Frequently Asked Questions

Why an education anchored in the classics and modern classics?

Classic authors and their books speak to readers on multiple levels, raising questions and unresolved problems that through careful examination reveal a variety of independent yet complementary meanings. Whether epic poems or political treatises, and whether the subject matter is scientific, historical, or philosophical, the ideas investigated in each work are linked together across the centuries, as authors acknowledge, support, elaborate upon, respond to, and criticize each other’s ideas. In this way, authors and books of rare influence, power, and originality enter an ongoing cultural conversation that communicates and advances humanistic values and beliefs. This intellectual and creative activity—a chorus of voices and words calling to each other across time—is sometimes referred to as the “Great Conversation,” an expression used to describe a continuum of thinkers and ideas that began in ancient civilizations.

Why primary source documents?

In designing programs of study, students at Harrison Middleton University use primary sources drawn from leading academic publishers, including Britannica (Great Books of the Western World), Oxford University Press, Penguin Classics, and W.W. Norton & Company. Rather than reading the distillation of a historian or literary critic, students engage directly with authors and books that have made a profound impact on the course of Western civilization. It is important for students to read primary texts because only then can they understand and evaluate the ideas, issues, and arguments as originally presented by the authors. The goal is to gain knowledge of the past and reach for the best wisdom of all the ages, not only for intellectual enlightenment but for a deeper understanding of contemporary problems and a starting point for possible solutions.

Why inquiry-based discussion?

Inquiry-based discussion or Socratic method is at the heart of Harrison Middleton University's teaching methodology. Participants in an inquiry-based discussion search for meaning, for answers to fundamental questions of human existence raised by primary texts. This search is inherently active; it is in essence a conversation between the author, the student, and the tutor. In the course of conversation, students will interpret the primary text, employ critical reading skills, and call upon previous knowledge and experiences. Throughout their studies, students engage in a series of one-to-one discussions (via telephone or Skype) with tutors over the coursework they designed.

What are the technology requirements to enroll at Harrison Middleton University? 

In order to fulfill the requirements of the Harrison Middleton University course curriculum all students are expected to have, or have access to: 1) a personal computer; 2) an e-mail account that will accept all e-mails, including attachments, from the domain name hmu.edu; 3) a word processor program such as Microsoft Word; 4) a telephone and the ability to call a toll-free telephone number in the United States (may also use a voice-over-IP service like Skype); 5) a Skype account; and 6) an appropriately working web camera.

What does accreditation mean?

Harrison Middleton University is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) (formerly the Distance Education and Training Council – DETC). The DEAC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Additional information may be found on the Distance Education Accrediting Commission website.

Distance education accreditation is certification by a recognized body that a distance education institution has voluntarily undergone a comprehensive study and peer examination that has demonstrated that the institution does in fact meet the established standards. Basically, accreditation is a process that gives public recognition to institutions that meet certain standards. It is a promise that an institution will provide the quality of education it claims to offer. Accreditation assures the student that the institution operates on a sound financial basis, has an approved program of study, qualified instructors, adequate facilities and equipment, effective recruitment and admission policies, and advertises its courses truthfully.

"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for."
~ Socrates