WestConn pitch to eliminate social sciences degrees

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by MaceWindu, Oct 31, 2022.

  1. MaceWindu

    MaceWindu Active Member

    *not related to the general discussions of DL


    Students, faculty rally against WestConn pitch to eliminate social sciences degrees

    “DANBURY — Faculty members and current and former students rallied Friday against a proposal by Western Connecticut State University officials to drop a number of degree programs they say are facing declining interest from prospective students.

    University spokesperson Paul Steinmetz said data analysis of enrollment and retention trends found declining registration and diminished interest in majors including economics, anthropology, and social sciences, resulting in a move to no longer offer those subjects under a bachelor’s degree program.“

  2. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    What's needed are more degrees in social sciences that lead to careers in helping people and less with unclear or non-existent career paths. They need to be cheaper, and the paths to licensing need to be less cluttered with excessive and expensive barriers.

    For the subjects in the field that don't fall into that, I don't care too much about what happens to those as full degrees because they can be taught as minors or electives.
  3. MaceWindu

    MaceWindu Active Member

    Yes, more degrees in Social Sciences.
  4. MaceWindu

    MaceWindu Active Member

    Yes, more degrees in Social Sciences and they do need to be cheaper.

    Also, why not change them to fully competency based degrees, or via correspondence, or online only?
  5. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Would think that the economics folks would have been well versed in correlating their demand and program sustainability…
  6. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Sort of. We need less of the ones that don't lead to careers, but more of them that lead to careers and usually that requires some sort of state credentialed title, licensed title, or certified title.

    One thing I want to see more of--and I'm surprised and saddened there isn't more of them--are degrees in Chemical Dependency Counseling, particularly at the undergrad level that are tailored to meet the state standardized curriculum (where applicable) for becoming licensed. That subdiscipline has always had a shortage problem but it's much worse now and magnified due to the widespread drug crisis.

    I'd also like to see some kind of standardization happen across the country so pricing between those programs becomes competitive, because in some states the pricing is as much as 10x the cost of other states for these programs even when they're not degree programs. One state may have a school charging just $200-$400, but the state you live in may have schools that charge $4,000-$10,000 or more even though the cheaper program teaches the same things with comparably qualified people behind it. With a unified system that type of price disparity would no longer be an issue, it would encourage more people to enroll in and out of state, and it would help to address the shortage of counselors in that subdiscipline.
    Johann likes this.
  7. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Chemical dependency counseling and other counseling programs are professional healthcare degrees. Of course, things like this will fall into a gray area since colleges have minor differences in classifying subjects, but the social sciences are focused on theory. Counseling is to psychology as nursing is to biology.

    Substance abuse counseling will continue to have a shortage because it's a low-paying field, and it has a culture of only being accepting of recovering addicts. You can become a substance abuse counselor without being a recovering addict, but it doesn't mean you'll be accepted or a preferred provider. It has a peer culture instead of a professionalized culture like the other healthcare fields.
  8. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    All of that is true. My issue is that authorities in a number of states continue to compound the shortage problem by finding new ways to make the path to licensing needlessly difficult for those who want to go that path. This often has a ripple effect where people beginning or in the middle of studies are hit with a new rule that makes their path longer than they anticipated and can sometimes be a catalyst for them throwing their hands up and walking away. So, that adds to the shortage. Some of the things New York has done over the years and recently have had that effect on both students and institutions, with the recent situation still having a smoldering effect.

    Generally speaking, jobs in any field within or adjacent to mental health are low-paying, especially compared to some other fields. The hope is that the people who enter it understand they're not going into it for fortune and fame but to help people in need. The pay in some places has improved, but not as well as other fields. The incentive is light and it doesn't help that turnover is extremely high, because since clinics have gotten by for so long under that circumstance, they have little reason to be competitive with other healthcare fields that require comparable education to reach licensure. However, if they were, they would likely decrease a good deal of the turnover and encourage more people with a professional mindset to enter.

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