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Graduate Program Council

October 23, 2012


Present Julie Ernst, Bob Lloyd, Faith Loven, Mike Raschick, Diane Rauschenfels, Fay Maas (ex offcio)

Guest: Aydin Durgunoglu

Agenda: Psychology Program Proposal

Fay noted she had a discussion with Bruce Munson on the approval process. Bruce is hoping we can get this proposal to Grad School Council for their 11/15 meeting. To make this deadline in addition to our meeting next week, we will also need to meet on Nov 6. We now have all but a couple of course proposals to read.

Our task here is to review the academic integrity of the overall program, to comment about the strengths and any concerns that we have, to make recommendations for revisions and to make our recommendation to the Dean.

Aydin gave an overview of the program:

3 tracks : I/O (Industrial Organizational Psych), CC (Clinical/Counseling) and GE(General Experimental). All tracks have some common courses including intro to major, stats methods and other courses are common to specific tracks. All tracks will do Plan B except CC which will have choice of B or C. Larger number of courses for CC because of Board of Mental Health in MN.  Programs have an applied focus: CC—ready for licensure; I/O—work in I/O field; GE prepared for teaching in community college. All tracks will be prepared for further PhD or PsyD study.

Refer to page 2: question about what is meant by core courses; perhaps clarify the distinction between core and electives; Core topics means core topics in the field.

The number of credits is over the normal limit; Check to see if there a form that may be needed to accompany the proposal as a requirement waiver.

Concern: that there is not sufficient coursework to support a specialist designation for Evaluation Specialist. The GE track prepares students for community college and adjunct teaching, and as research and evaluation specialist.  There is enough content in the field of evaluation specialist that the overall programming for Experimental track is not sufficient.  Aydin noted that psychologists do program evaluation even without specialized training in the field of evaluation.  After much discussion agreed that perhaps the term evaluation specialist was not warranted and that changing the term would reduce those concerns.

Question about the timing of students specifying their tracks.  They specify when they are admitted.  What are the upper limits for each track. 7 for I/O, 6 for CC and 3 for GE.  Made this determination by looking at tuition income and the field needs assessment, and ways to manage the budget.  GE will not be as large because it is not as applied and will not draw as many students. The GE can also be a safety valve. If students are not well suited for a track they can change tracks and complete their degree in GE. 

A question about how many faculty are qualified to work on grad committees, advise etc:  22.

What if someone enters the program in a track and decides that they want to switch? Is there a policy? We have not done a policy yet but we do want to allow for switching. This is something that we have thought about but have not created the policy. It will be in place in the student handbook.

Question about tuition and how we will determine tuition. We want the tuition code to be the same for all students within the tuition band of 4-13 credits.

Question about needs assessment survey that was done some time ago. Do you have any reason to expect that the survey results would be different now.  Labor stats  reported are current; since our original proposal other programs in area are no longer competitors (Bemidji and other I/O program in region).

The section about competitors indicates that regional competition might be some overlap.  Julie anticipates that this was a potential area of questioning. The TC campus is emphasized in the proposal but you could strengthen your case that there is room in this region for expansion.

CSD noted it has far more applicants than they have room for; competition for those top applicants in schools in the MINSCU institutions. Wondering about Mankato and St Cloud and the integrity of those programs-Mankato is highly regarded I/O.  Have you thought about students choosing other institutions over our program and how will you recruit highly qualified students.  Aydin noted that the budget accounts for TAships which is one way we are using to attract the highest quality student.

Talk about the value of offering three tracks vs one or two.  Transcripts do not indicate what Plan the student is following.  Is there a need for one track over the other.  Aydin noted that the faculty have considered that, our departmental review asked the same question and we further examined it. Ill feelings that can develop when only some individuals participate in a grad program have weighed highly in that decision. The program requires all faculty to be engaged. But budget also plays a role, we are more easily self sustaining with three.

Elaborate what settings they will be practicing in when CC graduates. Clinical therapists primarily.  Individual therapy.

SW noted it was misrepresented in some course proposals. This can be easily changed. Mike has already given some language to correct those mis-representations SW is moving toward more clinical focus.

Sharing of courses among departments; used to be a requirement but that requirement has been dropped. This has always been an issue in trying to find appropriate grad courses to take for CSD students.  CSD will be changing to including a plan C which won’t require outside elective. Aydin noted that dept has considered this and noted that electives can be outside or in dept.

Aydin asked if local programs were independent of TC.  Some noted that many decisions now are made at UMD. Others noted that faculty are upset in because they no longer have free reign of their programs.

Are there hidden costs in the budget? For example, costs associated with contact hours for internship and plan B. Aydin noted that they are calculated into the budget.

In the text description it is not clear how the DGS time is allocated.  Perhaps 4CH is more than necessary. At what point does this get approved or not?  It varies from campus to campus some get augmentation some only get release time some don’t get any release time.  It also varies from department to department.

Mike noted he thought that collaboration opportunities between SW and PSY would be very positive and SW students will appreciate that opportunity to take courses in PSY.

Main concern for Julie was that she did not see the program learning outcomes; for each track she would like to see information explaining why certain courses are required and what the learning goals are; a mapping of curriculum and program outcomes.  She noted that Psy may want to anticipate having this as an issue. The absence may create an impression that there was not a well thought out process.

Suggestion to make the job outcomes salient to reader; Aydin noted that on page two they are outlined. How are they assessed? Aydin noted we speak to assessment in each course outcome.  Some look to the Plan B process, embedded course exams, etc.  Julie noted that the proposal is asking for program outcomes and student outcomes. Has to be more salient to the reader.  Proposal has to make clear that program quality is a consistent thread across all the courses.

Space issues; notable concern for this program and every program.

Program quality monitored by the DGS but data related to employment after graduation is also important. Have you considered how you will you do that? Career services does this service; SW noted that it does it themselves with alumni survey.

Group agreed to Approve with the following changes. Final approval will be made via email.

Section 5: Clarifying assessment piece; identify overarching program outcomes and how they will be assessed.

Evaluation Specialist: examine way of identifying this skill without using the term “specialist” which perhaps implies a different occupation or skill set.