January 14, 2009: ADCOM Minutes
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Members Present: Melissa Galvin, Jim Collawn, Erica Pryor, Jeff Engler, Burton Patterson, Ramona Hart for Kent Keyser, Douglas Ayers, Bryan Noe, David Macrina, Stephen O’Connor, Rosalyn Weller, Susan Rich, Stephen Watts
Guests Present: Sharon Shaw, Penelope Moyers, Robert Hernandez, Leandra Celaya, Fouad Fouad, Jason Kirby, Mary Warren
Staff Present: Julie Bryant, Susan Noblitt Banks
1. Dr. Noe opened the meeting by introducing new ADCOM member, Douglas Ayers, who will replace Melody Lake and will represent the School of Business. Dr. Ayers is a faculty member within the Marketing Department.
2. Dr. Noe reported that Provost Capilouto had approved resource allocations for graduate student support in fiscal 2010 at the same level as the allocations for fiscal 2009. Dr. Noe explained that this is was very generous given the state of the budget and demonstrated that support of graduate education has a high priority at UAB.
3. A proposal for the Ph.D. program in Rehabilitation Science was discussed. Drs Shaw and Moyers explained that there exists a compelling need for a Ph.D. program in Rehabilitation Science. A needs-analysis was performed. The results indicated a severe shortage of faculty qualified to teach in this discipline. Dr. Shaw stated that the 203 Physical Therapy programs across the nation are collectively advertising the availability of 78 faculty positions. Both Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy programs have large, high quality applicant pools but cannot increase their class sizes due to the faculty shortage.
Dr. Noe asked whether the current faculty size would be sufficient to sustain a new program. The answer was yes as in addition to the Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy faculty members, numerous additional external faculty from Preventative Medicine, School of Education, School of Nursing, and Neuroscience would be contributing to the proposed program.
Dr. Shaw pointed out that the DScPT program in Physical Therapy will be phased out in the next three years so it will be possible to shift some departmental and faculty resources to the proposed PhD program in Rehabilitation Sciences. Additionally, the Post-Professional program in Occupational Therapy will also be phased out in the coming years, once again allowing a shift of resources to the prospective PhD program.
Dr. Watts asked what kind of students will the prospective program recruit/accept. Drs. Moyers and Shaw answered that students with degrees in Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Engineering and Nursing with specific interests in Rehabilitation Sciences will be acceptable assuming that the students who apply will have the required pre-requisite coursework.
4. ADCOM then considered a proposal for a new International Health Care Management track. Dr. Hernandez clarified that this proposal is for a new track, not a new degree. He pointed out that global health is a critical issue presently. The Healthcare Administration department at UAB has been working in Eastern Europe since 1999 and specifically within Ukraine for the past 4-5 years discussing their needs for health care administration and management. The UAB Healthcare Administration faculty has developed a partnership in the Ukraine for healthcare education. There is also a possible future interest in Zambia to educate the citizens how to improve their healthcare infrastructure.
Dr. Hernandez said that the new track would be modeled after the Executive MSHA program in that the course work would be a combination of distance-learning courses with 8 days per semester of lecture. The program would consist of 40 semester hours made up of nine core courses and four “track” courses.
Julie Bryant pointed out possible logistic issues which need additional consideration such as registration, assessment of fees, etc.
Dr. Hernandez indicated that SACS approval will be necessary due to the international component. Dr. Macrina asked whether US applicants will be accepted into the program. Dr. Hernandez responded that the program would be country-specific. Dr. Ayers asked whether the distance learning structure already existed and Dr. Hernandez confirmed that the structure was already in place and being used by the Executive MSHA program. Dr. Pryor asked about the language of instruction and Dr. Hernandez answered that the language would be English initially but then translated into the native language.
5. A proposal for a Sustainable Engineering Certificate, was presented by Dr. Fouad Fouad, Chair of the Civil Engineering department and Dr. Jason Kirby, a faculty member within the same department. Dr. Fouad explained that the Civil Engineering department implemented a certificate program in Egypt last summer. The certificate program consisted of 12 semester hours and the program was very successful with nineteen students receiving the certificate. The Egyptian students and faculty were excited about the first certificate program and approached Dr. Fouad and the other UAB faculty to request a second certificate in Sustainable Engineering.
Drs Fouad and Kirby explained that the students who wish to pursue the second certificate would need to be admitted to the university as degree-seeking students since they had already completed the twelve hours allowed to be taken as a non-degree student. The faculty anticipate that students in the program would continue to take courses and eventually earn the master’s degree. The remainder of the courses needed for the master’s degree would be offered in a distance-learning format.
6. Drs Fouad and Kirby then requested a GRE/TOEFL waiver for those students who will be enrolling as students in this certificate program with the caveat that if those students later decided to enroll in the Masters program on-campus, then they would be required to submit GRE scores. Dr. Kirby pointed out that the faculty would already know the students’ language ability since they would have completed the certificate first.
A question was raised regarding the admissions requirements for students who had already earned the second certificate. Dr. Kirby indicated that students enrolling in the Masters degree program after earning the certificate would have to meet standard admissions requirements for Masters degree seeking students. After successful completion of the second certificate program, the students will have accumulated 24 credit hours of course work which could later be applied toward the Masters degree requirements.
Dr. Noe suggested that the GRE could be eliminated as a requirement if justified. Dr. Fouad pointed commented on the inverse relationship between GRE scores and success in Graduate School.
Dr. Macrina inquired regarding the basic requirements for certificate programs at UAB. Dr. Fouad responded that the Type A certificate is 15 hours total but they waived one course so the first Civil Engineering certificate requirement was only 12 hours. To be initiated as a certificate program, the proposal must be approved by the University of Alabama System Board but does not required ACHE approval.
7. Dr. Mary Warren from the department of Occupational Therapy proposed that the credit hour requirement for the Low Vision Certificate be reduced from 17 hours to 15 hours. The request was made to enable the program to focus on core content and ensure that graduates are properly equipped with the information needed to be successful in the field. The LV faculty received feedback from their program graduates who felt there were gaps in the curriculum which did not adequately prepare them. The department has assessed the feedback and was faced with two options: either increase the credit hour requirement or eliminate the elective courses and focus more on core competencies. The department is proposing to eliminate the electives which will shorten the time required to complete the certificate program and help to eliminate some of the financial burden for the students. Reducing the number of credit hours would allow the department to increase their admissions cycle from once to twice a year.
Dr. Noe asked about the backgrounds of the students seeking the LV Certificate and what are the job opportunities after completion of the certificate. Dr. Warren answered that students with Occupational Therapy degrees would be admitted and once they completed the certificate program they could be hired into LV clinical practices, ophthalmology practices, and VA Hospitals. Dr. Warren explained that there is currently a high demand for Occupational Therapists with a specialty in LV treatment since the population of those with low vision problems is increasing.
In response to a question Dr. Warren confirmed that the credit hours for two core courses would be increased from two to three credits to comprise the 15 hour program. Dr. Watts questioned whether some of the information covered in the elective courses would be lost thus putting the students at a disadvantage. Dr. Warren agreed that some information would be lost but that some of the elective information would be absorbed into the core courses. Dr. Macrina asked whether the department had considered the loss in credit hour production revenue due to the decrease in the number of credit hours needed for the certificate. Dr. Warren added that they will lose approximately $24,000 in credit hour production revenue but will gain $40,000 since they will be able to increase admission to twice a year and admit more students.
(ADCOM web site is http://www.uab.edu/graduate/graduate-council-information)
The meeting adjourned at 5:30 PM