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Morgan State to Offer English Doctorate

Morgan State to Offer English DoctorateBALTIMORE
Morgan State University will soon join Howard University as the only two historically Black colleges and universities to offer students a doctorate in English.
The Maryland Higher Education Commission approved the university’s proposal earlier this summer, and the degree will be offered commencing with the fall semester of the 2003 academic year.
Morgan also joins an elite group of schools within the state of Maryland, with only one other public institution in the state, the University of Maryland, College Park, offering the degree.
The Modern Language Association counts roughly 2,600 English programs in its database of U.S. and Canadian departments. Some 1,540 are in four-year institutions, of which 150 offer the doctorate.
“The decision to grant Morgan State University the Ph.D. in English was based on the proposal it submitted to MHEC, which demonstrated a potential for success,” says Karen R. Johnson, Maryland’s secretary of higher education.
MHEC’s decision to approve the proposal “reflects a longstanding commitment to excellence by the members of a proud department,” says Dr. Dolan Hubbard, chairman of Morgan’s department of English and language arts. “Our goal is to provide quality teaching, research and service for the citizens of the state and nation,” Hubbard says.
As Maryland’s designated public urban university, one of the school’s missions is to address the needs and issues typically associated with urban and diverse populations. Among the ways Morgan attempts to accomplish that mission is through its work to increase the number of African Americans and other minorities in fields in which they have traditionally been underrepresented.
“The Ph.D. in English is consistent with Morgan’s goal as an agent of change for the greater metropolitan community,” Hubbard says. “We expect to increase the number of African Americans earning the doctorate; only four African Americans earned Ph.D. degrees in English in Maryland between 1995 and 1999.”
The small number of African Americans earning doctoral degrees should serve as a “wake-up call for policy-makers inside and outside the academy,” Hubbard says.

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