Huntington University to launch graduate programs in occupational therapy

HUNTINGTON, Ind. Huntington University is planning to launch the first graduate-level degree programs in occupational therapy in Northeast Indiana in the fall of 2014.

The university is in the process of searching for a director who will help to create the master's and doctoral level degree programs. This will be the university's first doctorate degree and its first graduate programs in allied health.

"Developing graduate programs in occupational therapy is an exciting venture for HU," said Dr. Ann McPherren, senior vice president for strategy and graduate/adult programs. "Preparing occupational therapists at HU won't be just about teaching skills and credentialing students. It's about developing leaders who have a heart for serving others and who have the knowledge and motivation to positively impact their places of employment and our communities."

The graduate programs will be located within the new Life Science Education and Research Consortium of Northeast Indiana in Fort Wayne. The programs will work with and build on the support of the other institutions in the consortium including Trine University which plans to launch a doctoral program in physical therapy program at the same location. The programs will also build on Huntington's undergraduate degrees in exercise science, nursing and recreation management. Fort Wayne Community Schools, Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast and the University of Saint Francis will offer programs through the consortium, as well.

"Occupational therapy is an in-demand field which is expected to continue to grow given recent medical developments with stroke survivors as well as people recovering from joint and hip replacements," said Dr. Norris Friesen, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. "Given the interest in exercise science, our mission and the fact that there are no other similar programs in our area, this is a very unique opportunity for us to influence the next generate of occupational therapists with an accredited program that seeks to integrate God's message of grace and love by helping people regain their strength and abilities to live full and fruitful lives."

The Life Science Education and Research Consortium will open on the Parkview Randallia campus in Fort Wayne. Along with the occupational therapy programs, Huntington will offer bachelor's degree programs in human resource management, not-for-profit leadership, RN-BSN degree completion and its Master of Counseling program.