Concern for University RT Programs
First, there are several states with only one university with an RT/TR professional prep program. I think this is true for Minnesota and Georgia. I recently read that Florida International's program could be closed. If FIU's program is closed, how many university programs would remain in Florida? The point is that RTs must begin to examine what is going on in their states in terms of higher education and take steps to support university programs. We cannot afford to lose any more quality RT/TR professional preparation programs.
Second, RT/TR curricula need to be strengthened considerably. There is hope that this summer's curriculum conference will produce some positive changes. Let's hope so because large changes are needed to bring RT/TR curricula up to the point where they should be.
Third, and perhaps of the greatest concern, is what is going on with university Ph.D. programs in RT/TR. How many are there today? Over the years we have lost Ph.D. programs at major R1 institutions such as Illinois, Maryland, Florida, Minnesota, and Oregon. This leaves only 4 or 5 Ph.D. programs in our entire country! In the Big Ten, only Indiana and Penn State offer Ph.D. programs. I would go so far as to state that we have a crisis because not enough Ph.D.s are being prepared today. Without adequate numbers of well prepared RT/TR faculty who will do the teaching, research, and scholarship for RT?
I hope both educators and practitioners are alarmed at our current situation in higher education today. And I would call on ATRA Chapters and ATRA to take the lead to address the dire situation. What do you think? Are you also concerned?