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The IUP MA in Applied Archaeology What We Planned, What We’ve Learned

The IUP MA in Applied Archaeology What We Planned, What We’ve Learned

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Published by Nicolas Laracuente
A paper to be presented at the 2012 Society for American Archaeology Conference #SAA2012. Comments that are made on this document will be shared with the authors and will be contributed for discussion during the electronic symposium Lessons from the Trenches: The Pedagogy of Archaeology and Heritage that takes place in the Chickasaw Room at 10am Saturday (4/21/2012) morning.
A paper to be presented at the 2012 Society for American Archaeology Conference #SAA2012. Comments that are made on this document will be shared with the authors and will be contributed for discussion during the electronic symposium Lessons from the Trenches: The Pedagogy of Archaeology and Heritage that takes place in the Chickasaw Room at 10am Saturday (4/21/2012) morning.

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Published by: Nicolas Laracuente on Apr 16, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Society for American Archaeology 2012 77
th
Annual Meeting, Memphis, TNSession: Lessons from the Trenches: The Pedagogy of Archaeology and Heritage
The IUP MA in Applied Archaeology: What 
We Planned, What We’ve Learned
 Beverly A. Chiarulli, Phillip D. Neusius, Ben Ford, Sarah W. Neusius
 Introduction
In fall 2005, the IUP Anthropology Department began to develop a MA program in AppliedArchaeology. Our goal was to develop a degree designed to meet industry and government needsfor professional archaeologists. Our expectation was that most of the graduates would be employedin the fields of cultural and heritage management. The program was designed to balance principles
developed through SAA initiatives like “Teaching Archaeology in the 21
st 
 
Century” and the“M.A.T.R.I.X.” project with institutional requirements and resources. The first group of graduate
students started the program in fall 2009. This paper discusses our experience and lessons learned.It begins in Section 1 with a detailed discussion of the program and then in Section 2 describes our
goals in developing a program to meet the objectives of “Teaching Archaeology in the 21
st 
Century.
 Finally, Section 3 describes some of the differences between our expectations and the reality of theprogram. Our department is in the midst of a 5-year review and much of this paper is drawn fromthat report (Poole 2012).Students in the First MA Cohort during Graduation Spring 2011
 
Section 1: Summary of the IUP MA in Applied Archaeology Program
The Master of Arts in Applied Archaeology program was initiated in 2009 and has thus far enrolled47 students. The program is designed to meet industry and government needs for professionalarchaeologists in response to recent studies by the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) that found that there is a continuing and increasing need for archaeologists with applied M.A. degrees.
Most of the program’s graduates are employed in the fields of cultural resource management 
(CRM), historic preservation, and heritage tourism. Graduates of the program work for engineeringand environmental firms, as well as private archaeological companies and state and federalagencies.The goal of the in Applied Archaeology program is to produce graduates who
 
are trained in the subjects required for professional archaeologists, including preservationlaw, ethics, business, and archaeology, and have the writing skills to prepare technicalreports as well as publications for the general public,
 
meet the U.S
. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards (36CFR61) for professional
archaeologists upon graduation (an option for individuals already employed in the field of CRM) or meet all the requirements except for a full year of experience as a project supervisor (an option for students who enter the program immediately after graduationwith a B.A. degree), and
 
have specialized training in technical skills such as faunal analysis, artifact analysis, andgeophysical surveys.In other words, our objective is to produce graduates who have the discipline-specific knowledge,technical training, and experience to be employed as professional archaeologists in a variety of settings including private environmental consulting and engineering firms, national and stateagencies, museums, and the historic preservation and heritage tourism industries.The principal motivation for developing the M.A. in Applied Archaeology was to meet a growingdemand for more and better trained professional archaeologists for employment by business and
government. According to the report, “Teaching Archaeology in the T
wenty-
First Century”,
published by the SAA, there is a need for specialized degree training to prepare archaeologicalprofessionals for careers in CRM or Applied Archaeology. One of the action items proposed in the
SAA report is that the SAA “encourage th
e development of innovative, multidisciplinary M.A.programs at geographically separated institutions aimed specifically at training people for
nonacademic archaeological careers.”
When we started developing the program we found that onlyfive universities in Pennsylvania have any graduate programs in Anthropology, and those that doprimarily have M.A. and Ph.D. programs oriented toward the preparation of students for academic
 
careers. The IUP M.A. in Applied Archaeology is unique in the state and one of less than ten CRM-specific MA programs in the nation.The curriculum for the IUP M.A. in Applied Archaeology is based on the requirement by firms andagencies that students have competency in North American archaeology combined with therequirements of the model proposed by a working group on curriculum reform of the SAA. Theapproach we used was based on the incorporation of seven principles into all levels of archaeological education and the identification of core competencies for M.A. level training forprofessional archaeologists. The seven principles are stewardship, diverse pasts, social relevance,ethics and values, improvement of written and oral communication, competence in fundamentalarchaeological skills, and real world problem solving. The M.A. in Applied Archeology preparesstudents to meet the needs of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania while also meeting the state and
federal professional requirements so that they may work nationwide as applied or “professional”
archaeologists. The program includes 36 hours of graduate coursework. All students take acommon core of 15 credits, 15 credits of electives, and six credits of thesis and/or internship.We also created an Applied Archaeology program advisory board to ensure that the M.A. studentscontinue to meet industry needs and requirements. The board currently consists of five membersdrawn from private consulting firms, as well as state and federal agencies. Board members areinvited to campus once a year to meet with faculty and students. The board members speak withthe students about professional preparation and with the faculty about training successes andfailures. Board members have also been able to offer internships and employment to students.
Beverly Chiarulli, Sarah Neusius, Diane Landers (Member of the MA Advisory Board) and Lisa Dugas, MAStudent December 2011

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Terry Brock added this note
I only skimmed this, but I wonder if a program for the 21st century should also include a discussion of digital data. With emerging tech such as Digital Antiquity, which are trying to catalogue and make more accessible gray literature, training 21st century archaeologists in the how and why of digital data should be a component of this type of program.

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