2005 Budget Testimony
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.