The University of Michigan-Flint will substantially increase enrollment in its Physical Therapy Program (DPT). This move comes at a time when the nation is seeing a shortage of physical therapists. The expansion of the DPT Program will allow enrollment to increase by 50%. In the past, only 40 students per year could be accepted. The program is now planning to increase admittance to 60 students annually beginning in fall 2010.
"The Physical Therapy Department added program expansion to its strategic plan in response to the 2008 American Physical Therapy Association Workforce Report stating that physical therapy position vacancy rates across a variety of physical therapy settings ranged from 13% to nearly 19%," stated Donna Fry, Ph.D., director of Physical Therapy. "With growing public awareness of the benefits of physical therapy and an aging population, there is an ever increasing demand for physical therapy services. Our students are highly sought after in the job market and often receive multiple offers for employment after they graduate."
"In recent years we have had to deny admission to many highly qualified students," said Tom Ruediger, chair of the Admissions Committee for the Physical Therapy Department. "The increase in enrollment will allow us to admit more of these talented students."
The expansion of the Physical Therapy program is only part of what UM-Flint is doing to meet the needs of future health care professionals. The Physical Therapy Department recently expanded to offer fully-online post-professional education open to licensed therapists to meet the need for advanced knowledge in the field of physical therapy. These programs for licensed physical therapists include a Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree program and five clinical certificates with optional residencies in geriatric, pediatric, orthopedic, neurologic and cardiopulmonary physical therapy.
The UM-Flint School of Health Professions and Studies has expanded enrollment in other areas in the past few years. The Nursing Department expanded its enrollment to meet the growing demand for nurses in the community. Earlier this year a new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) enrolled its first class. The Health Science and Administration Department is proposing a new B.S. in Public Health degree which builds upon the current Public Health minor.
School of Health Professions and Studies Dean Barbara Kornblau noted the importance of this growth, citing the need within the healthcare industry. "Expansion in these programs is helping to support the local economy by educating highly qualified health care providers who then provide quality healthcare services."
Students interested in the DPT program must have a bachelor's degree and meet pre-requisite requirements to apply. Full details of requirements are found at http://www.umflint.edu/graduateprograms/physical_therapy_entry.htm.
"I am delighted we will expand the Doctor of Physical Therapy program," said Vahid Lotfi, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs. "The DPT was our first doctoral program here at UM-Flint. It has been a highly selective program, achieving distinctive academic excellence for many years. Its planned expansion will provide greater access to an advanced degree in health professions for our students."