Anderson University announces the establishment of a new College of Health Professions that will emerge June 2016. At its recent Board of Trust meeting, trustees approved the development of the new College that will be comprised of four distinct schools, including the existing School of Nursing, a new School of Human Performance, a new School of Allied Health, and a new School of Physical Therapy. To form the College of Health Professions, the existing Department of Kinesiology will take on the new name of School of Human Performance, and the existing Department of Human Services will become the first department within the School of Allied Health.
In making the announcement, Dr. Evans Whitaker, president of the University, said “Anderson University made an internal commitment four years ago to develop academic programs in the health professions to supply health providers and the public with competent and compassionate health care professionals. Today, with state of the art facilities and a distinguished faculty, we are in an unprecedented position to launch this comprehensive College of Health Professions to meet a wide variety of educational needs, and in turn, to serve the people of our region.”
A graduate School of Physical Therapy will be developed with a goal of offering the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Provost Dr. Tim Smith states “the development of this academic program is important because workforce studies demonstrate an increasing need for physical therapists in South Carolina to address the aging population. Currently, there are only two programs in South Carolina with no program currently available in upstate South Carolina to serve the region.”
The DPT degree is currently under development. Following internal approvals, the proposal must be submitted for review and approval by both the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS-COC) and the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) before the University may admit students and begin to offer coursework. Pending both these external approvals, the earliest the program could begin would be 2018.
Dr. Donald Peace will serve as the Dean of the College of Health Professions. Dr. Peace has extensive academic preparation including a Ph.D. in Human Services, a Master of Science in Health Services Administration, a bachelor of Science in Applied Sciences and Technology, and an Associates Degree in Respiratory Therapy. His academic preparation is supported by his extensive experience as a practitioner in the area of respiratory therapy, previously serving the community through his service as a Regional Director of South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and Director of Community Health Clinics for AnMed Health. Dr. Peace’s most recent service is becoming President of the American College of Health Care Executives for the state of South Carolina.
Building on the success of Anderson’s School of Nursing, the vision for a College of Health Professions began in 2014 with the development of a new strategic plan known as Forward 2021. This development, as stated by Dr. Tim Smith, “will allow Anderson University to deliver the highest level of academic preparation for students engaged in the service of health and wellness of individuals throughout the community while providing the academic preparation from a Christian perspective.” Currently, there are no academic programs in this region of South Carolina that blend the characteristics of academically rigorous programming with Christian service to prepare graduates to serve the community.
Earlier this year, Anderson announced that it would welcome its inaugural class of graduate nursing students this fall to its educational facilities within the University Center of Greenville. The University will offer both the Master of Science in Nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice with 17 available tracks to allow RNs to advance their credentials and practice in the areas of Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Education, and Executive Leadership.