University Council on Graduate Study

February 14, 2006


3:00-5:00 p.m.

817 CL



Attending:† Patricia Beeson (Chair), Jeff Brodsky (A&S), Patrick Card (A&S), Nicole Constable (A&S), Judith Erlen (NUR), Eleanor Feingold (GSPH), Carl Fertman (EDU), Robert Gibbs (PHARM),† Janelle Greenberg (A&S) John Hillier (A&S), John Horn (SOM), Gary Koeske (SW), Malcolm McNeil (SHRS), Marianne Novy (A&S), Lou Pingel (EDU), John Prescott (KGSB), Steve Weber (A&S), Martin Weiss (SIS); Sam Conte (Registrar), Carrie Sparks (Provostís Office)


Guests: Dr. Nancy Sussman (GSPIA) and Dr. Helen Burns (Nursing)


I.††††††††† Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the January 17, 2006 meeting were approved as written.


II.†††††††† Proposal to Establish a Doctor of Public Health Program in Environmental and Occupational Health

††††††††††† The Graduate School of Public Health proposed to establish a Doctor of Public Health degree program in Environmental and Occupational Health. The programís aim is to provide advanced professional education for individuals who desire leadership positions in high-level administration and/or decision making in an Environmental Health Setting. Dr. Nancy Sussman attended the meeting to answer questions concerning the proposal.


There was some confusion over the purpose and intent of the DrPH degree as compared with a PhD or with other professional doctorate programs.  Council wanted to know what the distinguishing characteristic of the degree was and why students would pursue this instead of a PhD or a MPH. They were also not clear why this was not simply a track in the PhD program. The committee was interested in how the proposed degree program compared with that at other institutions and how it compared with other DrPH degree programs at Pitt.


Dr. Sussman responded that other universities offer something very similar as many have tracks the students can go into. Pitt GSPH students will identify and find solutions to problems. Then they will evaluate the fix like a research proposal. Students would need to do an intervention. GSPH defines research a little differently. It is understood as dealing with real life problems and getting the tools needed to solve the problem.


Council also had some difficulty seeing the progression of the degree and had questions on how students would be prepared for the research component. 


Dr. Sussman clarified that flexibility is how students can carve out a track. The student picks the track working with an advisor to identify electives. Learning would be in the forming of the research plan. All the others comparable schools have the same flexibility.


After further discussion on what research competency would be required, Dr. Sussman was excused.


Following a significant discussion, Council decided that the proposal was incomplete so they did not vote on it. Vice Provost Beeson will bring the proposal back to the GSPH for clarification.

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III. ††††† Proposal to Establish a Doctor of Nursing Practice

The School of Nursing proposed to establish a professional doctorate in nursing (DNP). The current masterís degree for Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthesia, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Nursing Administration will serve as the basis for and will be contained within this program. The DNP program will prepare advanced practice nurse (APN) students for the highest level of clinical practice and leadership within the profession. Dr. Helen Burns attended the meeting to answer questions about the proposal.


Members of Council inquired about how the capstone and the internships would be evaluated and if there was a description of the capstone experience.


Dr. Burns explained that students must take the national centralized examination and that the description of the capstone experience is a new and evolving component. Regarding internships, each program track has a coordinator that sets up evaluation at the School of Nursing. Site visits are conducted. There are a minimum of 1000 clinical hours.


After further discussion on budgetary questions, Dr. Burns was excused. Council asked for clarification on the capstone experience. A description of how Nursing will evaluate the capstone experience should be drafted. Dr. Beeson will ask the School of Nursing to submit a description of how they will evaluate the capstone experience.


There was a motion made to approve the proposal. The motion was seconded. Council voted unanimously in favor of approving the Doctor of Nursing Practice in the School of Nursing.


††††††††††† The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting of Council will take place on March 14, 2006.