We were disappointed to learn that construction money for our Teacher Education and Technology Complex, needed to provide adequate space for our Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies, was not provided in the Governor’s FY2006 capital budget. This delays the opening of the TETC until Fall 2008 and hinders our ability to meet workforce needs in teacher education and social work.
We have seen an increase in secondary education teaching majors – a high need area, especially in the math and sciences – but our current education facilities are inadequate for training our students in teaching science to middle and high school students. Many students tell us that their high school labs were far superior to those in Caruthers Hall, a 1950’s campus demonstration elementary school.
An external barrier to program expansion in teacher education is the MSDE requirement of creating Professionals Development School (PDS) sites for all field training. It is a significant challenge for a university located in a predominately rural area of the state to establish the prescribed numbers of sites for our education majors. We have had to partner with sites in all Lower and Upper Shore counties of the Eastern Shore as well as in Annapolis and Delaware. Travel costs in terms of money and time are a burden for our faculty and students.
In order to accommodate the needs of individuals on the Upper Shore, Salisbury University is now offering our masters of education (M.Ed.) program at the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center, on the campus of Chesapeake College.
SU’s Nursing Department has been struggling to meet the demands of significant enrollment expansion over the last 5 years. As with other departments, budget cutbacks have limited faculty and support staff growth despite genuine attempts to meet state demands for nursing graduates. We have noted that the Governor’s budget recommends $384,000 for the nursing program at Towson University. Salisbury University would also clearly benefit from this type of incentive funding.
Enrollment growth in SU’s Nursing Department has doubled in the last 10 years, increasing from 210 nursing and pre-nursing majors in 1995 to 403 nursing and pre-nursing majors in 2004. During that time, faculty lines have increased by two. Over the last three years, entering junior year nursing enrollment has increased from 60 to 88, a 46% expansion. This growth has come with a challenge that threatens future accreditation evaluation – excessive use of part-time faculty and salary levels significantly below the American Nursing Council national average.
The expanded enrollment has also put significant strain on clinical supervisory placements in the field. Additional field sites are difficult to identify in the predominantly rural area of the Eastern Shore where there are far fewer hospitals, clinics, and health agencies than exist in the more populous areas of the state.
NEXT: Collective Bargaining -->