HIST/POLS MAIS at WNMU - Courses, Instructors, etc.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by kbchow, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. kbchow

    kbchow New Member

    Hi everyone! I started WNMU's MAIS in Summer 2010 with planned concentrations in both History and Political Science to expand my adjuncting capacity beyond psychology and statistics. I saw from earlier posts that there are many of us in the MAIS, and hopefully several interested in the often cross-listed HIST and POLS concentration.

    Here's the course rotation for HIST and POLS, posted sometime in June:
    http://www.wnmu.edu/VirtualCampus/HIST-POLSRotation05-19-2010-OMAISWebsite.pdf , linked from WNMU Virtual Campus - Online Programs - MAIS

    I'd really like to chat about course and instructor selections! So far, I'm taking Railroad History with Warren (highly recommended) and dropped Indians of the SW with Fritz. Fritz's course was "much more online" than Warren's -- lots of PDF articles, powerpoints with Adobe Captivate, 3-5+ weekly discussion postings, etc., compared to strictly book readings and response papers in RR History.

    I really like that WNMU has a tightly knit subset of course offerings related to the American southwest and North/Central/Latin America (rather than medieval European or Asian history), but it makes it more difficult to narrow my choices. Looking at the catalog for course descriptions and at past course schedules for textbooks helps a little.

    So - tell me! What HIST/POLS courses have you loved, which were poorly designed, which had engaging assignments, which instructors were distant, etc.?

    For Fall, I'm wanting to pick 1-2 of these:
    HIST 517 Frontier Law Enforcement, Warren
    POLS 510 Water Rights, Jackson
    HIST 580 The West in American History, Fritz
    HIST/POLS 504 North American Relations Perspective, Manzanarez

    Thanks in advance & hopefully this thread will be a great resource for online MAIS students at WNMU.

    Link deleted by moderator

    (Yikes, the acronyms! Western New Mexico University, Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2010
  2. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    Hi Karolyn,

    I'm almost done with WNMU. I have one course I'm starting next week, and then two in the fall, and them I'm done! Like you, I'm doing the History & Political Science option.

    I've taken 3 courses with Warren: Railroad History, Age of Marshall, and History of Crime & Punishment. I've liked his structure. The one thing I don't like about his courses is that he doesn't lay out in his syllabi how the assignments are weighted and such. I think it's silly to have a research paper weighted the same as a simple 5 paragraph essay. Still, he's good, and I'm taking Frontier Law Enforcement with him in the fall.

    Dr. Manzanarez is pretty good, too. Three of my classes were with him: American Constitutional Development (a definite "must take" course), Border Issues, and World Politics. He's also my polysci advisor, which hasn't been the greatest, but I think that's because they have him wearing so many hats. His courses were rigorous, yet fun. The one thing I disliked about his courses were his peer reviews. Essentially we had to read assignments from our classmates and "grade" them, which was pretty useless because it never matched what he wanted. Plus I caught the same woman plagiarizing twice and I don't think anything happened to her.

    Dr. Hernandez is good as well. I took Drug Wars with him in the spring, and the class was really neat. It was such a different topic. I'm taking Twentieth Century Revolutions with him in the fall, and would recommend him.

    While I have not taken any courses with Dr. Lavalle, I would avoid his courses at all costs. I wanted to sign up for some of his courses because he seems to handle the European related ones. A "friend" of mine from the program warned me not to. She took a course with him and said it pretty much consisted of a major research paper with nothing else. She said communication with him was awful as he wouldn't return calls or emails. In regards to that, I can agree. I tried to get in touch with him last summer about a course, and it took him 6 weeks to respond.

    That's about all I can offer in regards to instructors. Most of the courses I have taken and will take are with the same folks. I wish you the best with your program, and let me know if I can answer any additional questions!

  3. kbchow

    kbchow New Member

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for your response and very helpful tips! I'll be in Frontier Law Enforcement this fall, too.

  4. kbchow

    kbchow New Member

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