Educational Policies Council Cuts Concentrations
Educational Policies Council cuts concentrations
February 23, 2007 3:28 PM
The Educational Policies Council voted unanimously last week to discontinue three programs at SF State.
Among the programs cut were a certificate in educational therapy, a business administration concentration and a minor in human resource management. In addition, three Bachelor of Arts concentrations in communication studies were also discontinued.
The council said that student enrollment has decreased in programs like the concentration and minor in human resource management.
There were no opposing sides present at the meeting. Only one letter of protest was submitted regarding the human resource management program.
The Academic Policies Committee (APC) and the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee (CRAC) jointly make up the EPC. Both committees meet to discuss their agenda and the actions of the Academic Senate.
Special Education Chair Nick Certo said one of the reasons for discontinuing the certificate in educational therapy was that new faculty members were not interested in the program, which was designed to help teachers address learning disabilities.
When asked what the impact of discontinuing such a program would be, Certo said aspects of the program will be replaced by tutoring centers, such as Sylvan Learning Center.
“My son tutors kids on the SAT, his credentials are he’s good at math,” Certo said.
In a proposal to discontinue the program, the College of Education cited many reasons for its closure, such as low student enrollment and a lack of faculty interest.
A plan to accommodate all students by summer of 2006 had also been put in place.
Barry Rothman, biology professor and member of CRAC, said programs like those being cut are small and are stressful for faculty to deal with.
“Some of these programs have a small number (of students) trickling through,” said Rothman, adding that it was unnecessary to continue the programs.
In the College of Business' proposal, budget cuts and decreasing enrollment were cited as reasons for canceling the concentration in human resources management as well as the minor.
“Budget cuts in the 1990s and early 2000s compromised the concentration and minor when it became impossible to provide students with one-on-one faculty contact,” stated the proposal. “The number of declared majors and graduation rates indicate a significant decrease in demand for the concentration in HRM [human resources management]. Since 2003, no students have declared a concentration in HRM.”
The proposal also says the program is available at other Bay Area CSU campuses, such as CSU East Bay, San Jose State and Sonoma State.
The communication studies department’s proposal cited quality and efficiency as the main factors in discontinuing its three B.A. concentrations.
According to the proposal, “The other two decision variables for program discontinuance, program quality and efficiency, are important in this case. With respect to program quality, our revised B.A. degree program is more current with our discipline’s theory, research, and practice."
Shawn Whalen, EPC chair and lecturer in communication studies, didn’t think there were any problems with the programs being cut.
“I don't think they’re particularly controversial proposals,” said Whalen about the discontinuance of the programs.
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