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Rationales for Recommended Discontinuations

The following rationales were submitted by the colleges.

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Master’s program in Interior Design and Facilities Management
    The program is being recommended for discontinuation due to low enrollment. Since Fall Semester 2006, enrollment has ranged from 1 student to the current enrollment of 5. This enrollment is insufficient to sustain the program.
  • Master’s Specialization in Agribusiness
    The specialization is being recommended for discontinuation due to low enrollment. There are no students enrolled for Fall Semester 2009. The maximum annual enrollment since Fall Semester 2006 has been two students. This enrollment is insufficient to sustain the specialization.
  • Analytical Foundations of Fisheries and Wildlife Biology Concentration in Fisheries and Wildlife Major
    The Analytical Foundations of Fisheries and Wildlife Biology concentration in the Fisheries and Wildlife major is being recommended for discontinuation due to low enrollment. Several years ago, the Fisheries and Wildlife major was revised and the Analytical Foundations of Fisheries and Wildlife Biology concentration was developed. However, the concentration only has one student enrolled for Fall 2009. This enrollment is insufficient to sustain the concentration.
  • Entomology
    The major is being recommended for discontinuation due to low enrollment. Approximately two or three years ago, the Department of Entomology began an active effort to build the enrollment; however, the official Fall Semester 2009 enrollment is 13 students and the maximum enrollment since Fall Semester 2005 has been 15 students. The Department worked to increase enrollment and increases have occurred, but the degree of increase has not been sufficient to sustain the major.
  • Environmental Soil Science
    The major is being recommended for discontinuation due to low enrollment. The official Fall 2009 enrollment is 3 students. The number of majors since Fall 2005 has ranged from 2 to 5.
  • Plant Pathology
    The major is being recommended for discontinuation due to low enrollment. The official Fall Semester 2009 enrollment is 3 students. The number of majors per year since Fall Semester 2005 has ranged from 1 to 3.
  • Technology Systems Management
    The major is being recommended for discontinuation due to low enrollment. The Technology Systems Management major was initiated Fall Semester 2005. Enrollments have climbed from 1 student to the current 20 students; however, enrollment is still too low to sustain the major. The Department worked to increase enrollment and increases have occurred, but the degree of increase has not been sufficient to sustain the major.
  • Marine Ecosystem Management Undergraduate Specialization
    The undergraduate specialization is being recommended for discontinuation due to low enrollment. Since Fall Semester 2007, enrollment in the Marine Ecosystem Management Specialization has ranged from 2 students to the current Fall Semester 2009 enrollment of 9 students. Increases have occurred, but the degree of increase has not been sufficient to sustain the specialization.

College of Arts and Letters

  • American Studies - undergraduate
    Interest in the American Studies major has declined in recent years, despite two major revisions to the curriculum (in 2008, and again in 2009) that were intended to build student interest. Since Fall 2006, only 6 students have completed the bachelors degree in American Studies. In a climate of extreme economic challenges, it is not possible to justify continuing to offer the variety of specialized courses necessary for a major so few have chosen.
  • American Studies - graduate

    Graduate programs in American Studies are being recommended for discontinuation due to multiple factors, including changes in the direction of development in one of the key departments (WRAC) that supports the interdisciplinary American Studies Graduate program; reductions of assistantships and reorganization of instructional resources in all of the involved units, due to budget cuts; and the requested migration of key faculty members in AMS from one unit to another (from WRAC, to ENG). Until these questions are constructively addressed in proposals originating with the program’s faculty leadership, it is recommended that the American Studies Graduate Program be placed under moratorium.

  • Classical Studies
    In the recent past, the undergraduate major in Classical Studies has had limited appeal for Michigan State University students. From 2006 to Spring 2009, 13 students have completed a Classical Studies major, 4 of those were additional, rather than primary, majors. The major has evolved over the last 20 years from one which was essentially interdisciplinary, drawing on courses in a variety of disciplines (history, literature, history of art, etc.) to a version requiring a great many specialized courses in Classical Studies. In the current economic climate, it is not possible to maintain the full range of specialized courses that the major requires, especially in light of the low number of majors. Despite the recommended closure of this major, a great deal of the content will remain accessible not only to current majors, but to larger groups of students through the conversion of courses to an Integrated Arts and Humanities focus.

