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USI Board of Trustees Approves New Degree Program and Three New Certificates

At its regular meeting on Thursday, March 3, the University of Southern Indiana Board of Trustees approved a new degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography housed in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, two new undergraduate certificates and a new post-baccalaureate certificate.  

Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography 

The Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program is currently housed within the Radiologic and Imagining Science (RIS) major, and graduates are awarded a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic and Imaging Sciences. The addition of a dedicated bachelor’s degree helps to separate the DMS program from the RIS major based on current trends in the sonography profession, enrollment data, future program expansion and advising capabilities. DMS and Radiologic Technology are different professions, have separate classification codes and have different accrediting bodies.  

The USI DMS program would be the only Bachelor of Science degree program in Indiana accredited in all four sonography concentrations (abdominal-extended, obstetrics and gynecology, vascular and cardiac sonography). In addition, it would become one of only 14 accredited Bachelor of Science degree programs in the United States in all four concentrations. 

The DMS program is offered in an in-person format with some hybrid/online delivery. Both tracks of the DMS prepare individuals to function effectively in the modern health care system as entry-level sonographers. The 120-hour program includes a sequence of concurrent didactic, laboratory and clinical courses.  

The national overall pass rate on the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) certification exams has ranged from 58-77% since 2014. The USI pass rate on ARDMS certification exams from 2014-2020 is 97%, and the USI DMS program has had a 90% overall program retention rate and a 97% overall job placement rate since 2014.  

The DMS program will next be reviewed by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and once approved, will begin being offered in Fall 2023. 

Undergraduate Certificate: Supply Chain Management Certificate 

The Romain College of Business will offer a new Supply Chain Management certificate program beginning Fall 2022. The 12-credit hour certificate has a hybrid offering with coursework being in-person and online.  

The SCMC certification covers global sourcing, logistics management, transportation, warehouse operations, procurement and other operational roles. Students who earn this certificate would be familiar with managing the entire supply chain and its strategic risks and problems, and would become familiar with making strategic decisions, allowing them to be more attractive in today’s job market for logistics service providers, e-commerce firms, retailers, manufacturers and other companies. 

Undergraduate Activity Professional Certificate 

The College of Nursing and Health Professions will offer a new Activity Professional certificate program beginning Fall 2022. The 10-hour offering has a hybrid format, with coursework offered in-person and online.  

The Activity Professional certificate program will assist in meeting Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) objectives of developing and implementing programs that include content from existing state education requirements for activity directors and social workers. The certification increases students’ knowledge and marketability while supporting the workforce needs of the state. 

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health Informatics 

The Master of Health Administration (MHA) program will offer a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health Informatics (HI) beginning Fall 2022. The HI 12-credit hour certificate offering will focus on the application of using data, information and knowledge for clinical care, scientific inquiry, decision-making and problem solving to improve the health, safety and effectiveness of those working and being cared for within the healthcare industry. The HI Certificate is comprised of four didactic MHA courses and will be offered in an online-accelerated mode. All courses in the HI certificate program will attain the Quality Matters certification before being offered. 

The HI certificate is designed to meet the educational needs of two categories of students—the health healthcare professionals seeking additional competencies in health informatics and the non-healthcare professionals seeking competencies in understanding healthcare and its use of data, information and technology.   

All certificate programs were approved by the Board after receiving approval from the University’s Academic Planning Council and review by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. 

In other business, the Board of Trustees approved the adoption of an optional fee structured program called First Day Complete. The program, implemented by Barnes & Noble, would allow undergraduate students to receive timely access to the required course materials for classes in which they enroll. The Board also approved the conferral of doctoral, master’s, baccalaureate and associate’s degrees to eligible candidates for the Spring 2022 Commencement Exercises, to be held Friday and Saturday, May 6-7, in the Screaming Eagles Arena, as well as heard updates on the Indiana General Assembly and campus construction projects.