Graduate Council Advisory Committee
Hill University Center 325
Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Members present: Puri Bangalore, Gregg Janowski, Melissa Galvin, Christy Manning for Douglas Ayers, Jim Collawn, Kyle Grimes, Lynn Kirkland, Bryan Noe, Susan Rich, Jeff Engler, Cecelia Graham, Erica Pryor, Philip Way

Staff: Susan Banks, Cynthia Ballinger, Thomas Harris

Guests: Retta Evans, Donna Slovensky, Diane Clark, Christy Manning and Molly Wasko

Agenda Items:

  1. Proposal to merge the Masters in Education in Community Health with the Certificate in Clinical Research Management from Education and Nursing.   Dr. Retta Evans responded to questions and comments. The MAEd in Community Health program in the Education School and the Clinical Research Management (CRM) certificate in the school of nursing are already in existence at UAB. Many students in the CRM program were interested in adding a Community Health Masters degree to their CRM certification. Accordingly, a proposal was developed to combine the two existing programs. At the completion of the program the student will have earned a masters degree in community health education as well as the clinical research management certificate. There are many job opportunities at UAB and in the Birmingham metro area for clinical research managers.  Adding a Masters degree in Community Health to the CRM certificate will enhance the desirability of the CRM certificate holders as candidates for CRM positions.  In addition, most clinical research coordinator positions will soon require a master’s degree in addition to the CRM training.  After discussion, a motion to approve the proposed combination of the Masters in Education in Community Health with the Certificate in Clinical Research Management was made and seconded.  Dr. Slovensky commented that the school of Nursing had approached SHP looking for a partner but it was determined that the best fit for the partnership was with the MAEd program.  Dr. Pryor added that the certificate program will continue as a free standing program for individuals who are not interested in adding the Masters program.  The masters degree and the certificate will be awarded separately. The proposed thesis research hours will need to be increased from three to six credit hours to meet Graduate School requirements.  The motion to accept the proposal as amended was approved unanimously.

  2. Proposal from the School of Health Professions for a Certificate in Health Focused Patient/Client Management for Physical and Occupational Therapists. The proposal is to establish a graduate certificate that will award academic credit, but the certificate will not be connected to an existing degree program. The certificate program will be designed to enhance the ability of physical therapists (PT) and occupational therapists (OT) to screen for modifiable behaviors that impact their clients’ and patients’ health. The focus of the certificate training is on the application of theories and skills needed for PT and OT practitioners to help their patients and clients to consider behavior changes that would allow them to manage their chronic health conditions better.  The certificate training will stress ways in which PT and OT practitioners can become more actively involved in education, reinforcing communication from other health care professionals, and being aware of additional resources that can help patients and clients. The proposal for this certificate program is timely because  PT and OT professional organizations world wide have issued an urgent call to  address the health needs of patients and clients more broadly.  In the US, the national professional associations have placed a focus on comprehensive health care at the forefront. The OT and PT programs in SHP have in the past been leaders in developing comprehensive health care approaches as part of professional practice. The proposed certificate program will further establish UAB as a leader in this area.  Alabama has risen to number one in the country for the incidence of diabetes and number two in cardiovascular diseases.  PT and OT practitioners who have gone through the certificate program will help patients in Alabama gain better access to services that don’t require a physician’s referral.  The certificate program is designed to be distance learning based.  There is a national market for this certificate so SHP faculty are committed to delivering the content online.  The presenters were asked whether it is envisioned that students who have earned the certificate online might at a later date wish to come to UAB to get an advanced degree in a related area?  The response was that this is seen as a very real possibility; as students are introduced to various areas of health behavior, they may want to follow up with more course work, or even to earn an advanced degree.  A motion to approve the certificate proposal was made and seconded. There was no further discussion.  The proposal was approved unanimously.

  3. Business School Proposal for a Graduate Certificate in Social Media:  The School of Business wishes to enhance its visibility in the Birmingham area with regard to provision of high tech training for individuals who are already business professionals. As a part of that effort, the school is proposing to develop a certificate in social media.  If approved, UAB would be the only institution in the state of Alabama offering courses in the area of social media.  Working professionals who have earned the certificate would be better prepared to develop their social media skills and to apply them in their work environment. The Business School currently offers four courses in social media.  Two other social media courses are offered on campus by Sociology and Communication Studies. The Business School will offer four courses at the graduate level to be included in the certificate requirements. The certificate course work will be taken by non degree seeking students who have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.  The anticipation is that some of the certificate earning students will continue on to pursue a graduate degree in the School of Business. All of the necessary courses are currently offered so no additional resources are needed. A motion to approve was made and seconded.  A question regarding the potential job market for certificate holders was raised.  Response: Many organizations in any industry with customers will have a social media web interface for their customers.  With web analytics approaches, businesses are attempting to determine patterns of consumer behavior to segment their marketing to customers more effectively.  A question regarding whether the desired skills will rapidly become outdated given how quickly social media is changing was raised.  Response: The program will teach trainees how to process and analyze data as well as how the forms of data are anticipated to change over time.  As with any course of study, there are advances in the field; students will have to learn about them and be prepared to adapt.  There was no further discussion.  ADCOM members voted to approve the proposal for this new certificate.

  4. Review of the Draft Tutorial / Handbook for New Program Directors. The last action item was the continuation of a project the committee had begun working on during the previous meeting: to develop predominantly for new program directors, a “New Program Director Handbook.”  It is intended that the Handbook will also be useful for more experienced program directors. After the last meeting ADCOM members provided  suggestions for a number of useful additions to the draft that Dr. Noe had circulated.  After a revised document had been distributed to those in attendance, Dr. Noe provided a summary of the additions to the original draft.  He then asked the committee members to review the document one more time and to submit to him any other suggestions for additions that they might have no later than Friday, May 18.  He will then finalize the document and prepare it for distribution to all program directors.

Information Items:

  1. Responsible Conduct of Research Education at UAB / GRD 717 – Dr. Engler provided a brief overview of the history and background for the Principles of Scholarly Integrity course, and described how the course was being reconstituted by incorporating a Team Based Learning approach.  The course will be taught by individuals who either have in the past served, or who are currently serving as primary advisors to predoctoral and/or postdoctoral trainees in the STEM disciplines.  This will assure compliance with new Federal guidelines for communicating the tenets of Responsible Conduct of Research to predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees.

The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.