By NOUHAD ALAME, Staff Writer

This past fall, the Board of Reagents at the University of Michigan-Dearborn celebrated a decision made 25 years ago to form the School of Education (SOE) on this campus, but the SOE has taken a long road since that time. Today there is a reason to celebrate an even greater evolution of education programming at the UM-Dearborn, and that is the decision to form the College of Education, Health, and Human Development (CEHHS) from the SOE marking one remarkable step towards better education, while affirming the commitment to grow the campus to meet the needs of professionals, current students, as well incoming undergraduate and graduate students at the UM-Dearborn.

The U-M Board of Regents approved the name change of the college in December 2012, while the change went in to effect on September 1, 2013. In announcing the Regent’s decision to form CEHHS, Chancellor Daniel Little wrote, “It has been the university’s longstanding goal to develop a suite of health programs to meet increased student and industry demand, grow enrollment and provide distinctive programs in southeast Michigan…”

The formation of the new college emerged after extensive marketing research from the work of a Health Programs Committee is comprised of staff members representing main scholarly disciplines spread across various academic units and college curriculums. With the completion of the research pertaining to the current demand of marketing professionals followed the formation of the Health Programs Committee in the Fall of 2011 by Provost Catherine Davy to examine the character, workforce demand and market viability of new health programs for the UM-Dearborn campus.

The committee has even suggested a possible ten interdisciplinary health-related programs that would improve current courses and shape faculty expertise not only at the CEHHS, but also across the campus in its entirety.

Moreover, the Health Programs Committee closely examined existing health-related partnerships on campus, which included the School of Education’s existing partnerships with Oakwood Healthcare. With several projects intact between Oakwood’s Center for Exceptional Families and most recently, the hospital, the university announced further participation at the research level in focusing on children with special needs at Oakwood’s Center for Exceptional Families.

Chancellor Daniel Little admits that there is much work to be done, but that “the Regental approval allows us to continue to build on the work of the faculty and staff to create quality programming for potential students.” Specific program changes may take months if not years before implantation. According the CEHHS website, processes that alter university curricula would have to undergo several procedures before finally being incorporated as part of the university educational system.

No major changes are expected for either students or faculty. The CEHHS faculty is currently still the same as new programs have not yet been added and familiar professors will continue teaching in their disciplines. Students expecting to graduate by the winter semester of 2014 should not expect to be impacted at all. In fact, graduation requirements will not change and diplomas of the upcoming graduating class will expect to read-College of Education, Health, and Human Services beginning with the December (fall) 2013 graduating class.

Rima Zahobi, a sophomore student majoring in Health Policy at the UM-Dearborn says, “I am excited to see what new academic programs will add onto my current major or if any of these changes will be likely to change my current career plan in health policy education.”

Currently the CEHHS envisions additional programs which may include: Health Informatics, Evaluation & Improvement (health care, education and human services), Public Health, and Health Behavior & Health Education to name a few. In addition, the CEHHS hopes to have an option that will allow undergraduates to design their own specialization or independent studies allowing various academic specialties in education, health, and human service to collectively blend together hopefully starting this Fall of 2013.

Students interested in the above programs are encouraged to begin their general education prerequisites until program specific courses have been implemented. Interested students should contact enrollment services for more details regarding career planning and specific course requirements.