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RU Gains SCHEV Approval for New
Doctoral, Master's Degree Programs

RADFORD -- The news for Radford University out of Richmond today couldn’t be better! The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) approved proposals to offer Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Occupational Therapy degrees. The first admitted students to both programs would begin classes in the fall of 2009 if granted final authorization by the Virginia General Assembly. It is anticipated that the first staff members of the programs would begin work in the summer of 2008.

"We are delighted that SCHEV has endorsed these important proposals, which would further strengthen the academic program at RU at the graduate level," said President Penelope W. Kyle. "Expanding graduate degree offerings in innovative ways and increasing graduate enrollment are key components of our strategic plan, 7-17, as is being responsive to the health and human services needs of Virginians."

The Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) would become RU’s second doctoral degree program, joining the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree in Counseling Psychology, which admits its first class of students in the fall of 2008.   "The DPT and Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) programs are to be specifically designed to prepare doctoral clinicians in physical therapy and Master’s qualified graduates in occupational therapy with the necessary knowledge and skills to assume positions in these critically needed yet underserved professions," said Dr. Raymond Linville, Dean of the Waldron College of Health and Human Services.

The DPT and MOT programs both address national trends and needs for improved health care. The U.S. Department of Labor and the Virginia Employment Commission have identified critical shortages nationally and in Virginia in both professions. 

Occupational Therapy was recently described as one of the country’s four "fastest growing jobs between now and 2014" by CNN Money magazine, while Physical Therapy was listed as one of the six "hottest jobs" for college graduates in a recent issue of Parade magazine.

"Radford University would be the first institution in the Commonwealth to offer DPT and MOT degree programs emphasizing rural health care needs," said Provost Wil Stanton. "These programs would offer tremendous opportunities for our graduates to better meet the health care needs of citizens throughout Western Virginia."

 "These programs would be great complements to the outstanding programs offered by our Waldron College of Health and Human Services," Kyle added. "And they would be great milestones on our drive to become one of the top 50 masters universities in America."

Jan. 8, 2008
Contact: Rob Tucker (rtucker@radford.edu; 540-831-5803)

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