WMU News

Changes in graduate programs approved

May 20, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- In a move that reflects restructuring efforts initiated four years ago by Western Michigan University's College of Education, WMU trustees today unanimously approved four graduate degree programs for fall 2002.

The four programs are not entirely new to the University, but are spin-offs of existing concentrations in other graduate degree areas, which were reorganized in 1998. That's when the College of Education renamed some of its departments, merged some of its faculty and program areas, and made other curricular changes.

For example, the new Master of Arts in Human Resources Development and the new Master of Arts in Socio-Cultural Foundations and Educational Thought stem from current offerings in the Master of Arts in Education and Professional Development program. The board's recent action results in title changes only. The degree and program requirements remain the same.

Likewise, the new Master of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy in Evaluation, Measurement and Research are spin-offs of offerings in Educational Leadership. Previously available only as concentrations, the new evaluation, measurement and research degrees are aimed at students who wish to use their expertise for staff or leadership roles in schools, government agencies or higher education.

The requirements for the new master's program are similar to the current concentration program, but faculty officials have added a capstone portfolio project, and made adjustments to the content and sequencing of the core course work. The new portfolio must showcase students' abilities to apply the techniques from core courses to research and professional practice endeavors.

The new doctoral program calls for the replacement of core courses in educational leadership with further course work in evaluation, measurement and research, and course work in related cognate areas. The 90-hour sequence requires 27 hours of pre-doctoral work, which is equivalent to a master's degree in research and evaluation; 33 related hours of cognate course work; a concentration portfolio; and 30 hours of doctoral work -- including dissertation research. About four doctoral students are expected for admission each year.

Media contact: Gail H. Towns, 269 387-8400, gail.towns@wmich.edu

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