Institute On Family and Neighborhood Life

Blended Distance Education Program

Program Description

  • The curriculum is the same for the blended distance education track as it is for the on-campus doctoral program.  The PhD program consists of 66 credit hours (60 with a master's degree), of which at least 18 credits must be for dissertation research.

  • We believe that the program ordinarily can be completed in 3 years by students who enter with a relevant master's degree (especially if it included a master's thesis or another major research project) and in 4 years by students without prior graduate education.  However, this assessment is based on our analysis of the tasks to be performed and our experience with students who are involved in 50%- to 75%-time assistantships while they study full-time.   Obviously, our conclusions would be affected by individual students' level of preparation, job demands, and personal responsibilities.

  • Students in the blended distance education program will complete most of their degree program outside the formal classroom.

  • The program is "blended" in both site and modality of instruction.  Modality may vary within individual courses as well as the curriculum as a whole.  Hence, although most study by on-line and overseas students will occur in their home communities, they usually will participate in some events in Greenville. Dates and specific details will be announced prior to the beginning of each academic year.  Instruction may be asynchronous (e.g., student access to archived videos and written materials) or synchronous (e.g., "live" individual and group conversations on Skype or Adobe Connect).

  • The language of instruction is English.

  • The instructor of record for each class in the program will be either a "regular" member of the CU-IFNL faculty or an analogously qualified adjunct or visiting professor.  Each student's advisory committee must be chaired by a full-time Clemson faculty member, although adjunct faculty are welcome to serve as committee members.

  • In sites where there is a sufficiently large number of students, we will assist in organizing optional study groups to facilitate and supplement conventional course instruction and to provide a forum in which local, national, or regional research projects and policy analyses may be planned and implemented.  The study groups will typically be non-credit, peer-led (sometimes with assignment of a senior doctoral student from the on-campus [residential] program as a coordinator), and faculty-advised, sometimes on site.  Some of these discussions may be partially conducted in the indigenous language when the group composition permits (when all of the participants are fluent in that language) and if such primary-language discussion may facilitate comprehension and planning.

  • Students enrolled in the blended distance education track or an overseas program will not ordinarily be involved in graduate assistantships, both because such assistantships usually require work related to particular research projects and because students are generally financially better off to continue in "regular" employment.  In some circumstances (e.g., research grants based abroad), however, students abroad may be employed as graduate assistants.  In such cases, the ordinary rules and fees applicable to graduate assistants will prevail.  See the pertinent page in the CU Graduate School Web site.

For more information, contact:

Graduate Studies Coordinator
Department of Youth, Family and Community Studies
Clemson University
2038 Barre Hall 
Clemson, SC  29634
864-656-6281 (fax)

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