Broad College of Business

  • General Business – Prelaw
    General Business – Prelaw is a small major within The Eli Broad College of Business. Although the pre-law major in the Broad School is recommended for discontinuation, pre-law degree programs are offered in the College of Arts and Letters, and the College of Social Science.
  • Information Technology Specialization
    The Information Technology Specialization is a small specialization with 38 business majors, two engineering majors, and approximately 30 Communications Arts and Sciences majors. The specialization originally was a three college collaborative offering. The deans of the College of Engineering and College of Communications Arts and Sciences concur in the recommended moratorium. The colleges do not have the resources to teach all the courses as originally conceived.

College of Communication Arts and Sciences

  • Retailing
    The retailing program at MSU has experienced a decline in recent years. Enrollments in these degrees, for example, are the lowest in the college. Further, there is very little cross-over with other disciplines within CAS, meaning that retailing students comparatively take few courses within the college, and few students in other CAS programs take courses within the retailing curriculum. The retailing program is recommended for disbandment primarily due to lack of fit with the college’s core mission and research areas, as well as declining demand for its programs.
  • Communicative Sciences and Disorders
    In 2004, an external review of CSD produced a series of specific recommendations to address productivity problems within the department. Few of these recommendations have been addressed in the ensuing years. CSD lacks connectivity across units within CAS as well as the university. By retaining the CSD master’s program and moving it into the Department of Communication in CAS, students and faculty will enjoy increased multidisciplinary exposure. In addition, retaining the graduate programs enables MSU to contribute qualified therapists within the state and beyond.

College of Education

  • Counseling, M.A.
    The M.A. in Counseling program is no longer exclusively focused on school counseling, but instead many of the entering students pursue “agency” counseling and enter community mental health settings. The program is now listed as Counseling rather than School Counseling in the Academic Program Catalogue. It is a master’s program with little or no connection to other programs in the college (e.g. offers no service courses) or collaborations across campus.

    The program graduates about 22-23 students each year. According to the report of the program faculty, only 46% (10) of the graduates enter K-12 schools, 27% (6) enter community mental health agencies, 12% (3) seek higher education employment as advisors, and 15% (3) enter doctoral programs at other institutions. Based on the graduation numbers and percentages, only 10-11 graduates enter K-12 school settings each year. Thus, the majority of the graduates do not enter K-12 settings as school counselors.

    Although the graduation rate is solid because this is a structured program, the enrollment pattern is modest at best. The enrollment pattern has been steady, but this year alone, 27% fewer students were admitted, resulting in a decline in new enrollment of 26%.

    With the recommended closure of this program, it seems reasonable to assume that the pool of school counselors will not be adversely affected by the elimination of this program. The college is not cutting vital services to schools, since programs designed to prepare school psychologists, K-12 teachers, and administrators will be sustained elsewhere.
  • Deaf Education Teacher Certification Program in Special Education
    This is a low incidence field in special education. Although special education areas of autism, emotional impairment, and severe multiple impairments are shortage areas, deaf education is no longer identified as a shortage area in Michigan.

    The low enrollment and demand, limited grant activity, faculty costs, and cost associated with offering service sign language courses are reasons for recommending closure of this program.

    There are no master’s students and no doctoral students. Operationally, this is only an undergraduate endorsement area.
  • Education Specialist Degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education
    Because of the data trends and need for efficiency in program offerings, the EdS program does not seem viable.
  • Education Specialist Degree in K-12 Administration
    The low numbers of applications, new enrollees, and graduation rate suggest the program is not viable.

