directly in response to the growing need for high school English faculty who can teach creative writing.
“The low-residency aspect of the program will allow students to enroll who would not be able to attend a traditional, full-time graduate program because of work or other obligations,” said Martin Donoff, director of the new program as well as of FDU’s existing MFA in Creative Writing program.
The M.A. in Creative Writing and Literature for Educators, which is pending state approval, combines a three-day weekend residency with online coursework. During the residency in late June, students live on campus at FDU’s College at Florham, where they will meet with instructors and participate in activities such as lectures, workshops, panel discussions, analysis seminars and readings. Subsequent coursework is completed through online correspondence with instructors and instructor-led online workshops and discussions.
To earn the degree, students must complete seven 15-week courses: four in creative writing and analysis of different genres, a foundation course called “Reading Like a Writer,” and two literature courses from an approved list. They must also submit a portfolio of all writing done in the program. The M.A. may be finished in as little as one and a half years, but must be completed within five years, Donoff said.
“Traditional MFA programs in creative writing have limited openings, are often impractical for educators, and do not offer the kind of curricular connections between teaching writing and literature that will be valuable for high school teachers,” he said. “The proposed M.A. will also help teachers carve out areas of specialization in a widely popular discipline — making them more valuable to their schools.”
Low-residency graduate programs are increasingly popular at universities nationwide, and FDU has a six-year record of success with its existing low-residency MFA writing program based at the College at Florham. Faculty for the M.A. in Creative Writing and Literature for Educators will be drawn from the College’s MFA, language and literature programs. The creative writing and critiquing courses will be taught by core MFA faculty, whose ranks include award-winning poets, novelists, essayists, nonfiction writers, scholars and editors.
For more information and an application, go to http://gradwriting.fdu.edu.