Regents approve two new doctoral programs at Texas State

Posted by Jayme Blaschke 
University News Service
August 20, 2010

Regents of the Texas State University System Friday approved two new doctoral programs at Texas State University-San Marcos.

The approvals come as the university celebrates 75 years of graduate education at Texas State. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction will add Doctor of Education and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, bringing the number of Texas State's doctoral offerings up to 11.

Texas State will begin offering the new doctoral degree programs in the fall of 2011, subject to final approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The two new degrees in Developmental Education are designed to produce professionals possessing the critical, cutting-edge knowledge and skills necessary for advancing and transforming the profession. Those earning the doctorates will go on to become researchers, university faculty, scholars and program leaders.

Developmental education is a higher education field with a theoretical foundation in developmental psychology and learning theory that is at the forefront of college readiness issues. College readiness is critically important to the future of Texas' economic health, as higher levels of education are increasingly necessary for a successful workforce.

Meeting at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 19 and 20, the TSUS Board of Regents also authorized Texas State to add new distance education options for two graduate programs.

The School of Health Administration will add an online option for a graduate certificate in long term care administration, while the School of Art and Design will add an online option for the existing Master of Fine Arts degree in communication design. Texas State now has more than 2,000 students taking online courses in 100 sections, up from 128 students in 10 sections in the fall of 2000.

"Growth in online education over this decade has been strong and deliberate," said Debbie Thorne, associate vice president of Academic Affairs. "While some universities rapidly add online programs, Texas State utilizes a strategic approach to online education and considers the state’s employment needs, student interests, unique academic competencies, and fundamentally, our ability to deliver high quality teaching and learning outcomes."

The regents also authorized Texas State to add a graduate level certificate in forensic psychology administered by the Department of Psychology, and a graduate level certificate in health information management administered by the Department of Health Information Management.

The graduate certificate in forensic psychology will prepare students for career advancement in areas where psychology and criminal justice intersect. Those involved in the criminal justice system--officers making arrests, detectives interviewing witnesses or attorneys presenting cases--will perform those duties more effectively with a background in forensic psychology.

The graduate certificate in health information management will provide students with knowledge in health information requirements and practices, and with the ability to apply this knowledge in practical projects. The program will incorporate coursework from heath research, health information management and computer information systems studies.

The Texas State University System is the oldest multi-campus system in Texas and plays a critical role in the educational and economic development of the state. Its eight component institutions are Texas State University-San Marcos, Lamar University, Sam Houston State University, Sul Ross State University, Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College-Orange and Lamar State College-Port Arthur.