Thursday, December 20, 2012

Regents Approve New College of Education, Health & Human Services

On December 13, 2012 the University of Michigan Board of Regents approved a name change for the School of Education (SOE). Effective September 2013, the name of the school will be the College of Education, Health, and Human Services (CEHHS).

In announcing this Regents action to the campus, Chancellor Daniel Little wrote: “It has been the university’s longstanding goal to develop a suite of health programs to meet increased student and industry demand, grow enrollment and provide distinctive programs in southeast Michigan... The creation of the CEHHS will allow the university to realize metropolitan impact in much-needed skill areas by creatively leveraging the academic and administrative resources of UM-Dearborn. While there is much work to be done, Regental approval allows us to continue to build on the work of the faculty and staff to create quality programming for potential students.”

The formation of the new college emerged from the work of a Health Programs Committee comprised of faculty representing scholarly disciplines across academic units and colleges as well as key staff members. This group was created by Provost Catherine Davy in fall 2011 and charged to study the character, demand and market viability of new health programs for the UM-Dearborn campus. The committee recommended 10 potential interdisciplinary health-related programs that draw on existing courses and faculty expertise across the campus. The committee also looked at existing health-related ventures on campus, including the School of Education’s existing partnerships with Oakwood Healthcare. The school is deeply engaged in research projects with Oakwood’s Center for Exceptional Families and, most recently, the hospital and university jointly funded a research scientist position to focus on children with special needs. Based on SOE’s existing and expanding partnerships with the healthcare industry, and extensive market research, including studies from Hanover Research Group, the committee recommended that health-related programs be housed in a revamped college.

Along with adding health programs to the existing education programs, the plan is to offer an undergraduate Social Work degree on the UM-Dearborn campus, possibly in collaboration with the UM-Flint Department of Social Work. Through this innovative partnership, students will have the opportunity to earn an accredited undergraduate social work degree.

This past fall we have celebrated the Regents decision 25 years ago to form the School of Education on this campus. The Regents decision to form CEHHS marks another important moment in the evolution of education programming at UM-Dearborn. Moreover, it is a landmark in the history of the campus itself, both affirming the excellence of the School of Education as an anchor for the new college and signaling a commitment to grow the campus in new directions that will enhance our collective ability to draw undergraduate and graduate students to UM-Dearborn and expand our capacity to meet the needs of professionals who serve and improve the lives of children and families in southeast Michigan.

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