Five of West Virginia University’s programs were designated “Programs of Excellence,” in a report accepted today (Dec. 3) by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, the only programs to receive the distinction among 86 reviewed by individual governing boards.

The programs are: Bachelor of Science in nursing, Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene, English Ph.D. program, Doctor of Medicine and psychology Ph.D.

“This designation recognizes the hard—and excellent—work done by students, faculty and staff in all five areas,” said Provost Michele Wheatly. “It’s also important to note that these programs are spread across campus—from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, to the schools of dentistry, medicine and nursing.”

In the report presented to the commission, several highlights of the programs were noted:

• The nursing degree program has national licensure pass rates that have exceeded state and national averages for three of the last four years, and the program received a prestigious endowment grant from the Helene Fuld Health Trust. The program has also taken steps to address the national shortage of nurses by making curriculum revisions to accommodate more students.

• The dental hygiene program has turned out students who scored higher than the national average on written national boards and has exhibited outstanding community services and had research projects that have been recognized nationally consistently.

• The Ph.D. in English program was commended by an external review committee for its student mentoring in teaching and research practices which have contributed to a nationally prominent career placement rate. Students have presented 98 competitively chosen papers at national conferences and nine papers at the most competitive conferences in the discipline. The program’s faculty have earned three Fulbright awards.

• The M.D. degree is ranked in the top 10 graduate programs in rural medicine and in the top 50 in primary care and has received the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Outstanding Community Service Award in 2006.

• The psychology Ph.D. program was recently ranked 19th in the country for the median number of publications per faculty members in clinical psychology programs and has received numerous national awards.

The review process begins with the department and can then include external reviewers and review committees. The final committee recommendations are submitted to university administration, which then submits the report to the governing board.

In adopting the report at its meeting at West Liberty University in West Liberty, HEPC endorsed the findings and recommendations of the individual boards.



CONTACT: University Relations/News

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.