Out of 197 academic programs offered at MU, 63 do not meet state requirements, according to the Missouri Department of Higher Education. This includes nearly half of MU’s graduate certificate programs.
MU and many other higher education institutions in Missouri are reviewing their academic programs after the department found that many programs are not producing enough graduates.
To meet state requirements, an academic program must average a certain number of graduates over the previous three years. For any undergraduate degree, including associate and bachelor’s degrees, the program must average 10 graduates. For master’s degrees and graduate certificates, there must be an average of five graduates, and doctorate degrees need an average of three graduates.
The department also requires all degree programs in Missouri to meet several other criteria. Each program must contribute to its institution’s mission; meet statewide needs or contribute to statewide goals; be accessible to students of varying abilities, interests or career goals; efficiently use state resources; and regularly produce highly-qualified graduates.
MU’s Task Force on Academic Program Analysis, Enhancement and Opportunities is conducting an in-depth analysis of all MU academic programs, including those that don’t meet the department’s standards.
The task force released an initial report in early September and will make recommendations on which programs should be kept, which should be cut, and which should be consolidated. It is supposed to give its final report to the Office of the Provost by Jan. 15.
Matthew Martens, a professor in the College of Education and faculty fellow for academic programs in the Office of the Provost, is a co-chair of the task force. Although the task force is factoring in the criteria given by the Missouri Department of Higher Education, Martens said they are “looking at a much broader array of factors.” These factors include the total number of credit hours taught by faculty in a degree program.
Almost half of the 63 programs identified as underperforming at MU are graduate certificates.
“These graduate certificates have not had the enrollment that we would have expected,” Martens said. “What we don’t know is why that is the case.” He said that it’s possible the programs haven’t been marketed effectively or that what is being taught in the program is no longer relevant to the field.
The task force has been gathering data to determine whether or not MU should keep the programs, including the number of graduates from the past few years.
The number of students enrolled in graduate school has been decreasing since the fall of 2014. According to MU’s Division of Enrollment Management and Strategic Development, the number of students enrolled in graduate school dropped from 6,565 in 2014 to 5,872 this past fall.
According to the Missouri Department of Higher Education, these are the programs that areunderperforming at MU:
The three bachelor’s programs under review are:
Educational Studies, Russian and Pre-Professional Physical Therapy.
The 18 master’s degrees under review are:
Communication, Russian & Slavonic Studies, German, Classical Languages, Architectural Studies, Textile & Apparel Management, Biological Sciences, Clinical & Translational Science, Biochemistry, Microbiology (Medicine), Pathology, Applied Mathematics, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Chemistry, Sociology, Rural Sociology and Theatre.
The 14 doctorate degrees under review are:
Special Education, Agricultural Education, Chemical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Romance Languages, Classical Studies, Genetics Area Program, Pathobiology Area Program, Nutrition Area Program, Soil, Environmental & Atmospheric Sciences, Geology, Social Work, Rural Sociology and Accountancy.
The 27 graduate certificates under review are:
Agroforestry, European Union Studies – Interdisciplinary, Educational Leadership, Educational Leadership (coop. W/UMR/CMSU), Special Education, Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism, Career & Technical Education, Nuclear Safeguards Science and Technology, Nuclear Engineering, Personal Financial Planning, Food & Safety Defense, Science Outreach, Neuroscience, Gerontology, Positive Psychology, Lifespan Development, Public Management, Global Public Affairs, Organizational Change, Gerontological Social Work, Youth Services/Administration, Analysis of Institutions & Organizations, Jazz Studies, Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders – Interdisciplinary, Global Public Health, Nonprofit Management and Center for the Digital Globe.
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