“One more course, and I’ll be finished,” says Elly Loman, a James Madison Senior Fellow who teaches high school in southern Idaho.
Through the Madison Foundation, Elly is working toward a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies at WNMU. “My bachelor’s is in history. I also have an endorsement to teach English language arts, but they’re not the classes I want to teach. As a teacher, I find social science exciting no matter how many times I teach it,” she says. “I thought if I could get a master’s in history or political science, I’d make myself more employable in social sciences.”
The Madison Foundation requires fellows be enrolled in a program that emphasizes constitutional studies, which the versatile Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree allows. “It’s nice to take courses that are interesting instead of ones that are just part of a pre-packaged deal,” Elly says. “The course I just finished up is a course on the drug wars, which I found totally fascinating.”
Elly, who teaches full time, spends her evenings and weekends doing graduate school work. “I just set aside part of everyday for it,” she says. “WNMU offers a good alternative to other programs that require on-site attendance which isn’t the easiest option for people who have family and career obligations.”
As a Madison fellow, Elly is required to teach high school constitutional history classes for at least as many years as she spent working toward her master’s. “I hope to teach more fully in social studies and maybe even get a college appointment,” she says.