Emory & Henry College’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program reached a significant milestone last week, receiving the maximum number of deposits for an inaugural cohort of students scheduled to begin classes in January, pending final approval from an accreditation agency.
According to Lou Fincher, the dean of the Emory & Henry College School of Health Sciences in Marion, interest in the program remains strong and the speed with which the program has reached its recruitment goals for the first year signifies the high demand in this region for physical therapy and other education programs in the health sciences.
We always knew that the demand for health science education in this region was high among prospective graduate students. We are very pleased by the number of students who have expressed such an early and strong interest in this program. Lou Fincher
Dean of the Emory & Henry College School of Health Sciences
The program underwent a thorough on-site review visit last week as part of the continuing process required for earning “candidate for accreditation” status from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The College expects to receive notification from CAPTE in mid-November as to the agency’s decision on the program’s candidacy status.
As of Friday of last week, 32 students had paid deposits, indicating their intentions to participate in the program. According to officials with the DPT program, numerous other prospective students have expressed interest in the program and among those many have applied.
The eagerness among prospective graduate students to attend the E&H program is a function of both the demand for health science education in the region and an appreciation for the institution that would be delivering it, according to College officials.
“We know from talking to many of the students that the Emory & Henry factor plays a big role in the popularity of this program,” said Dave Haney, vice president for academic affairs at Emory & Henry. “This college has a strong reputation in science education, of course, but beyond that the prestige and respect that an Emory & Henry degree carries transfers into all programs.”
The DPT program is part of a much larger initiative in health science education planned for the 15-acre E&H campus in Marion. This larger initiative, which has already received commitments for $6.9 million in external funding, includes other health education programs and alliances with other colleges and universities.
Haney said Emory & Henry is committed to an extensive health science program at its Marion campus, which has been strongly supported by the Town of Marion, the Smyth County Board of Supervisors, the Smyth County Community Foundation and the Smyth County Community Hospital. “Beyond the DPT program we are looking at programs in occupational therapy, physician's assistant, and other health professions,” he said.