Compliance Certification Report

3.6.1
The institutionís post-baccalaureate professional degree programs, masterís and doctoral degree programs, are progressively more advanced in academic content than undergraduate programs. (Post-Baccalaureate Program Rigor)
√ Compliant
Partially Compliant
Non-Compliant
Narrative:
Two schools at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) Ė the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) and the School of Medicine (SOM) Ė offer only post-baccalaureate programs while the School of Nursing (SON) and the School of Allied Health Sciences (SAHS) offer both undergraduate and post-baccalaureate programs of study with a clear delineation between the academic content for undergraduate programs and the content for graduate programs. All graduate programs at UTMB meet standards established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (1) and The University of Texas System Board of Regents (2). Health profession programs at the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health Sciences also meet national standards for their respective accrediting bodies (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9).

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Course content is determined by the GSBS faculty and certified by the corresponding Curriculum Committees. There is an additional approval by the Executive Committee. The Graduate School offers 11 graduate programs, all of which require a completed undergraduate degree as a prerequisite for admission. For the first year of graduate study, students in eight of these programs (Cell Biology, Cellular Physiology and Molecular Biophysics, Experimental Pathology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Environment Toxicology and Human Nutrition tracks in Preventive Medicine) participate in a common curriculum, the Basic Biomedical Science Curriculum (BBSC). Students enrolling in the GSBS through the Basic Biomedical Sciences Curriculum are required to pass the core curriculum before enrolling in advanced programmatic courses (10).

School of Medicine
The School of Medicine's Curriculum Committee continuously monitors the M.D. degree program's curriculum on behalf of the Faculty of Medicine. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accreditation body for U.S. medical schools, regularly conducts an external review of the medical school curriculum, assuring that it meets national standards for comprehensiveness and rigor (11). In the SOM, students must complete the first two years and pass the United State Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step I exam before advancing into the clinically based third and fourth years.

School of Allied Health Sciences
Each of the three masterís programs (Master of Occupational Therapy, Master of Physical Therapy, Master of Physician Assistant Studies) in the SAHS requires a completed undergraduate degree as a prerequisite for admission. Course content is determined by the faculty of each program and all courses are reviewed at the school-wide level by the SAHS Curriculum Committee (12).

School of Nursing
The undergraduate pre-licensure nursing curriculum is the foundation for the advanced nursing degrees. The school uses the same philosophy and curricular models across levels, so that building knowledge can occur. Undergraduate courses introduce students to basic and professional nursing skills required to provide direct care to patients, families, and communities. The nursing functions at this level may be independent, interdependent, or dependent. Students are exposed to general areas of nursing practice, medical surgical, pediatric, obstetric, psychiatric, and community health nursing. Students are given the opportunity to learn non-invasive health assessment techniques, to be consumers of research and apply evidence in planning and implementing nursing care. The principle focus of care for undergraduates is with patients whose care is being directed by a physician, advanced nurse practitioner, or physician's assistant. Undergraduate students learn the process of teaching and counseling patients and their families about modifying lifestyles, medication interactions, or wound care, for example.

Each of the eight masterís specialties (Family Nurse Practitioner, Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Womenís Health Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, and Nurse Leadership in Complex Health Care Organizations) in the SON requires completion of a BSN for admission into the program. Faculty determines the curriculum for each program based on the Essentials of Masterís Education for Advanced Practice Nurses (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 1996) and the national standards established by each specialty. Curriculum for each program and courses are reviewed by the Curriculum Committee and SON Faculty Assembly.
#
Source
1
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Chapter 5, Subchapter C, Approval of New Academic Programs and Administrative Changes at Public Universities and/or Health-Related Institutions
http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/Rules/Tac3.cfm?Chapter_ID=5&Subchapter=C&Print=1
2
Regents' Rules and Regulations, Series 40307, Academic Program Approval Standards
http://www.utsystem.edu/bor/rules/40000Series/40307%202004%2012%2010%2001.pdf
3
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education, II. Educational Program, C. Teaching and Evaluation, pp. 14-15 http://www.lcme.org/functions2006june.pdf
4
American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Standards for Accreditation of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Programs
http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Accreditation/NewStandards.htm
5
Standards for an Accredited Educational Program for the Occupational Therapist, Standard A.6.0, Program Evaluation
http://www.aota.org/nonmembers/area13/links/LINK31.asp
6
Evaluative Criteria for Accreditation of Education Programs for the Preparation of Physical Therapists, pp. B1-B34
http://www.apta.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=PT_Programs1&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=132&ContentID=21559
7
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, pp. 4-11
http://www.naacls.org/PDFviewer.asp?mainUrl=/docs/standards_cls-mt.pdf
8
Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant: Accreditation Manual
http://www.arc-pa.org/Standards/manual906withclarififyingchange.pdf
9
Standards and Guidelines for the Profession of Respiratory Care, IV. Student and Graduate Evaluation/Assessment, pp. 8-9
http://www.coarc.com/documents/new/CAAHEP-CoARC 2003 Standards.doc
10
Basic Biomedical Science Curriculum
http://www.gsbs.utmb.edu/bbsc/default.htm
11
Integrated Medical Curriculum Design
http://www.utmb.edu/imo/CurriculumDesign/index.htm
12
UTMB School of Allied Health Sciences, Bylaws, Section 6, Curricula Committee, p. 9
http://www.sahs.utmb.edu/faculty_handbook/fac_assy_Bylaws_June_2002.pdf