Program expansions advancing health and wellness in Manitoba
In recent months, UM announced new funding and increased enrolment capacity for a number of programs. Program expansions in medicine, respiratory therapy, clinical psychology and the creation of a master’s program in human nutrition are not only a validation of program excellence but they also underscore UM’s commitment to health and wellness.
Expansions to academic programs and the introduction of new programs follow a multi-step governance process involving numerous groups at UM. Rigorous oversight ensures the unwavering quality of UM’s programs and alignment with institutional mandates while meeting the expectations of external funders such as the Manitoba government. The process anticipates the needs of other stakeholders, such as students from other universities seeking transfer of credits to our programs and accreditation agencies who assess our programs, to ensure growth does not compromise quality. For these reasons, significant modifications to a program of study, such as the maximum available seats offered and the capital or operating resources needed to provide the program, require approval from the Senate.
At the outset of planning, the faculty administering the program consults with the Office of the Vice-Provost (Academic Planning and Programs), which oversees processes involving institutional planning and evaluation of academic programs, and advises on processes regarding the introduction of new programs, significant changes to existing academic programs, and assessment of professional programs for accreditation. Consultation continues with a number of partners within the institution, such as the Associate University Secretary (Senate), the Office of the Registrar and Enrollment Services, the Director of Technology Services, and the University Budget Officer (Financial Planning Office), as appropriate. The requisite forms and documentation are submitted to the appropriate Senate committees for Senate approval, and subsequently, to the provincial government’s Advanced Education Division for approval. The Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) oversees the process to ensure that all required resources are in place prior to implementation.
“UM works hard to deliver outstanding programs for our students, even as we face growing demand for seats. We are pleased that the Province of Manitoba recognized our collective efforts to expand our programming by increasing the necessary funding to permit the UM to continue to support the long-term health and well-being of Manitobans,” says Greg Smith, Vice-Provost (Academic Planning and Programs). The following program expansions resulted from that thorough process of review and planning.
Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) in the Max Rady College of Medicine:
In July, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences announced the addition of 30 new seats to the medical program to be phased in over two years, resulting in 140 students enrolled in the program each year by 2024. The Province of Manitoba committed up to $15.3 million in new funding for the phase one expansion, which will go to the operating costs of the program as well $40 million toward the construction of a new multi-story teaching facility at the Bannatyne campus.
Respiratory Therapy in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences:
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for more Manitoba-trained respiratory therapists or RT’s. To that end, twenty new seats were announced, on top of four seats that were added just last year, to help address immediate and ongoing need. The increase will result in 40 students entering the program per year by 2024.
Read the UM Today story “UM to expand health education, build new training space on Bannatyne campus”
Clinical Psychology in the Faculty of Arts:
This August, the Faculty of Arts welcomed the announcement of approved funding from the Province of Manitoba to double its intake from eight to 16 new students per year to its clinical psychology graduate training. The nationally-accredited program, which regularly receives 10 times as many applicants as seats, will have a significant impact on the urgent need for clinical psychologists in Manitoba. This is a timely move as awareness and support for mental health needs to assume an enhanced presence in overall health strategies.
Read the UM Today story “Clinical psychology graduate program to double”
Masters in Applied Human Nutrition in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences & Faculty of Graduate Studies:
The Master of Applied Human Nutrition (MAHN) program received full approval by the Province of Manitoba and will begin its first term this Fall 2023. The new Master’s program provides students the educational and practice-based training needed to become Registered Dietitians in Canada.
Read the UM Today story “Master of Applied Human Nutrition program take important first step to accreditation”