Graduate Council Advisory Committee
HUC Board Room
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Members present: Puri Bangalore, Gregg Janowski, Douglas Ayers, Jim Collawn, Bryan Noe, Susan Rich, Jeff Engler, Cecelia Graham, David Macrina, Erica Pryor, Rosalyn Weller

Staff: Susan Banks, Cynthia Ballinger, Thomas Harris

Guest: Larry Tyson

Agenda Items:

    1. Discussion of the proposal to reactivate the Marital, Couple and Family Counseling Concentration with UAB’s Masters in the Counseling Degree Program. The proposal was defended by Dr. Larry Tyson. There are several reasons for proposing to re-activate this concentration.  First, there is a growing need in the Birmingham area and the in state of Alabama for qualified Marital, Couple and Family therapists. Local therapists were polled regarding their capacity to meet the need in the Birmingham area.  All indicted that they had full case loads.  Appointments are backlogged because of the lack of qualified therapists.  Second, there is only one other university in the state of AL that has a marriage and family counseling program; it is at the University of Montevallo. The Montevallo program is fully subscribed as the program at UAB is projected to be. Third, the request is not for a new concentration. Rather it is to restart a concentration that was first established in the 1990’s. Receipt of numerous inquiries has prompted this proposal to consider bringing the program back. The courses which are currently offered in marriage and family counseling have between 12-18 students enrolled in them. If the concentration was offered again, many of those students would switch to the new marriage and family concentration. The degree would require completion of 60 credit hours of course work.  To complete the course work and required of clinical preparation (both in practicum and internship) would require three semesters of continuous enrollment.  Students who complete the curriculum will be board eligible for licensure.  Classes of 10-15 students would be admitted three times a year.  A new community clinic will be opening in January 2011 and will serve as a venue for student internships. All of the required courses are currently offered. The accrediting body is CACREP which accredits all doctoral counseling programs.  ADCOM recommended tracking student outcomes and successes and voted to approve program.
    2. Request from the Nursing School to eliminate the GRE requirement for students  already having a Masters degree who wish to apply to the PhD in Nursing program. The request was defended by Dr. Erica Pryor.  The PhD program faculty generated the request, the SON admissions committee approved it, and it was ultimately approved by the full SON faculty. The request is to eliminate the GRE as an application requirement only for applicants who have earned a master’s degree from a regionally accredited school or college. The GRE requirement will remain for students who have only a baccalaureate degree.  Rationale: GRE scores are not a reliable indicator for success in the Nursing PhD program.  Many students applying to the program have been practicing nurses for a number of years and view the GRE as a daunting test. Some prospective students who might otherwise apply elect not to apply because of the GRE requirement.  Competitor schools have also eliminated the GRE requirement. ADCOM voted to approve the elimination of the GRE requirement for students entering with a master’s degree.
    3. Discussion and action on the policy of allowing graduate students to withdraw from course work at the end of a semester without faculty approval.  Background on this action item was reviewed by Dr. Noe.  Feedback had been requested from program faculty members in all schools.  Results from these informal surveys indicated that many faculty were unaware that graduate students could withdraw from course work without getting approval from any faculty member or their program director.  After discussion, ADCOM members voted unanimously to make the final withdrawal date for graduate students consistent with that stipulated for undergraduates (currently, at the 75% point of the semester - i.e. week 11).  After consultation with the Registrar, this policy will be implemented at the beginning of the 2011-12 academic year.  All graduate student withdrawals which occur will be flagged in the Banner system, reported to the Graduate School office, and GS office staff will inform the student’s program director.  This will assure that program administrators will have the opportunity to explore with the student who withdrew the reasons that he/she chose to do so. 

Information  Items:

Report on the NRC of the Assessment of Doctoral Programs; data, survey and questionnaire information were collected in fall 2006.  NRC assessment methodology reviewed and useful analytical tools were presented.

(ADCOM web site is

The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.