By: Jordan Harirchi, Assistant Sports Editor
According to UNF’s 2010-11 Annual Accountability Report, the university terminated the Master’s degree programs in counseling psychology, applied sociology, rehab counseling and human resource management, as well as the Bachelor’s programs in science and math education, general music and trade and industrial teacher education.
The termination of the seven majors came from the Council of Academic Vice President’s Academic Coordination Project. The purpose of the project is to evaluate the State University System’s programs that produced low graduate numbers on an annual basis.
The under-producing programs were evaluated based on student demand for the program, workforce demand for graduates, program delivery options and innovations and resource allocation.
A university’s options for under-producing programs fall under one of five categories: continue the program with a good reason, create a new collaborative or joint-delivery model, create a specific corrective action plan for the program, place the program in inactive status or termination.
Dr. Marsha Lupi, associate dean of the College of Education, said the terminated programs had been inactive for some time, waiting for the market demand for graduates in those programs to pick up.
“We kept them in the books just in case there was a need,” Lupi said. “We wait until a [school] district might have a need.”
The university’s evaluation didn’t see a need for the programs and determined that there will not be a need in the near future, Lupi said.
Gene Baker, the management chair of the Coggin College of Business, expressed similar sentiments regarding the termination of the long-dormant human resource management program.
“You hate to just yank something because it’s difficult to get [students] in,” Baker said. “If we decided to put it back in, we’d have to go through the approval process all over again.”
Baker said an inactive program still takes resources to maintain, so termination is a good option after evaluating various options.
“When you have a program in the books, you are obliged to put in courses that support the program,” Baker said. “It makes no sense putting out courses that will have low enrollment.”
David Fenner, an associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said no students are ever abandoned when a program has been terminated. Once a program is designated as inactive or terminated, the university closes down admission to the program.
For programs such as the general music program, which hasn’t had a student enrolled since its inception, there is no such issue.
“When a student comes in pursuing a certain degree, we’ve made a commitment to them,” Fenner said. “We need to deliver that degree. If we decide that we don’t want to live with the degree program anymore, well, we still have a commitment to those students.”
Email Jordan Harirchi at [email protected]