Workgroup No. 8 updates draft document for final report

Kalyn Hayslett, Editor in Chief

Workgroup No. 8, Academic Visioning I worked on solidifying its final recommendations Friday by adding two micro degrees and two doctorate degree programs.

The current draft document recommends a doctorate of nursing practice degree, a physical therapy residential bridge program and a doctorate degree in physical therapy.

Offering a doctorate degree in nursing will make Eastern more competitive and can serve as a marketing tool, Renee Kidd-Marshall, director of the nursing program, said.

“In the last two weeks of recruitment the biggest percentage of students ask if we have an associate to graduate program and some of our competitors do,” Marshall said.

Workgroup Chair Jeff Stowell, a psychology professor, said he cautions members when including doctoral program recommendations because some departments do not already have the infrastructure for a master’s program as a result of a lack of faculty support and curriculum foundation.

“If you have a doctoral program you should probably have other programs feed into it, existing programs,” Stowell said.

The members agreed on adding a doctorate degree in education and a doctorate degree in psychology to its recommendations.

Amy Rosenstein, a special education professor, said the College of Education and Professional Studies has the necessary structure to have a successful doctorate degree implemented.

“What you have is people literally skipping over the line and going to Indiana to get a doctorate degree ,then going back to Illinois in education, so in our college it is already set up all the way through, beyond the bachelor’s program,” Rosenstein said.

The College of Education and Professional Studies offers a Principal Preparation Program with a Principal endorsement and an Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership program with a Superintendent Endorsement.

Rosenstein said students complete the master’s level programs but still desire a doctorate degree to become a superintendent or principal.

“We have people who will come take some of the classes, then they find out the credits do not transfer to a doctoral program they stop, so we have that happen quite a bit,” Rosenstein said. The psychology department offers a master’s in clinical psychology and a specialist degree in school psychology.

Stowell said more professionals are requiring more students to earn a doctorate degree so there is a need that could be fulfilled.

According to the psychology department’s website, all master’s level programs are approved by the National Association of School Psychologists and Illinois State Board of Education and nationally recognized by the National Council of Teacher Education.

The draft document currently has thirteen suggested micro degrees including professional writing, social media marketing, emergency management and ethics.

The members agreed on adding a micro degree in education assessment and education and science delivery for students with autism.

These micro degrees can be implemented quickly because of the already existing academic programs and services, including the Autism Center, Rosenstein said.

The members decided to change the content under the “Sustainable Strengths” category of its report.  The draft document listed education, the sciences, Doudna Fine Arts Center, humanities and business and technology in these categories.

Now all of the university’s colleges will be listed in the Sustainable Strengths category because they all show what Eastern is known for, Stowell said.

Stowell recommended moving the Doudna Fine Arts Center and Tarble Arts Center programming to the report’s “New, Emerging and Expanding” category.

The members agreed not to list any individual departments or programs as signature programs and agreed on listing health-related programs, teacher education, the Center for Excellence and online graduate programs, among others, as signature.

Kalyn Hayslett can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].