BU Trustees recommend approval of master's in speech language pathology

For immediate release: December 3, 2008

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's Council of Trustees endorsed a program designed to meet an urgent need for school-based speech language pathologists during the quarterly meeting Wednesday, Dec. 3.

BU Provost James Mackin said the master of education in school-based speech language pathology program was developed in response to a request from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). It will be offered through the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg after receiving final approval from the PASSHE Board of Governors.

Richard Angelo, chair of audiology and speech pathology, and assistant professor Joneen Lowman said the Pennsylvania Department of Education has issued 355 emergency certifications statewide to people who have earned bachelor's degrees in speech language pathology, but haven't obtained master's-level credentials. The new program is designed to train professionals needed to overcome the current shortage.

Mackin also reported on the concept of establishing a branch campus in Sunbury. The campus would serve the four-county area of Union, Snyder, Northumberland and Montour, an area with about 190,000 residents and many workers affected by the loss of manufacturing jobs. The next step is a feasibility study to determine the educational needs and best organizational model, he said.

BU President David Soltz announced that Trustee Bill Kelly is stepping down from the Council of Trustees, effective Dec. 31. Kelly, who graduated from BU in 1971 and was an adjunct faculty member for 10 years, has been a member of the Trustees since 1995 and served as chair from 2002 to 2006.

The Trustees also approved a resolution honoring the BU field hockey team and head coach Jan Hutchinson, winners of the 2008 NCAA Division II field hockey championship with a record of 23-1. They also approved resolutions to:

- Undertake a $2.55 million, PASSHE-financed project to renovate Columbia Residence Hall.

- Pursue a PASSHE-financed guaranteed energy savings contract designed to reduce emissions and energy costs.

- Certify that the BU Foundation is in compliance with PASSHE Board of Governors policy related to university external financial support.

In other matters, Chris Keller, admissions director, offered an overview of the admissions process. The average BU freshman in fall 2008 had an SAT score of 1063 and a high school grade point average of 87.3 and was in the top 29 percent of his or her high school graduating class.

The Trustees also heard a report from Wayne Mohr, assistant vice president for information technology, outlining steps being taken to redesign BU's Web site and upgrade the Student Information System.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.