Dean’s Message Summer 2018

Michael HolleyUpdates

Summer is here and I hope everyone is enjoying it and that you are ready to start back to school in our Fall 2018, Semester. Earlier this year I competed in the North Face Endurance Challenge in Sterling, Virginia which was a half-marathon through the hills and woods of Algonquin State Park. Later in June, I completed a Spartan Race in Mechanicsville, Maryland, which was multiple miles with over 20 obstacles. My goal was to do my best and finish which I did in both although at times I just wanted to stop (but didn’t). This correlates to education with a term called “perseverance.”  Education like the competitions is about preparation and finishing. The work you do in the classroom to prepare for exams, projects, and papers, directly correlates with the grade or “score” for your work. In each instance, whether in the competitions or in your courses, your effort and preparation before any final assessment or test determines how you perform. Work hard, pace yourself and never loose site of the finish line and you will succeed.

Now…for what we can do to help you on your journey.

I would like to emphasize that our faculty truly understand that education is challenging and rigorous. Please know that if you need assistance, contact your instructor, Program Chair or my office. There are a number of resources ranging from the Student Success Center, tutoring, Advisors, and faculty who can assist you. There are also new academic programs, events, and activities for our students this fall.  In the meantime, Summer II has started as we go into our new Academic Year.


New Doctorate Degree

Our new Doctorate of Social Science in Prevention Science, “is interdisciplinary, integrating theories and methodologies from the disciplines of public health, human development, developmental psychopathology, education, behavioral sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, developmental neuroscience), economics, evaluation, epidemiology, and public policy and administration. Program objectives and focus for the DSocSci, include training in three primary areas:

(1) the production or generation of research-based knowledge that focuses on increasing the understanding of risk and protective factors and processes related to prevention and health promotion in human populations;

(2) the translation of evidence into effective programs and policies that positively impact the well-being of children, youth, adults, families, and their communities; and

(3) the development of successful partnerships with community, county, state, and national organizations to disseminate effective programs into routine practice in local, regional, national, and international settings.”

The program competencies are listed on our webpage and range from, “how to generate research-based knowledge focused on increasing the understanding of risk and protective factors and processes related to the prevention of problems in human populations; to how to develop successful partnerships with community, county, state, and national organizations to disseminate effective programs into routine practice in a variety of settings and how to design interventions for vulnerable and unique populations, particularly members of racial and ethnic minority groups, children, and the elderly.” Essentially, prevention specialists collect and analyze data in order to evaluate programs and to determine the needs of the people they serve.

What is unique about this program is that it is an accelerated master’s to doctoral degree that ranges from 72-75 credits (including the master’s degree. Nine (9) of the 72-75 credits would include credits taken by a student at the master’s level at Wilmington University and will be clearly identified as applying towards the doctoral degree. The doctorate degree itself will range from 39-42 credits. Students enrolling in the program with a master’s degree from another institution would be evaluated for possible credit transfers of up to 9 credits and may need to take additional credits. Also, students will have the opportunity to design an area of specialty through “Guided Study.” Students will also have the opportunity to select six (6) credits at the doctoral level in an area of interest that may not be covered in the required coursework. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Deb Berke at 302-356-6760.


3rd Annual Human Trafficking Symposium

 The Symposium takes place on August 9th and has a full agenda with presentations, workshops and materials. Education and increasing awareness of this human tragedy is the goal of the Symposium and one that our College has embraced to combat the trafficking of human beings. Each of us can make a difference by learning and little more about this to be able to recognize it and truly understand the pain it causes. The link below provides additional information and a schedule of the workshops.


Workforce Development/Non-Credit Training

During 2017-2018 Academic Year, we worked with the Delaware Department of Corrections (DOC) to provide training in interpersonal communication, de-escalation and supervision and leadership. This was training customized to their needs and goals. The training took place over five months at our Dover Campus and involved the delivery of instruction and materials to over 1,200 DOC employees.

In addition, we provided training to the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) in Trauma-Informed Approach. The latter training involved 26 DHSS personnel in a “train-the-trainer” modality as the “trainers” would return to their worksites and conduct training for over 1000 employees of DHSS. This included face-to-face and online training modules.

We now can provide custom training to organizations that have specific needs in the areas of Social and Behavioral Science. We can customize the training to incorporate individual organization values and their mission. It can also include focused areas of need based on an analysis by the organization which we can assist with.


Trauma Informed Approach

 Speaking of Trauma Informed Approach, this is our fastest growing certificate and content area within the college. Students enrolling in this curriculum will find it complements programs in Psychology, Organizational Dynamics, Behavioral Science, Criminal Justice, Government and Public Policy, and Legal Studies. It will help better prepare professionals who are competent in understanding and applying a trauma-informed approach in a variety of environments. A trauma-informed approach refers to how an agency, organization, and/or community, responsible for providing services such as mental health, educational, crisis, and/or criminal justice services, thinks about providing those services in a way that supports prevention, resilience, and recovery. In this approach, all components of service delivery incorporate a thorough understanding of the prevalence and impact of trauma, the role that trauma plays, and the complex and varied paths in which people recover and heal from trauma. A definition of a trauma-informed approach incorporates three key elements: (1) realizing the prevalence of trauma; (2) recognizing how trauma affects all individuals involved with the program, organization, or system, including its own workforce; and, (3) responding by putting this knowledge into practice.*

*Retrieved from


New College Sites/Partnerships

We have also partnered with Camden County Community College and Mercer Community College in New Jersey to offer new programs and courses onsite at their campus locations. Programs offered at our new partnerships include Behavioral Science, Administration of Human Services (graduate) and Organizational Dynamics to name a few. Please see our webpage for further information.

As I have stated before, I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the family members and significant people in the lives of our students that support them on their academic journey. We all need the support of those around us to be successful. Going to school, working, and taking care of family requires initiative, hard work and a willingness to succeed. Our faculty and staff are here to help you along the way also, because as a student, you are a member of our college family.

Finally, please let us know your thoughts on the new initiatives, your classes, and any input you may have on our programs and certificates in general. My office is located in the Peoples Building at the New Castle Campus in Room 022. My phone number is 302-356-6870. Please stop by or call if you have any questions. I also visit each of our sites during the semester and will be glad to be available to answer questions. Thank you for your interest in our programs and Wilmington University.


Dean Ed Guthrie