KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University recently approved changes to academic programs that include the creation of an undergraduate concentration in audiology as well as a graduate-level specialization and three graduate-level concentrations that will all be available to students beginning in fall 2014.
Academic program changes
- The audiology concentration within the Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary health sciences will allow students to enter the doctoral degree program through an accelerated graduate degree program option specifically designed for audiology. Students can double-count 12 credit hours of coursework in both undergraduate and graduate degrees under the accelerated graduate degree option. This allows a student to complete both degrees in seven years rather than eight.
- A new trauma practice across the life span specialization in the master's degree program in social work will prepare WMU students for work involving people who have experienced trauma throughout their lives. In addition, the program is consistent with the School of Social Work's mission to educate social workers to advocate for social and economic justice and the well-being of all people.
- The industrial/organizational behavior management concentration will add a third concentration to the psychology doctoral program. Surveys of current and past students show a great interest in this program. Providing this Ph.D. option could help recruit students from the current master's degree program to continue at WMU and help expand research at the University. Although organizational behavior management is a growing specialization, few universities currently offer a Ph.D. program in this area.
- The behavioral specialist concentration in the master's degree program in special education, master teacher option, will train WMU students as behavioral consultants who can help other teachers manage students who present challenging behaviors. It will result in the creation of four new courses that will be part of the core curriculum.
- The child life concentration in the master's degree program in the family and consumer sciences will train specialists to help children and their families overcome various family issues that can arise. The program is designed to allow students to seek certification as child life specialists and will require five new courses, two of which have been previously taught as special topic courses. The demand for advanced degrees in this area is expected to increase in the near future, and there are only 19 graduate programs in child life in the country—the closest ones being at the University of Akron in Ohio and Erikson Institute in Chicago.