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b2ap3_thumbnail_monogram.jpgBeginning in the fall of 2015, Waynesburg University will offer a new master’s degree in Criminal Investigation.

“The master’s degree in Criminal Investigation is a 30-credit program that will distinguish our University from many others in the region that offer graduate level courses beyond Criminal Justice, Criminology or Police Administration,” said James Tanda, instructor of criminal justice at Waynesburg University. 

Criminal Investigation is a 500 level graduate program for professionals and students who have completed the requisite undergraduate courses in Criminal Justice Administration or have comparable training, skills or professional experience relating to the field.

The program consists of courses such as Advanced Criminal Investigation, Advanced Crime Scene Investigation, Advanced Interview and Interrogation, Research in the Justice System and Effective Criminal Profiling. 

Students pursuing a master’s degree in Criminal Investigation will learn about ethical decision-making and leadership in the field as well as build upon their interview and interrogation skills.

“This unique blend of advanced level courses from each discipline creates an exclusive opportunity for students, police officers and other professionals in the field to obtain a Master’s Degree in Criminal Investigation, not offered anywhere outside of Waynesburg University,” said Tanda.

The Criminal Investigation courses will be offered at Waynesburg University’s main campus as well as the Southpointe, Monroeville and Seven Fields centers. Select courses can be completed online.

For more information, visit http://www.waynesburg.edu/graduate/graduate-majors/master-of-arts-in-criminal-investigation or contact Tanda at jtanda@waynesburg.edu or Adam Jack, chairperson for the Criminal Justice and Social Sciences Department and assistant professor of criminal justice, at ajack@waynesburg.edu.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_McCracken.jpgDr. Helen McCracken joined Waynesburg University as the director of Graduate Programs in Education Monday, Nov.10, 2014. McCracken will coordinate aspects of the Graduate Education Programs including oversight of all degree, certification, endorsement and advanced studies programs, as well as student recruitment, retention and advising.

“We are privileged to make Dr. McCracken a part of our team,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Core, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost of Waynesburg University. “She brings with her a wealth of experience, allowing us to take our graduate education program to new levels.”

McCracken brings to Waynesburg University an impressive background as well as an enthusiasm for Christian higher education. She has extensive experience in K-12 education, serving a number of years in the Canon-McMillan school district, most recently as the superintendent.  

She has also worked as an assistant professor at California University of Pennsylvania in its Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership, both instructing and developing programs.  

She holds a doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and master’s degrees from both Robert Morris University (MBA) and California University of Pennsylvania (M.Ed.). 

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_HEALTH_UD_078.jpgWaynesburg University’s Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program hosted a panel discussion and debate at the University’s Monroeville center Sunday, Nov. 16. 

In an effort to promote interprofessional opportunities, the DNP Program invited six first-year medical students from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine to participate in the debate about healthcare utilization. 

“Most professions are seeking opportunities for interprofessional development,” said Dr. Kimberly Whiteman, assistant professor and co-director of the Graduate and Professional Studies Nursing Program and DNP Program at Waynesburg University. “We don’t have a medical school and they don’t have a nursing school; this program enabled both of us to have a collaborative experience.” 

Waynesburg’s DNP Program established this event in conjunction with the Institute of Medicine’s initiative to promote “interprofessional education for collaboration.” 

“It was well received on both ends,” said Dr. Kimberly Stephens, assistant professor of nursing at Waynesburg and co-director of the DNP Program. “Both our students and theirs thought it was beneficial, and it encouraged us to continue to look for opportunities that are valuable.”

Amber Egyud, full-time chief nursing officer for Allegheny Health Network and a second-year DNP student at Waynesburg University, participated in the debate. 

“The debate helped to develop networks that foster the exchange, synthesis and application of innovation to improve healthcare outcomes,” she said. “The benefit of interprofessional collaboration is the ability to share professional competence and experience to improve healthcare outcomes.” 

Waynesburg University's 36-credit Doctor of Nursing Practice program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, D.C., 20036, 202-887-6791. It is offered at the Monroeville Center. Each course meets one weekend every other month in the 15-week semester, with learning activities and assignments to be completed between seminars. 

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_SRMC.jpgA Waynesburg University Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)  student and three faculty members recently joined forces with a representative from Southwest Regional Medical Center (SRMC) in an effort to decrease readmission rates at the hospital through the implementation of the Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) Toolkit.

Through the quality-improvement project, the team was able to reduce readmissions at SRMC to 8 percent, which is significantly less than the national rate of 19 percent. Readmission, as defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, is a return hospitalization to an acute care hospital following a prior acute care admission within 30 days of discharge.

