Support for the Authority for CSU to Grant Independent Professional/Clinical Doctorates

AS-2683-05/AA - January 20-21, 2005

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (CSU) express its support for seeking legislative authorization for the California State University to offer, where needed and funded appropriately, independent, professional/clinical doctorates in applied fields of study; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge the Board of Trustees to pursue, as part of its legislative program, independent authority for the CSU to award professional/clinical doctorates; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU assist in this legislative effort.

RATIONALE: Several CSU campuses presently offer Masters degrees in audiology. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the accrediting body for professional preparation programs in audiology, speech and language pathology, has mandated that, beginning in 2007, audiologists must have an earned doctorate to attain professional certification. This will result in loss of accreditation for any audiology programs that do not offer the Au.D. including five CSU programs. The Au.D. emerged nationally during the last two decades in response to the increasing knowledge base and changing technology. Changes of this kind, where the existing entry level Masters degree is to be replaced by an applied doctorate in the appropriate field, are also possible in physical therapy and other disciplines.

At present (January 2005), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association lists 63 universities in the US that offer the Doctor of Audiology degree, with just one (the joint program between SDSU and UCSD) in California. Among other states, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas have four, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania have three, and many states have two. It is clear that the existing CSU programs in audiology, offered at the Long Beach, Northridge, Los Angeles, Hayward, and Sacramento campuses, will be obsolete if they are not converted into Doctor of Audiology degree programs.

At the same time, it is clear that the citizens of California need access to professional doctoral programs that grant entry-level credentials for careers in health-related and other information-rich fields. The state also needs a work force properly educated and certified, with the appropriate degrees to deliver vital human, social, and business services.

The Master Plan blueprint for higher education has created an evolution of academic strength that makes the CSU the best prepared and most interested in delivering many of these increasingly vital professional doctorates. Several campuses, principally San Diego State University, have enjoyed success in developing, implementing, and operating joint doctoral degrees-some of them in the aforementioned professional areas. This indicates the CSU's capacity to deliver high-quality professional doctoral education. Other areas in which applied doctorates might be offered include physical therapy, nursing, social work, communication studies, criminology, and health care administration (see Rethinking Graduate Education in the CSU: Meeting the Needs of the People of California for Graduate Education for the 21st Century, September, 2004).

All of these programs require adequate funding. No CSU should implement a doctorate once authorized without an adequate funding base. Previous Academic Senate CSU resolutions regarding our historical lack of resources and the teaching load adjustments needed for advanced programs of this nature remain paramount. It is therefore necessary that the implementation of these programs be accompanied by the resources necessary to support them.

APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY - January 20-21, 2005

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