TROY—Troy University received formal approval Friday to award its first doctoral degree, as the Alabama Commission on Higher Education recommended TROY for one of two new Doctor in Nursing Practice (DNP) programs.
The commission approved the DNP for Troy University by a 7-3 vote in Montgomery Friday morning. The commission, meeting Thursday afternoon as a committee of the whole, recommended two new DNP programs for Alabama, one for Troy University and a joint DNP program for the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor, said the commission’s action is good news for Alabama citizens because it will lead to an improved health-care system.
“Our proposal was based on the indisputable need for more nurses in the state at all levels, from the associate’s degree though the doctoral level,” Dr. Hawkins said. “These new programs will help alleviate the nursing shortage in our state.”
The TROY Chancellor said the DNP program will provide relief for Alabama’s rural areas, which traditionally face the greatest challenges in providing quality health care. He said Troy University enrolls graduate students from 24 counties in Alabama, and all but one of these counties is designated as a Medically Underserved Area by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“Troy University has a great deal of experience in graduate education,” Dr. Hawkins added. “Last year we awarded 3,464 graduate degrees worldwide, more than any other university in Alabama” He added, “We know how to deliver quality graduate education. This is the right thing to do for the people of Alabama—especially in southeast Alabama and the Black Belt.”
The next step is to submit the proposal for review by the Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.