Education Committee Approves New Degrees, Extends Application Waivers The Badger Herald

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The Board of Regents approved the addition of new degrees and the extension of application waivers at a meeting on February 10.

UW-Madison provost and vice-chancellor of academic affairs John Scholz introduced new degree programs to the education committee. Three of the programs – the Master of Science in School Psychology, the Doctorate in School Psychology, and a BA and BS in Information Science – would be implemented at UW-Madison.

Associate director of communications Todd Finkelmeyer said in an emailed statement to the Badger Herald that the master’s in school psychology isn’t necessarily a new program, but one that’s been around for 50 years.

According to Education Committee Meeting Book, it is important to restructure the degree as changes have been made to state requirements and institutional accreditation. This program will allow students to access paid internships during the clinical part of their studies.

The program aims to address the shortage of school psychologists occurring in WI, “by offering a program for those who wish to become a school psychologist or pursue a career in academia to prepare future school psychologists,” according to the Meeting Book.

The professors of the program have created a rough plan for the program and are ready to implement the program in the upcoming fall semester.

The creation of the doctorate. of school psychology will rename the existing doctorate. in educational psychology, Finkelmeyer said.

“In a nutshell, everything about this new program is the same as the old program, but the student’s degree will say ‘Ph.D. in school psychology’ instead of ‘Ph.D. in educational psychology,” Finkelmeyer said.

The program, however, is “separate and distinct” from the Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, according to the Meeting Book. Instead, it will focus on expanding training in schools that struggle to provide adequate services to students. It will also increase the number of graduates who will train future school psychologists.

The Board of Regents unanimously approved all proposed new degree programs.

Additionally, John Achter, Acting Associate Vice President of the UW System for Student Success offers the request to extend application fee waivers for all UW schools except UW-Madison, UW-La Crosse, and UW-Eau Claire.

Schools began waiving the fee in August 2020, and the Board of Regents made it universal for all schools except UW-Madison, UW-La Crosse, and UW-Eau Claire in December 2020.

At the meeting, Achter said the fee waivers led to a 25% increase in degree applications from fall 2020 to fall 2021. These applications contributed to a 3.9% increase in new students freshman, while the country was on the decline.

The Board of Regents will meet again on April 7 at UW-Stevens Point.

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