Ashland University Establishes New Master of Arts Program with Specialization in Teaching American History and Government

Ashland University’s fully online Master of Arts with a Specialization in Teaching American History and Government (MASTAHG) offers teachers an integrated program that brings together the resources of Ohio’s leading College of Education and the nation’s premier liberal arts program for social studies teachers.

Available as a fully online, hybrid online/on-campus or fully on-campus program, MASTAHG combines high-quality instruction from leading scholars with a flexible format. MASTAHG is a partnership between Ashland University and the Ashbrook Center, an independent academic center at the university.

The Ashbrook Center, founded in 1983, offers a range of educational programs and resources for teachers and students of American history and government, including lectures, webinars, and the website

“Ashland's MASTAHG program is designed to prepare secondary school teachers for the challenge of teaching accelerated courses in American history and U.S. government,” said Chris Pascarella, director of the Master of Arts in American History and Government. “The program combines the study of the people, ideas and events that make up the American experience, with the latest theories in curriculum design and delivery. This dual approach provides teachers with the expertise they need to effectively deliver college-level instruction at the high school level.”

Courses are offered both in a traditional classroom setting at the Ashland main campus or at Ashland's regional centers, as well as online. With a combination of online and on-campus study, the program may be completed in about two years.

“With full-time study, the MASTAHG degree may be completed in as few as 22 months, but the 22-month plan may be too aggressive for the typical student who must balance their studies with family and employment,” Pascarella said. “A more typical completion time is between two and three years, and many students take advantage of the fact that Ashland’s MA program offers the flexibility to spread out your studies over a longer period -- up to 10 years from the start of your first course in the program.”

Pascarella said Ashland’s new program takes online learning to the next level.

“At a traditional brick-and-mortar masters of history or political science program, you will study under a small handful of faculty with a narrow range of research interests,” Pascarella said. “At Ashland, our standards and expectations for our faculty are high and the MA’s unique schedule and course delivery options make it possible for you to learn from leading scholars from universities around the nation in a dynamic, live online classroom.”

Pascarella explained that unlike typical online programs, in which an administrator develops the course curriculum and the instructor merely follows the pre-developed script, AU’s masters faculty are free to use their research and teaching expertise to develop dynamic lessons.

“Class meetings are discussions with an exchange of ideas. Forget the old ‘sage on the stage’ model of dry, one-way lectures. The professors Ashbrook recruits to teach in the program are distinguished lecturers with significant scholarly publications to their credit,” he said. “In no other program will you learn from the best faculty from institutions like Pepperdine University, Boston College, the University of Dallas, Skidmore College, the United States Military Academy, Michigan State University, and more.”

Each history and government course in the program is offered in two formats:

  • As residential weeklong summer courses during the months of June and July at the Ashland, Ohio campus.
  • As live online webinar courses offered on various schedules throughout the academic year.

Each course in the education core is offered in the following formats:

  • As traditional on-campus courses offered at the main campus and at Ashland's regional centers located around Ohio.
  • As hybrid courses, which meet partly at the main campus or one of the regional centers and partly online.
  • As fully-online courses with no on-campus attendance requirement.

The degree requires a total of 36 semester credit hours. Additionally, all students must pass a written comprehensive examination to demonstrate mastery of the key concepts mastered in the student's history and government coursework. 

The program’s Education Core is based on four standards: Curriculum Foundations, Historical Foundations, Inquiry and Diversity. MASTAHG candidates are free to choose a course in each category which best meets their professional needs. Information about course offerings, including semester rotations, course offering times, locations, and delivery methods may be found at the

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###

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Ashland University Establishes New Master of Arts Program  with Specialization in Teaching American History and Government