News-Herald Staff Writer


ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Local residents seeking a master’s degree now have a chance to attain that dream closer to home.

Ohio University is introducing a unique opportunity for students at the campus in St. Clairsville. Beginning this summer, students can meet face-to-face at Ohio University Eastern for three Saturdays per academic quarter and complete additional course activities online. Organizers said a central aspect of the program is its student internship component, which runs throughout the entirety of the program. In both course work and field experience, the program takes a balanced approach to considering administrative practice and relevant theoretical foundations.

Dr. George Ash, superintendent of Harrison Hills City Schools, was tapped as OUE RP3 cohort coordinator for the program. He explained that programs would be offered in educational administration with Ohio Principal Licensure, principal preparation with state licensure and an educational administration superintendent license program.

“The program is different from others in educational administration in that you start the internship on Day One within your school district to try to learn through field experience,” said Dr. Ash. “You can get the education administration with Ohio Principal Licensure in two years. You can get the principal licensure if you have a master’s degree and you can get a superintendent’s license.”

Dr. Ash said the program began through the Coalition of Rural Appalachian Schools, or CORAS, which in the past fought against improper funding. The group has since worked to provide quality programs in the Appalachian Region.

“I’ve been a member of CORAS and people said [this program] could never happen. I told them that when I went for my doctorate, I had to either drive two hours or go online. I wanted to see that people like me had opportunities I didn’t have. I pushed to get it here and got involved. We should have equal access to quality education for a doctorate. Officials at Ohio University said it was their duty to serve Appalachia and they worked to get it started. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Professors from the main campus in Athens will instruct the courses and students have already begun to enroll. To join, apply online at and click on the Eastern Branch icon.

“We’re starting this summer and taking 20-30 people,” he added.

Meanwhile, the university is introducing its doctoral program in education this fall. About 20 people will be selected to participate and it is fairly competitive.

“It’s a program that operates constantly on the main campus and in the past we’ve been able to offer it at a regional site. We are looking to offer it at the Eastern campus,” said Dr. Jerry Johnson. “We typically run a cohort of 20 students. We’re talking with folks in the area—school leaders, district leaders and teachers—to see if it’s possible to take the program up there. It’s the first time it’s being offered [at OUE].”

For more information on master’s programs, contact Dr. Ash at 740-346-9310 or online at Those interested in doctoral programs may contact Dr. Johnson at 740-597-3364.