DURHAM, N.H. – Every four years presidential candidates and the national media descend on the Granite State in advance of its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. Students at the University of New Hampshire have a front row seat to the phenomenon and now people around the world can too as the university prepares to launch a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in the fall of 2015, leading up to the primaries in early 2016.
Political science professors Dante Scala and Andrew Smith will teach the class that will look at the primary as it unfolds, and explore the unique qualities of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation status and the process of campaigning. It will combine lectures, discussions, and visits from practitioners of the political trade.
The New Hampshire Presidential Primary has been the first in the nation since 1920, but it wasn’t until 1952 that citizens had the right to vote directly for a presidential candidate, not just delegates.
During the presidential election cycle, Scala and Smith are often called on by national news organizations for their expertise.
“Every four years, New Hampshire becomes the center of the political universe,” said Scala. “What we plan to do in this course is to 'lift the hood' and give people around the country (and the world) an opportunity to see how the primary really works.”
Smith added that “UNH is uniquely positioned to offer this MOOC given our location and expertise.”
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,300 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.