Summer Teacher Courses

Master the topics you teach each day by learning from leading scholars

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Taking advantage of a teacher’s summer break, our Weeklong Summer courses are intensive one-week seminars offered for two semester credit hours. There are four one-week sessions each summer, and participants may enroll in one, two, three, or four sessions in any given summer.

Combined History and Government Curriculum

The curriculum combines history and government courses because history teachers often teach American government. More important than this practical consideration is the fact that the study of history and government belong together. By establishing our public memory, American history as a discipline establishes the identity of our body politic. In telling us whence we have come, it inevitably helps us decide whither we should go. Thus, it affects the political decisions Americans make and have made through our political institutions, while these decisions are themselves the stuff of which history is made.

Professor Todd Estes discusses the ratification of the Constitution.

Professor Todd Estes discusses the ratification of the Constitution.

The program’s emphasis on political history and government does not mean that it will ignore the kinds of history that have come to prominence over the past several decades. Indeed, to do so would make little sense. One cannot fully understand the achievement of someone like Lincoln or even the changing content of his language without understanding the social character and structure of mid-nineteenth-century Illinois and America. Our curriculum aims, therefore, to integrate what we have come to know of “the daily routines of ordinary people trying to make ends meet” into a comprehensive study of American history and government.

A Distinguished Faculty

One advantage of offering courses only in the summer is that full-time faculty from other universities – not junior faculty, but noted scholars from colleges and universities nationwide – teach in this graduate program. Most summer courses in the program are taught by two faculty, and both instructors are present during the entire course.  No other master’s program offers the range and depth of scholarship you will find at Ashland.

Focus on Original Historical Documents

The courses in this program emphasize a specific instructional strategy: the use of original documents. In every class, students read and study these documents, including diaries, state papers, speeches, and letters, as well as autobiographies and works of literature and philosophy. These are the materials from which we build historical understanding. Confronting them directly is the best way to improve our understanding.

About the Courses

At Ashland, faculty are open and approachable. Here, Professor William Allen discusses The Federalist with a student.

At Ashland, faculty are open and approachable. Here, Professor William Allen discusses The Federalist with a student.

Each course begins on a Sunday afternoon and concludes on Friday afternoon. All participants attend a Sunday evening lecture highlighting the latest research and ideas published by one of that week’s faculty. The syllabus and detailed list of readings will be made available well before the start of the course. Students will be required to complete reading assignments before each course begins. In some courses, students may also be required to complete writing assignments before the course begins or after it concludes. The week in residence is very intensive, and students should plan to devote the entire week to the coursework. Students are strongly encouraged to reside at Ashland University during the sessions.

For those who stay on campus, you will be housed in air-conditioned housing. Meals are catered by Ashland University’s award-winning student dining. On-campus students have full access to the Ashland University Library, with its 300,000 volume collection and extensive online resources; a computer lab is available 24 hours a day, and wireless Internet is available on most of the campus. Students also have full access to Ashland University’s new Recreation and Sport Sciences Center.


Tuition for each 2 semester credit hour course is just $1070. Courses may be audited for in-service hours (no graduate credit) for just $535 per course. Room and board, which includes a double-occupancy air conditioned room and all meals from Sunday evening through Friday afternoon, is available for $475 per week. Complimentary airport shuttle service between the Ashland University campus and the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is also available.

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