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Maryville University of Saint Louis

Parker said that "There are other avenues where you can work", other meaning besides paralegal avenues. Parker continued: "We want to emphasize critical thinking skills by offering different courses". Those students that seek a paralegal career are still able to join the program, Parker noted, and the only change that students already part of the program will notice is that there is more variety in the courses being offered. From 2008, students graduating in paralegal studies will be awarded degrees known as a Bachelor's degree in legal studies, with certification in paralegal studies.

Potential employers that are confused as to whether or not graduates of the paralegal studies course will be properly prepared will feel easier by the certification, said Parker. Named as program director earlier in 2008, she has thought of changing the program for some time, but finally made her mind up after a paralegal educator's conference that she attended last month. She said: "I was thinking along those lines - I was just trying to get the ball rolling".

She had taken note of the fact that there has been a trend for universities to drift away from courses that are devoted to paralegal studies, and that Maryville's change of program was instigated by responses to a survey of former and current students that she had conducted over the summer. The results indicated they would welcome an expansion of the program to enable a wider choice of electives to be included.

Once the revised program has run for its first year, Parker would like to take students on a trip to Washington DC and New York City during the 2008 spring break. This would enable students to visit Ellis Island and the United Nations, and also to see and hear the Supreme Court at work. "It would be a semester-long class team, taught by myself and someone from humanities", she commented. She suggested that students would be provided with more of a global experience.

>strong>The American Bar Association approved the paralegal studies course of Maryville University in 2004, so that no re-approval will be required until 2011.

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