Report on an Investigation into an Entry Level Clinical Doctorate for the Genetic Counseling Profession and a Survey of the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors

Catherine Reiser, Bonnie LeRoy, Robin Grubs, Carol Walton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The master’s degree is the required entry-level degree for the genetic counseling profession in the US and Canada. In 2012 the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD) passed resolutions supporting retention of the master’s as the entry-level and terminal degree and opposing introduction of an entry-level clinical doctorate (CD) degree. An AGCPD workgroup surveyed directors of all 34 accredited training programs with the objective of providing the Genetic Counseling Advanced Degrees Task Force (GCADTF) with information regarding potential challenges if master’s programs were required to transition to an entry-level CD. Program demographics, projected ability to transition to an entry-level CD, factors influencing ability to transition, and potential effects of transition on programs, students and the genetic counseling workforce were characterized. Two programs would definitely be able to transition, four programs would close, thirteen programs would be at risk to close and fourteen programs would probably be able to transition with varying degrees of difficulty. The most frequently cited limiting factors were economic, stress on clinical sites, and administrative approval of a new degree/program. Student enrollment under an entry-level CD model was projected to decrease by 26.2 %, negatively impacting the workforce pipeline. The results further illuminate and justify AGCPD’s position to maintain the master’s as the entry-level degree.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-701
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 14 2015

Keywords

  • Clinical doctorate
  • Genetic counseling
  • Program directors

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