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University of Bridgeport to drop Naturopathic Medicine and more

March 26, 2019 GMT

BRIDGEPORT — The University of Bridgeport announced Monday it is closing out a number of majors including its two-decade-old Naturopathic Medicine program.

It is one of a handful of accredited Naturopathic medicine programs in the country, founded in 1997.

Other programs being dropped include Martial Arts, Design Management, Religion and Politics, and East Asian and Pacific Rim Studies.

In a letter to the university community on their first day back from spring break, Provost Stephen Healey said that after consideration of program data and discussion with leadership, UB will stop accepting applications for those programs for fall 2019.

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Also being discontinued are a number of concentrations in master’s programs in Technology Management and Business Administration that have limited or no enrollment.

“Students currently enrolled in programs or concentrations being discontinued will be able to complete their degree at the University of Bridgeport,” said Healey. He said he has begun consulting with faculty and students in affected programs.

“Decisions to end programs are very difficult and require careful evaluation of a number of factors,” said Provost Healey. “We value our faculty, students, and graduates of these programs, yet higher education institutions in the 21st century must adapt to the increasingly complex and changing needs of future generations of students and the workplace.”

Combined there are about 100 students total enrolled in the programs, including 74 in the four-year naturopathic medicine program. There are about 15 faculty members impacted. Some may be shifted to other programs.

In its place, UB said it will launch several new programs including an online bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a bachelor’s degree in performing arts. The College of Engineering, Business, and Education will launch a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering Technology. In addition, the University will be increase its investment in the Criminal Justice, Psychology, Design, and Nursing programs, according to the provost.

“Student interest and the job outlook for these programs are strong,” he said, adding “All educational institutions constantly consider their academic inventory.”

The changes, Healey said, will free up resources for other programs.

UB, this fall, reorganized, merging 14 schools and programs into three colleges: Arts and Sciences, Health Sciences and a College of Engineering, Business and Education.

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Healey said there are no plans at this time to shut down UB’s chiropractic medicine program, acupuncture or nutrition program.

The changes were announced shortly after Laura Skandera Trombley became UB’s new president on July 1, 2018.

UB has been awarding degrees in Naturopathic medicine since 2001. Connecticut has allowed the practice of Naturopathic medicine since 1920. At one point, UB had as many as 115 students but in recent year has been on the decline, Healey said.

“It could bounce back but at 74 it seemed now is the time to phase the program out,” Healey said. It will take three years unless students in the program transfer.

The degree in martial arts has been at UB since 2004 and was the first of its kind in the country.

lclambeck@ctpost.com; twitter/lclambeck

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