Celtic Studies

I know it has been some time since my last post, and I do apologize for the delay.  I must also apologize for my slight bias as I post this recommendation, because my Irish heritage may be getting the best of me.  However, this is a unique certificate program and one I cannot overlook.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the History Department houses a Certificate in Celtic Studies.  The catalog states, “Celtic studies is a multidisciplinary field encompassing the history and culture of those peoples who presently inhabit the northwestern  perimeter of Europe, including Ireland (both north and south), Scotland, Wales, Brittany, and the Isle of Man, as well as their diaspora communities.”  Students pursuing a baccalaureate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison may also pursue this certificate which requires at least 18 credit hours.

During the 2012-2013, course offerings included:

  • Land and Landscape in Irish Film
  • Intensive Modern Irish – Level I
  • Gender and Sexuality in Modern Irish Theatre
  • Intensive Modern Irish – Level II 
  • Celtic-Scandinavian Cultural Relations
  • Scottish and Irish Migrations

Students are permitted to take a wide variety of courses and are offered several study abroad opportunities.  For example, students can participate in the Summer School Program at Trinity College, Dublin or they may spend a semester or year at the National University Ireland-Galway.

To download a program brochure, click here: http://celticstudies.wisc.edu/brochure.pdf 


Intelligence Studies

For my first entry, I’ve selected a program because it is a one-of-a-kind program. Furthermore, it’s one of the few programs I’ve encountered that will be relevant well into the future.

Mercyhurst University’s Department of Intelligence Studies is the brainchild of Robert J. Heibel, the Executive Director of the Mercyhurst University’s Institute of Intelligence Studies (MCIIS).  It was Mr. Heibel’s vision and perseverance that allowed Mercyhurst’s unique program to become a leader in preparing undergraduate and graduate students for employment as intelligence analysts.

When I worked in Mercyhurst’s Undergraduate Admissions Office, we’d often tell students and parents this was not the program for students who were afraid to learn.  It’s not a program for students interested in bursting through a door, with guns ready to fire, prepared to kill any “bad” person in the room.  Instead, the undergraduate and graduate programs maintain a curriculum designed to prepare students who enjoy learning and thinking critically about the world around them.

According to the Intelligence Studies website, a successful candidate will posses:

  • Reading competency in a foreign language.
  • Analytical skills that are applicable to the national security, law enforcement, and business communities.
  • A broad understanding of world and American history and politics.
  • The ability to produce written and oral reports and assessments based on research, correlation, and analysis.
  • A familiarity with computer operations, database management, and analytical software.
  • General understanding of statistics, finance, and general techniques.

The Intelligence Studies curriculum is very appealing to many students, and the anticipated curriculum is unique.