The Holt English program has closed, along with the Holt Master of Education.
The Holt English program closed due to multiple factors, among them being competition with programs at other schools, a shift in enrollment, and a reduction in department staff.
“We made a really difficult and complex decision to shutter that program in order to focus on the CLA undergraduate population that’s here,” said English Department Chair Jana Mathews.
The department would, however, be open to bringing the program back. This would depend on the College of Liberal Arts (CLA).
“Once we’ve strengthened [the population of the CLA], we might be able to find creative ways to re-expand [the Holt program] out again,” said Mathews.
Similarly, the Holt Master of Education closed recently due to declining student enrollment. The Master of Education was added to the program within the past few years, yet it was short-lived.
The program closed due to a decrease in the value of master’s degrees in education throughout the state. Master’s degrees in education are not considered especially vital, both in Florida and across the country. As a result, students are currently discouraged from pursuing them.
“In every district, I know of in Florida and perhaps around the country, [teachers] were paid more money for every degree level they reached,” said Education Department Chair James McLaughlin.
“Some districts don’t have that anymore,” he added.
In addition, many teachers do not see the need to get a teaching degree in addition to a degree in their subject.
“There is a mistaken idea, in my opinion, that you don’t need to know much of anything except your content in order to teach well,” said McLaughlin.
Due to these difficulties, along with faculty and student shortages, the department does not plan to bring back the program.
Though both programs are closed, there are similar programs still available in both Holt and CLA.