DATE:  May 28, 2004
CONTACT: Dr. Robert L. Smith, Professor and Department Chair,CollegeofEducation, (361) 825-2307;
Jorge A. Ramirez, Assistant Vice President for Communications, (361) 825-2427

Regents Approve Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Request to Change Ed.D. to Ph.D. in Counselor Education
University also receives authorization for Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has received permission from the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents to change its Ed.D. in School Counseling to a Ph.D. in Counselor Education. The Board gave its assent to the modification at yesterday’s meeting in College Station. The final approval on the change will come from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) at a later date.

According to Dr. Robert L. Smith, professor and department chair in the College of Education, the new name will more accurately reflect the curriculum, research, emphasis, and student career goals of the current doctoral program. More than 75 percent of the counselor education programs nationally offer the Ph.D. as a terminal degree. “The curriculum at A&M-Corpus Christi more closely aligns with a Ph.D. program as compared to an Ed.D. program,” said Smith. “A change to the Ph.D. will make our graduates more competitive, and other universities and employers will appropriately recognize their degree.”

Smith added that there are no curriculum changes anticipated in the program which requires a 30-hour research component consisting of 18 hours of classroom courses of research and 12 hours of dissertation. The program, which was implemented in 2001, currently has 33 doctoral students and is the only doctoral program in South Texas serving students seeking careers in counselor education.

“For the students, a major benefit of the name change will be that the research component of the program will be appropriately recognized,” Smith added. “It will more clearly recognize the quality of the doctoral program.”
In addition, the Board of Regents gave its approval for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Athletic Training beginning in September 2004. The new degree, which also must be approved by the THECB, would be offered through the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology.

“The object of the new program will be to prepare students for a career in athletic training,” said Head Athletic Trainer Mark Bohling. “Students will be instructed in the educational competencies and skill proficiencies that are set up by the national accrediting association which will enable them to meet state and national certification requirements.”