Education Policy Committee to Consider Three New Academic Programs; Hear Status of 4-Year Report on Financial Aid

ADELPHI, Md. (January 23, 2006) --- The Education Policy Committee of the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents will meet this week to consider three new academic degrees in fields of growing interest and demand: forensic science, managing services for an aging population, and advanced nursing education. The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 25, 2006 in the Margaret Brent Room (Room 2112) of the Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland, College Park. Parking is available in the Union Lane Garage next to the Student Union. Directions and a campus map are available at

The three proposed programs reflect USM's commitment to provide quality education reflecting the needs of Maryland's workforce. With that goal in mind, the committee will consider a bachelor's degree in the management of aging services at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, (UMBC); a master's in forensic science at Towson University (TU); and a doctorate in nursing practice at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).

UMBC has existing strengths in the study of aging, public policy and human services. The "graying" of the U.S. population will increase the demand for trained professionals in fields such as the management of long-term care facilities, community-based services for older adults, and marketing to an aging population. The proposed bachelor's degree in the management of aging services would combine the study of gerontology, liberal arts, and business to prepare graduates for careers in the public and private sectors.

In the study of forensic science, there are not enough graduate-level programs to meet the current demand around the Baltimore region. And over the next few years, the need for forensic scientists in Maryland is expected to increase by about 30%, especially in the area of DNA analysis. The master's degree in forensic science proposed at TU would be the first advanced degree in forensic science offered by a public college or university in Maryland, and the only program to concentrate on DNA analysis.

Nursing is another field suffering from a lack of resources. While there may be enough advanced-degree programs available, there is a severe shortage of nursing instructors to staff the programs. One strategy to deal with the faculty shortage is the doctorate in nursing practice proposed at UMB. The advanced degree is designed to increase the number of qualified faculty needed to teach nursing students. It also offers an alternative to the traditional research-oriented Ph.D.

The Education Policy Committee will also consider:

  • board policy on the creation and establishment of new schools and colleges;
  • a report from the University of Baltimore (UB) on the status of academic advising, a key factor in the timely completion of degree;
  • a report summarizing financial aid provided to USM undergraduates and graduate students between FY 2000 and FY 2004.

Full agendas and background information will be available at both meetings. Sign language interpreters and/or other appropriate accommodations for eligible individuals with disabilities will be provided upon request. Please call 301.445.2756 (voice) or 301.314.7683 (TTY/ITT) to make special arrangements.

Contact: Liz O'Neill
Phone: 301.445.2719