Marshall University’s College of Science has launched the addition of an online-only alternative for students pursuing a master’s degree in mathematics.
The hybrid program will allow students to participate remotely alongside their peers and engage in classes in real-time, requiring only a steady Internet connection and a functioning webcam and microphone.
Michael Schroeder, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics, said the innovative addition would not only increase enrollment in the existing master’s degree program but also offer a live-action alternative for out-of-state students and those balancing careers.
“The attraction to getting a mathematics master’s [degree] is that a position in the industry requires an advanced degree, and this particular degree can be applied to many STEM careers,” Schroeder said.
Graduate students in the hybrid program will also pay tuition comparable to an in-state student rate regardless of their physical location, Schroeder said.
“Also our instructors will have similar classroom technology in their offices for office hours so students may Skype in and the instructor may write on the board and it will be on the screen,” Schroeder said.
Schroeder said he demoed the hybrid program last semester with an undergraduate student who had been student teaching at a local high school.
“His planning period was during class time, and he could watch and participate from his location,” Schroeder said. “That’s what our students would be getting: education anywhere with an Internet connection.”
Three courses will be available for the online program: Algebra, Probability in Statistics and Analysis. Each course will be offered in the fall and spring semesters.
With the completion of the degree, students will receive a master of arts in mathematics with an emphasis in statistics.
Schroeder said he hoped to change the public’s perception of earning an online degree through this unique program.
“When you hear ‘online,’ there’s a preconceived notion that you’ll be watching videos for an independent study,” Schroeder said. “In every sense of the word, the online experience is identical of a student attending the courses face to face.”
The application deadline for the fall semester is Aug. 10. For information regarding the program’s criteria, applicants may contact Schroeder at [email protected]
Lexi Browning can be contacted at [email protected]