CMU partners with Michigan Tech to expand doctor of physical therapy program

Opportunity helps fill critical need for physical therapists in Upper Peninsula
CMU/Michigan Tech partnership
Central Michigan University and Michigan Technological University have created a partnership to offer the CMU doctor of physical therapy program at Michigan Tech, filling a critical need for additional physical therapist practitioners in the Upper Peninsula.
 
This new cohort of 12 students will take classes at both CMU and Michigan Tech campuses taught in an innovative distance-learning format. Clinical education experiences will primarily take place at medical facilities in the Upper Peninsula. Admission for the inaugural class will begin next summer with classes starting in June 2014, pending accreditation review by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
 
“Students enrolled in this program will receive their DPT degree from Central Michigan University, but most of the courses will be offered at Michigan Technological University,” said Herm Triezenberg, director of CMU’s doctoral program in physical therapy and chairman of the School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences.
 
The lectures and laboratory experiences will be presented on CMU’s campus by CMU faculty and transmitted live to Michigan Tech through interactive distance-learning technology. CMU faculty will be onsite at Michigan Tech to coordinate clinical programs and supervise physical therapy labs.
 
“Michigan Tech began its exercise science program in 2006. Now we have approximately 140 students enrolled,” said Jason Carter, chair of Michigan Tech’s kinesiology and integrative physiology program. “A large number of those students have wanted to continue on to graduate programs and stay in the Upper Peninsula. This new degree program will help them do both.”
 
“This partnership is a great opportunity to combine the strengths of two universities to help meet the health care needs of the state of Michigan and the Upper Peninsula in particular,” said Christopher D. Ingersol, dean of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions at CMU. “This is a chance to partner with another outstanding university whose strengths in research complement our strong clinical programs.”
 
Michigan Tech has raised $250,000 to fund the remodeling of academic space on campus and purchase of equipment for the program. Gifts in support from community partners have included a matching gift of $125,000 from Upper Peninsula Health Care Network, and $25,000 in donations from each of the area hospitals – War Memorial Hospital, Portage Health, Aspirus-Keweenaw Hospital and Dickinson County Memorial Hospital.
 
“This program represents an innovative and cost-effective way for each university to extend its activities by sharing facilities, faculty and staff talent, and students,” said Bruce Seely, dean of Michigan Tech’s College of Sciences and Arts.
 
Central Michigan University established its master of science in physical therapy program in 1994. It made the transition to the doctor of physical therapy degree in 2004.

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