Dr. Carol J. Adams, now a graduate of the University’s DNP Program, led the team. The project was her DNP Program capstone project. Dr. Kimberly Stephens and Dr. Kimberly Whiteman, co-directors of the DNP Program and assistant professors of nursing at the University, and Hal Kersteen, a part-time faculty member, along with Jeanne Katruska, director of case management at Southwest Regional Medical Center, collaborated on the project.

An article detailing the project was recently published in the July 2014 edition of “Quality Management in Health Care.” The article, “Implementation of the Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) Toolkit to Decrease All-Cause Readmission Rates at a Rural Community Hospital,” states that the project aimed to:

  • Use the methodology outlined by Joint Commission Resources-Hospital Engagement Network and Project Re-Engineered Discharge (Project RED) to redesign the discharge process,
  • Reduce hospital 30-day all-cause readmission rates, and
  • Improve patient/family involvement in the discharge process.

“The partnership with Waynesburg University provided valuable insight to the discharge process, which has the potential to benefit many other hospitals,” explained Katruska.  “We are proud of the progress we made and continue to see readmission rates, which are significantly less than national averages. The process aligns perfectly with our commitment to continually improve the quality of care we provide to patients in our community.”

As part of Waynesburg’s DNP Program, students are required to lead an evidence-based practice change throughout a healthcare system that affects patient outcomes.

“Carol worked with the University, the hospital and the Joint Commission to implement a program that improved the discharge process and decreased hospital readmission rates,” said Dr. Whiteman. “I am very proud of Carol’s work and the outcomes achieved for patients and Southwest Regional Medical Center as a result of her work.”

Waynesburg University established its fully accredited DNP Program in 2007 as one of the first 25 DNP programs in the United States.

The University’s DNP Program differs from Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs because the focus is on evidence-based practice and systems leadership that has an immediate impact on the quality of health care delivery; graduates from traditional Ph.D. programs develop programs of original research.

According to Dr. Nancy Mosser, professor of nursing and chair of the Department of Nursing at Waynesburg University, Waynesburg’s DNP Program serves as a natural extension to the University’s Master of Science in Nursing degree program with a concentration in administration, but also is appropriate for those with education, informatics and advanced practice backgrounds. 

“In this program, students enhance their understanding of principles of leadership and are ready to assume an active role in promoting the highest quality health care delivery from a values-based perspective,” Mosser said.

Among the students in the University’s DNP Program are administrators, educators, executive leaders, certified registered nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and certified registered nurse anesthetists from all over the country.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three adult centers located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 23 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

Southwest Regional Medical Center is Greene County’s only acute care hospital.  The facility has 49-beds and offers 24-hour emergency services, a full range of diagnostic imaging specialties, a fully accredited laboratory, cardiology services, hyperbaric wound care and home health services.  Southwest Regional Medical Center is also accredited by The Joint Commission. 

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

Tagged in: GAPS News nursing news
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A Waynesburg University Graduate Counseling Program faculty member, as well as a faculty-and-student team, recently had scholarly papers accepted for presentation at national conferences.

Dr. Devon Manderino, assistant professor of counseling, will present her original research on spirituality in counseling at the North Atlantic Regional Conference of the Association of Counselor Educators and Supervision in Providence, R.I., later this month. 

Additionally, Laura Smith, a graduate counseling student; Dr. Scott Tracy, director of graduate programs in counseling and assistant professor of counseling; and Dr. Mark Lepore, an adjunct faculty member, will present their clinical poster, “Risk and Resiliency: The Prevention and Aftermath of School Violence,” at the Annual Conference of the American Counseling Association in Orlando, Fla., in April. 

“Waynesburg University students and faculty are committed both to adding to new knowledge about relevant counseling topics and serving the Christian mission of the institution,” Tracy said. “Both of these projects represent those commitments, as well as receiving the approval from peer reviewers.”

Manderino studied how spirituality has been directly linked to positive outcomes in counseling, while spiritual crises contribute to psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression and psychosis. Despite this recognized link, counselor training related to spirituality is inconsistent and untested.

She said her project was aimed at developmentally educational activities that may significantly improve counselor trainee competency levels regarding the role of spirituality and religion in counseling.

Smith, Tracy and Lepore’s poster focused on the prevalence of school violence incidents, which have illuminated the need for a better understanding of the factors that predict mental health outcomes for students, teachers, school administrators, first responders and adjacent school communities.

“In almost all instances of school violence, somebody close to the perpetrator knew of the plan before it happened; however, in most cases the warning signs become clear only after the event takes place,” Smith said.

The poster outlines a model for understanding community needs that result from exposure to school violence with treatment strategies that may help affected communities heal and move forward.

“This project proposed the development of a collaborative system for students, teachers, parents and community members to provide children with emotional and social skills training, and when necessary, report concerns about the threat of violence,” Tracy said.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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