2004-10-19 National University Offers New Online Program; A Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing

La Jolla, Calif. – National University is offering a new online program leading to a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing through its School of Arts and Sciences.  The program provides students with the opportunity to developed advanced skills as writers of fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry and screenwriting.

"No other college or university is offering an accredited MFA Creative Writing program online at this time," said Karen Offitzer, the program’s lead faculty member.  "The on-line format allows us to team professional, award-winning writers with students who are unable to leave home for 10 days, twice a year, as required by most low-residency MFA programs." 

Classes for the program began in September. National University offers a unique one-course-per-month format, which allows new enrollments every 30 days.   Many of the program’s writing workshops are two months in length, to allow students time to fully immerse themselves in the writing process. Professor Offitzer believes the content and convenience of the program will attract a lot of people changing careers, including professional writers in other fields who want to write a novel or draft a screenplay.

She says the online MFA degree will take anywhere from 13 to 16 months to complete, adding that "the MFA is a terminal degree, providing our graduates with the academic credentials to teach at the university level, or to pursue longstanding aspirations to write." 

Online education is growing in acceptance and is expected to flourish in coming years.  According to the 2003 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, a majority of institutes of higher education (57 percent) concur that online learning is equal in quality to traditional, face-to-face classroom instruction. The survey also reports that nearly three out of four academic leaders say learning online may be better than traditional classroom learning within the next three years.

Currently, 81 percent of all institutions of higher education offer at least one fully online or blended course and complete online degree programs are offered by 34 percent of the institutions. 

A leader in online education with 10 years of experience in Web-based learning and one of the largest electronic libraries in higher education, National University currently offers 38 accredited degree programs online and more than 300 online courses. In the past three years its online enrollment has increased by almost 500 percent.

For more information regarding National University’s new MFA degree program in creative writing, visit www.nu.edu.

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