Jan. 29, 2009
Regents approve proposal for nursing degree completion program
The Northwest Missouri State University Board of Regents met in open session Friday, Jan. 30, and approved a Faculty Senate proposal for changes to the University curriculum, including the addition of a new bachelor of science in nursing degree completion program.
The program is intended to mesh with a two-year associate's degree in nursing offered by North Central Missouri College in Trenton, which signed an articulation agreement with Northwest in 2007.
If approved by the state Coordinating Board for Higher Education, the arrangement will allow students to complete most of their nursing courses through NCMC while taking many of the general education courses, and some nursing courses, required for a bachelor's degree through Northwest.
It is likely that a number of the Northwest courses will actually be taught on the Trenton campus, and that some content will be delivered via television and other electronic means in order to make the program as flexible as possible for place-bound students.
According to the staff report submitted to the regents, a significant number of degree candidates will probably meet a large fraction of their requirements through transfer credits. The program would also waive the University's academic residency requirement.
Northwest Provost Kichoon Yang said many of those expected to sign up for the program will be registered nurses seeking to complete a bachelor's degree, a step that creates significantly improved professional opportunities.
In addition to 50 credit hours of major-specific courses, the BSN program would also require successful completion of 42 credit hours of general education courses, six hours of institutional requirements and 26 hours of electives.
Yang said the nursing degree completion program is expected to serve about 50 students a year within three to five years. It will also require hiring three to five new faculty members over that same period, he said.
A second curriculum change approved by the board consists of modifications to the bachelor of science in education (English) degree. Candidates for this degree will now be required to take courses titled schoolhouse grammars and pedagogy and introduction to teaching writing. In addition, B.S.Ed. (English) majors, most of whom are preparing for careers as English teachers, may now substitute a required survey course with either multiethnic literature or modern and contemporary world literature.
In other business, the board approved transferring ownership of the R.T. Wright University Farm to the University from its current owner, Northwest Foundation Inc., a separate non-profit entity. Orrie Covert, vice president for institutional advancement and executive director of the Foundation, said the move will make it easier to use state-appropriated funds for future capital improvements at the farm, which occupies 448 acres north of Maryville.
During the reports portion of the meeting, the board listened to a proposal framed by the Student Senate requesting that the Administration Building be re-named in honor of President Dean L. Hubbard, who will retire at the end of July after 25 years as the University's top executive. The regents tabled a motion to take immediate action on the proposal because not all members were present.
Other reports included a presentation by staff with regard to proposed construction of a new residence hall on the north end of campus, which would house between 320 and 340 students in addition to providing space for classrooms, a dining facility and offices.
The board is still considering how best to pay for the proposed residence hall. Alternatives include a developer-financed design/build concept, which University officials say will speed construction and perhaps make it easier for Northwest to obtain financing in a tight bond market.
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