Sunday, April 10, 2011

Eucational Potpurri

My university provides two types of Master’s degrees, a traditional academic style, and another a more focused Professional Master’s degree intended to prepare candidates for a specific advanced position.  Examples of the Professional Masters include the Executive MBA, The Masters in Health Administration, the Masters in Public Health, and the Masters in Rehabilitation Medicine (for occupational therapists and physiotherapists).  What all these courses have in common for the most part is that they are supported by the Faculty  of Graduate Studies, and approved by the University Senate.  They are all 18-24 months with an expectation of advanced courses, and some aspect of a  designed research project.  
I raise this because we have reached a new level of interest in laboratory quality management which has spawned the activities that will lead to a new Master’s degree in Laboratory Quality Management.  I wrote about this before (see February 20th).  

The structure of the program is starting to take shape: the course will take  between 18-24 months to complete, depending on the complexity of the research component.  The fixed components will include advanced courses  in the history of Quality, the interpretation and implementation of internationally accepted quality standards ( including but not limited to ISO documents), relevant statistics for Quality Control which will also include topics such as measurment uncertainty and six sigma analysis.  
There will also be required practicum time of working with a quality partner program, and working within a quality communication program, and a research project or thesis which will advance the level of new information and knowledge in laboratory quality.

At the present time we are struggling around the best delivery format.  For many adult learners, postponing their career to take on a new academic program is unrealistic, and so a program that is completely, or at least largely on-line makes infinite sense.  At the same time, we are also aware that for some funding agencies, they can only support education that takes place in a fixed location for a fixed time.  For them an experience in Vancouver is essential.  And the question to us is to sort out which format to go with, or perhaps to try to accomodate both.  I am interested in hearing from people with an opinion or a stake on the subject,  and have been soliciting comment in a variety of meetings and conferences.  

I anticipate that I have a few months left to make an almost final decision, recognizing that in the area of education, almost all decisions at one point or another are re-visitable.

We anticipate the MLQM will be ready to go September 2012.

Now I know and understand that a Master’s program is not for everyone and that in Canada few employer’s today would recognize the degree as an essential.  But that is today, and the view of an MLQM may be very different in 2013-14.

In the meantime we know our Certificate Course in Laboratory Quality Managment (CCLQM) continues to provide a solid educational grounding for many interested in  a shift in their laboratory career focus.  Their goal is to move towards being a laboratory Quality Manager.  We will continue to offer CCLQM and each year evaluate in it to looks for the opportunities for improvement.  More on this later.

The next session of CCLQM will run January 2012.

We have posted the presentations for our Communicating Quality Seminar at

Folks interested in our POLQM Weekend Workshop need to know that the early bird date for early registration is looming close.  Those interested in attending can same a lot of money now.

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