College of Natural Science

  • Food Science and Human Nutrition
    The College of Natural Science is recommending removing budgetary support and administrative involvement with the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition to better align CNS resources with its core areas, to focus resources on the strongest research and graduate programs, and to support reorganization and the priorities of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. CANR has identified food and nutrition as high priorities for that college, and these areas would be able to thrive better there. The CNS undergraduate degree in Nutritional Science, which has more than 250 majors, would be transferred to CANR in support of their efforts. This transfer would result in a desired redistribution of undergraduate majors from CNS to CANR. Current declared majors wishing to complete their degree in CNS would be allowed to do so. The small CNS M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in human nutrition, which have about 10 students each, would also be transferred to CANR for the same reasons.
  • Statistics
    To better align decreasing resources with areas of highest student demand, the College of Natural Science has proposed disbanding the undergraduate major in statistics. This major has about 25 students, and disbanding it would reduce the need for about three courses. The department has expressed interest in retaining the major, and the department and college are in discussions concerning priorities for resource allocation and how the major might continue in light of greatly decreasing budgets, the need for a strong graduate program in statistics and probability, and the high demand for service instruction.
  • Zoo and Aquarium Management
    To better align decreasing resources with student demand the College of Natural Science has proposed to disband the professional M.S. in Zoo and Aquarium Science. This program has had only seven graduates in the past five years and is entirely dependent on one faculty member. The department is in discussion with that individual to evaluate whether it would be possible to broaden participation in the program and the more successful undergraduate concentration in this area to other units on campus with the objective of having broader institutional support for them.
  • Industrial Microbiology
    To better align decreasing resources with student demand the College of Natural Science has proposed to disband the professional M.S. in Industrial Microbiology. This program has graduated only 13 students over the past five years and is dependent on one faculty member. The department is evaluating the need for this program in the light of potential growth in need for people in this general area in southwest Michigan.
  • Computational Chemistry
    To better align decreasing resources with student demand the College of Natural Science has proposed to disband the professional M.S. in Computational Chemistry. This program has graduated only one student over the past five years.
  • Physics and Geophysics
    To better align decreasing resources with student demand the College of Natural Science has proposed to disband the undergraduate major in Physics and Geophysics. This program has graduated no students in recent years.

College of Social Science

  • Family Studies MA
    The long-term strategic vision for the Department calls for a reorganization of two Master’s programs into one with a new name.  The proposed discontinuation is consistent with the Department’s long-term plans. This change will enhance the training of graduate students and bring the Department into conformity with similar programs across the nation.  The program has a relatively low enrollment (10 currently enrolled, 2 completed in 09).

  • Interdisciplinary Study in Social Science: Global Applications MA
    The original demand for this program no longer exists. A new program in a different unit (Urban and Regional Studies) provides an enhanced alternative to IDS GA.  No students have been enrolled in the program since 2005 (0 currently enrolled, 0 completed in 09, and no future enrollments are anticipated.  There is no faculty support for continuing the program.
  • History-Secondary School Teaching MA
    This program was identified as a possible candidate for closure after an enrollment analysis showed low enrollment (3 currently enrolled, 1 completed in 09). This degree program is not central to the department's strategic planning, which is focused on enhancing the PhD program. Students in this program have not always been well-integrated into the doctoral program or the wider graduate community. Coursework for doctoral students is not always well-suited for the needs of secondary school teachers.

  • Marriage & Family Therapy MA
    The long-term strategic vision for the Department of Family and Child Ecology calls for a focus on the Ph.D. program in Marriage and Family Therapy and a discontinuation of the Master’s program.  The MA degree is a clinical degree that is the terminal degree for practice in the field.  The MFT faculty wish to prioritize the training of research-oriented doctoral students.  The proposed discontinuation of this program is consistent with the Department’s long-term plans.  This change will help the Department emphasize the research training of graduate students and bring the Department into conformity with MFT training at other Research 1 institutions (Ohio State, Georgia, Minnesota, and Purdue).  These peer institutions do not attempt to have both an accredited master’s program and an accredited doctoral program. 

  • Research Methods in Clinical Psychology
    This concentration within the Clinical Psychology Master’s program is also offered at the Doctoral level.  It was determined from an enrollment analysis that the need could be met with the doctoral concentration, so the Master’s concentration was designated for closure.

  • Applied Developmental Science
    Both the interdepartmental Master’s level specialization and Doctoral level specialization have had low enrollment for several years.  The new Graduate Certificate in Community Engagement serves the same population of students and provides much of the same training. Faculty support for the new Certificate program has made these specializations redundant.

  • Food & Agricultural Standards (Master’s level specialization and Doctoral level specialization). 
    The faculty leadership for this specialization has decreased. An enrollment analysis showed that no students have enrolled in program since its inception in 2005. Discussions to revive or relocate the specialization in another college have not been productive.

  • Security Management  (Master’s level specialization). 
    There has been low enrollment since 2003 (currently 0 enrolled, 0 completed in 2009). Original corporate sponsor no longer involved. The new Master’s degree in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis has attracted students away from this specialization.

  • Canadian Studies
    Minimal student enrollments for past decade. Faculty leadership no longer sustainable. Courses not taught with sufficient frequency to enable students to complete specialization in a timely fashion.

College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Veterinary Technology
    Veterinary Technology currently operates at less than a 13:1 student to faculty ratio. The program is entirely instructional without any research or scholarly initiatives. Most of the job market is met by graduates from two-year programs that have sprouted up across the country in recent years and from on-line training programs.

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