CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A university in West Virginia is closing, and two state colleges are expanding their offerings after the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission voted on several issues.
In north central West Virginia, Gilmer County’s Glenville State College was approved to implement two graduate-level programs, a Master of Arts in Education and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction. The programs are expected to begin in the fall 2022 semester and will mark the first time graduate-level coursework has been offered at Glenville State. The Higher Learning Commission had previously approved both programs in November 2021.
Glenville State will celebrate their 150th anniversary as an institution three days before the West Virginia Legislature will take action to finalize the name change from college to university. The legislature will meet on February 22, 2022.
With the addition of the Master’s programs, the WVHEPC also granted the designation of university status for Glenville State.
“This is a momentous occasion for Glenville State College,” Glenville State President, Dr. Mark A. Manchin said in a press release. “These approvals from the Higher Education Policy Commission are among the final steps in what will be a significant advancement in the future of our institution. We feel these changes not only honor our past, but also directly reflect the mission of Glenville State and will truly impact the future of West Virginia and its residents.”
Glenville’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) will be a 36–48-hour credit course of study that offers the opportunity to acquire an initial teaching license in one of eight different areas. According to Glenville State College Provost, Dr. Gary Morris, Glenville will have the first MAT program offered in north central West Virginia.
The Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction (MACI) program will offer advanced education opportunities for teachers and educators who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in education and have a teaching license or certificate of instruction. The MACI program will include 30 semester hours beyond the bachelor’s degree.
“This will expand the number of offerings that we have, and I cant say it enough, its more than just a name change, it’s a paradigm change in how and what we offer for our young men and women who we serve in central West Virginia,” said Manchin.
Coursework for both master’s programs will be fully online.
The criteria for university status are:
- Offering at least one master’s-level degree program
- Having an approved mission statement that provides for the offering of graduate programs
- Obtaining the approval of the Higher Learning Commission to offer any master’s degree program
- Having at least two-thirds of its faculty holding a terminal degree
The Glenville State College Board of Governors will set a date for the official name change, and the West Virginia Legislature will work to change any institutional references in state code to reflect the new name. Both are expected to take place in the new year.
When Glenville State successfully transitions into a state university, Bluefield State College will be the only state college left in West Virginia, as a number of other once state colleges are now universities.
Even as the last remaining state college, Bluefield State College in Mercer County was also approved on Dec. 10 by the WVHEPC to offer a Master’s program in Business Administration.
In addition to adding programs as Glenville and Bluefield, the Commission also voted unanimously to revoke authorization of Ohio Valley University in Wood County to confer degrees in West Virginia. This will go into effect beginning on June 30, 2022 to allow spring 2022 graduates to complete their degrees. Ohio Valley University scheduled a transfer fair on campus on Friday to help students decide their next steps.