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IWU to offer Theatre Education major

BY Scott Fleener - ctreport@indy.rr.com

Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) will be adding Theatre Education to its available majors starting in the Fall 2019 semester, according to a press release from the university.

IWU will be one of eight universities in the state that offer the program.

“We are passionate about theater and teaching so we are excited to offer a degree that combines them,” said Dr. Katie Wampler, associate professor of theater, in the press release.

Greg Fiebig, division chair for the Department of Communication and Theatre at IWU, said the university has been working on making the major official for about 12 years but had to table it for a time. He said the university received official written approval in April from the Indiana State Board of Education. 

Fiebig said that while the university was awaiting approval they were told that two other Indiana state universities were shutting down their theater education programs.

“We are kind of filling that hole,” Fiebig said.

Fiebig described the major as similar to double majoring in theater and secondary education. 

He said that students that choose the major will only be taking one additional methods course which would be taught by an adjunct professor.

Fiebig said there have always been students at the university interested in pursuing a Theatre Education major but he did not anticipate a large number to sign up for the fall semester.

“It's not going to be one of those majors that students come in droves,” Fiebig said. “There will probably be about three per year.”

Fiebig said one student had already signed up for the new major and about three others were interested in it. The major prepares students for careers teaching in elementary, middle and high school theater and dramatic arts programs. 

“I think this particular program will allow for some high quality professionals for middle and high schools,” Fiebig said.

The Theatre Education major will be housed within both the School of Teacher Education and the School of Arts and Humanities.