YSU committee approves new master's degree


By Denise Dick

denise_dick@vindy.com

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If it’s approved by the Ohio Board of Regents, Youngstown State University will offer a master of respiratory care degree by fall 2012.

The academic and student affairs committee of the YSU trustees approved the new degree at a meeting Thursday.

Joseph Mosca, dean of the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services, said data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates a 20 percent growth in the field over the next 10 years.

There are no graduate programs in respiratory care in Ohio or any neighboring states, Mosca said.

“According to the Coalition for Baccalaureate and Graduate Respiratory Education, there are 47 accredited programs at the bachelor’s degree level but only four respiratory-therapy programs at the graduate level,” says information submitted to the committee.

Two of those programs are designed for entry level into the profession, and the others provide a major or specialization in respiratory care for bachelor-degree graduates, it says.

“This is not entry level,” Mosca said. “It’s an advanced level.”

Peter Kasvinsky, associate provost for research and dean of graduate studies and research, said the program is intended to recruit nationally.

“We really are at the front of the curve on this,” Kasvinsky said. “I think a lot of universities will be copying us in Ohio.”

Trustee John R. Jakubek agreed that the degree could be used as a national recruiting tool.

“I think this is pretty much a no-brainer,” he said of approving the new degree.

Ultimate approval must come from the state’s board of regents.

The trustees’ internal affairs committee at its meeting approved a policy extending the campus-weapons policy to employees and visitors on campus.

YSU Police Chief Jack Gocala told committee members that previously the only policy was included in the Student Code of Conduct. That only prohibited students from having weapons on campus.

The new policy applies the ban to students, faculty, staff, visitors, vendors, contractors and other individuals. It prohibits “carrying, displaying or usage of any firearm and/or other weapon by all persons while on university property.”

There is an exception for law-enforcement officers.

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