E&H Receives Approval to Offer Doctoral Degrees, DPT
Emory & Henry’s plans for a physical therapy degree achieved an important affirmation on Tuesday when the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) granted the College approval to offer the doctoral program.
With this approval, Emory & Henry has the green light from the regional accreditation association to apply for accreditation from the national Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Through this approval, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools also has granted Emory & Henry permission to offer doctoral degrees.
Emory & Henry will now seek “Candidate for Accreditation” status from CAPTE, which, when achieved, would allow the college to begin classes during the fall of 2012. Students in the program will attend classes at the College’s new satellite campus in Marion, on the grounds of the former Smyth County Community Hospital.
The review process conducted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools involved an examination of the quality of the new doctoral program and of the capability of Emory & Henry to offer the program. The Association reviewed the curriculum, staffing and facilities for the program as well as the College’s financial strength and prior success with graduate programs.
“We are not surprised that we have crossed this hurdle, given the high quality of this program and Emory & Henry’s reputation for academic success,” said E&H President Rosalind Reichard. “Nevertheless, the accreditation process is very grueling, and the standards are high. Many people at Emory & Henry worked very hard to ensure that this process was a success, and we are very proud of their efforts.”
E&H Receives Approval to Offer Doctoral Degrees
Emory & Henry has raised approximately $1.4 million toward the development of the doctoral program in physical therapy and plans to use two buildings at the former hospital complex in Marion, including a 16,000-square-foot education building.
The three-year program will enroll as many as 32 students in its first year and as many as 96 after it is fully implemented. Emory & Henry estimates the program could have an $11.5 million economic impact on the region after three years.
The new DPT program has received strong support from Mountain States Health Alliance and the Smyth County Hospital as well as leaders of the Smyth County Board of Supervisors, the Marion Town Council, and the Smyth County Chamber of Commerce.
According to Reichard, the program is a natural extension of Emory & Henry’s strong undergraduate programs in the sciences and athletic training. It also builds on the College’s mission to address through its educational program fundamental needs of the community. “Emory & Henry is a national leader in community service because we focus our efforts on aggressively tackling many problems in our society, and access to high-quality health care providers is certainly an important issue in this region,” Reichard said.
The principle objective of establishing the DPT program is to create a sustainable professional program that will prepare well-qualified students to provide physical therapy to people in the region. In recent years, officials with Mountain States Health Alliance have had to contend with a shortage of physical therapists. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that physical therapy will be one of the fastest growing professions in the next 10 years, projecting a 30 percent growth in the number of physical therapists.