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MSU’s German Program Awarded Highest Distinction

German Studies Program at MSU designated a “German Center of Excellence” by the American Association of Teachers of German

January 10, 2013, East Lansing, MI – Michigan State University’s German Program has been designated a “German Center of Excellence” by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) for 2013.

How distinguished is this? After carefully reviewing applications from numerous college and university German programs, the AATG committee found Michigan State University’s German programming excellent in every category. MSU’s German Studies Program is one of only two recipients of this high distinction.

Keith Cothrun, Executive Director of AATG, noted the following as to why MSU was selected. “The jury was impressed in particular that the MSU German Program is so very well established. There is clear evidence that the program has strong support from the administration, professional colleagues, alumni, and students, and has strong ties to the wider campus and community. Most impressive is the program’s curriculum. There is a clear, articulated sequence of instructional programming that is standards-based and reflects current methodologies.”

The German Studies Program at MSU (located within the College of Arts and Letters) is uniquely situated to provide a humanist dimension for international and global studies. The program is intent on developing methods that produce the most effective learning environments for its students, and is committed to doing so as a continuing process. In addition, it offers a variety of curricular and co-curricular experiences on campus and abroad that are designed to enhance both the academic and pre-professional experience. This program has led the way among language programs at MSU, as well as other peer institutions in its close attention to curricular review and revision at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Furthermore, faculty members are deeply committed to fostering student research and are active in mentoring students in curriculum-based research projects, college-based research, and university research forums.

“On behalf of the faculty and staff at the College of Arts and Letters and, specifically, those within the German Studies Program, we are honored to be awarded this distinction,” said Karin Wurst, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “In particular, I am very proud of the long tradition of attention to curricular nimbleness, articulation, and standards-based assessment and the inclusion of internships and outreach activities on the undergraduate level."

Dean Wurst added, “What is most impressive about the graduate program is the willingness to continuously examine the market conditions for PhDs, and to make robust and productive changes accordingly. Much attention has been paid over the years to preparing PhDs for a variety of teaching situations with careful mentoring, job shadowing, and outreach tasks through our Community Language School. Most recently, the program has instituted a strong interdisciplinary link with Digital Humanities and with Educational Technology for all graduate students.”


Check out the media coverage from the State News and MSU Today!


For further information on the German Studies Program at Michigan State University, please contact Tom Lovik (Department Chair and Professor of German at MSU’s College of Arts and Letters) at