The Faculty Senate is considering adding a graduate school for professional studies to fill a recent increase in demand for professional education, according to a committee assigned to report on the benefits of adding the school.
The Joint Task Force on the College of Professional Studies, a 14-member group that was formed in February, recommended adding the school in a report presented to the Faculty Senate Sept. 1.
The new grad school, will focus on InfoComm – continuing education that focuses on information systems, technology and communication.
The task force maintained that the school is necessary because of the demand for continuing professional education in the new knowledge-based economy, according to the report. The task force consists of seven faculty members and seven administrators, including Vice President of Academic Affairs Don Lehman.
The task force began developing a proposal in March to create a new entrepreneurial academic unit within the University, according to the report.
Adding the school would allow GW to respond quickly and substantively to the market in continuing professional education and simultaneously maintain the academic trademark that the University’s stock-in-trade, according to the report.
Professor John Boswell, a member of the task force, said the College of Professional Studies would recruit its students from corporations rather than targeting individuals.
Businesses would approach GW with a need to train people in a certain area of study, he said. The new school would set up a course for the company and teach its employees with materials provided by the corporation.
Courses will only exist as long as there is a need for them, officials said. The new school would not be able to offer degrees that students can already receive in other graduate programs at GW, according to the report.
Students who cannot find a degree program that matches their needs would work with the College of Professional Studies to create a new degree program, according to the report.
When writing the proposal, the task force was concerned with maintaining the University’s academic integrity in this new school, Boswell said.
Commercialization is affecting all institutions, Boswell said. It is necessary to maintain an academic base, while at the same time responding to the changing needs of the times. It is better to set up an organization that responds to the changing fields and keeping the faculty and students included in this process, instead of setting up a private function.
The Faculty Senate will decide if it will present the recommendation to the Board of Trustees during the senate’s next meeting Oct. 15.