The University Record, January 21, 1998

Flint has new school, degree program

By Jane R. Elgass

The creation of a new school and a new degree program at U-M-Flint "continue the maturation of that campus," which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, said Chancellor Charlie Nelms in recommending approval of the proposals to the Regents at their December meeting.

Approved by the Regents are the establishment of a School of Education and Human Services and a new degree program in the School of Health Professions and Studies, the bachelor of science in administration of services to the aged.

Nelms noted that education is the single largest major pursued by U-M-Flint students and that the campus is the major provider of teachers in the mid-Michigan area. Establishing the new school "will enable Flint to respond more effectively to the needs of area school districts and build on its strong liberal arts core," Nelms said.

About 25 percent of bachelor's degree recipients at Flint are graduates of the departments of Education and Social Work or graduate with a teaching certificate. "The departments have reached the size and maturity where the formation of a separate school will allow them to control their destiny in a way that will benefit not only these two departments but the University as a whole," Nelms said.

In recommending the new degree program, which is a collaborative effort with Mott Community College, Nelms noted that "demographic shifts in the U.S. population are marked by dramatic increases in the proportion of the population that is elderly. A review of selected national demographic data demonstrates increased need for services in the elderly population.

"There are no other degree programs in Michigan with a focus on gerontology or gerontology combined with administration. This new degree," Nelms added, "will more closely integrate Mott's program with Flint's, enabling students to select courses at either school. This will serve to enhance course availability and choice and give more visibility to the study of gerontology at U-M-Flint."

The new degree program, available this term, builds on the strengths of Flint's bachelor of science in health care administration and its interdisciplinary minor in gerontology, and Mott's widely recognized associate degree program in gerontology.