MALS in History vs. MA in History

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Mike Sherwood, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. Mike Sherwood

    Mike Sherwood New Member

    Would an MALS with a concentration in history be a good enough credential for part-time college teaching, or would it require an MA in history?
  2. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    The question I'd ask is, will a generalized degree with a minor in history carry the same weight and be as competitive as a degree that majors in history?
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I think that conventional wisdom indicates that 18 grad credits are the minimum requirement for university teaching. However, if you have 18 credits that just makes you a minimally qualified applicant in competition with people who may have more credits/degrees/experience. We've been led to believe that there are a lot of unemployed PhDs out there. With that said, if that's your goal, to teach History, then I'd go for the History credential, not the Liberal Studies degree.
  4. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I agree with Kizmet. Having 18 graduate credit in the subject area is bare minimum when it comes to faculty positions. I remember that I only received one criminal justice faculty interview when I had my MBA and 18+ grad credits in criminal justice. Once I completed my M.S. in CJ, the interviews kept coming.
  5. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    It depends on the program and the schools, I'd say.

    How many credits is the MALS? How many of those credits are focused in History?

    If you had an MALS that was structured like the (woefully badly named) MA in Professional Development at Amberton where only 6 credits (Ethics and Research Methods) are required and you can fill in the gaps with anything else, so it could potentially be a 30 credit degree in history* then I'd say go for it, especially if it comes from a good school. An MALS in History is going to carry more weight than an MA in History from American Public University.

    All else equal, yeah, the MA in History is probably the better choice. But all else is never equal.

    *You can't do this at Amberton because they have a 24 credit residency requirement and don't offer coursework in history, but you get the idea.
  6. Mike Sherwood

    Mike Sherwood New Member

    I'm looking at an MALS at SUNY Old Westbury which breaks down as:
    3 credit core seminar
    24 credits in the area of concentration (History)
    6 credits capstone/thesis

    For some background, I've taught history in high schools for almost 30 years. I'm hoping to become an adjunct lecturer at a community college when I retire. I have an MALS from Stony Brook University and and Advanced Certificate in School Administration. Unfortunately, my history credits are all undergraduate. SUNY Old Westbury works best for me in terms of location and cost.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    If they know you and want you it won’t matter, provided the credential meets the minimum requirements. If they don’t, whether or not this distinction makes a difference will be in the eye of the beholder. It is difficult to predict. But....

    The MA will be considered a scholarly degree. The MALS may not. That could be a problem.

    Outside of the tertiary education world it would not likely ever matter.
  8. jonlevy

    jonlevy Member

    With 30 years HS experience and a MALS , it would be a crying shame if they did not consider you. I suggest lobbying the administration in advance of applying even if the adjunct pool is handled elsewhere.
    Vonnegut and Mike Sherwood like this.
  9. Mike Sherwood

    Mike Sherwood New Member

    I'm going to give it a shot! Thanks!
    Vonnegut likes this.
  10. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    Go for it! Reach out to some of the Department Chairs and inquire about their needs. That will be the single most important factor. In some areas if they have a real need, they likely can make it acceptable. Having your experience is a great asset! Not everyone who’s qualified can manage a classroom, implemts active learning, understands student learning objectives, etc. If they have a deep adjunct pool that currently covers everything well, they’ll be less inclined to generate the paperwork to make it acceptable. A Masters with eighteen graduate credits in the subject matter is really the minimum most regional accreditors require. In areas with deep adjunct pools, the schools tend to raise that even farther.

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