Allen College to Offer Four New HealthCare Programs

October 15, 2013

WATERLOO, Iowa—Allen College chancellor Dr. Jerry Durham has announced that the College has received final approval to implement four new degree programs.  The College’s regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, has granted approval for Allen College to offer  bachelor’s degree programs in dental hygiene and public health and graduate-level programs in occupational therapy and health professions education.

No other bachelor’s degree programs in dental hygiene and public health  are currently being offered by Iowa colleges.    Graduates of the new programs will receive the Bachelor of Health Sciences degree.  Both programs will be offered to students in Iowa and other states through distance education.  The College is currently recruiting directors for both programs.  The new program in dental hygiene will admit students who are already registered dental hygienists.  According to Allen’s vice-chancellor of academic affairs, Dr. Nancy Kramer, Allen College’s 2012 survey of Iowa’s dental hygienists found significant interest among those surveyed in earning a bachelor’s degree.  Allen College is planning to admit its first dental hygiene students no later than the fall of 2015. The public health program will address current and future needs for entry-level public health workers and prepare students for graduate study in public health and related fields.  Dr. Kramer said that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that 80% of the public health workforce lacks specific training in public health. The College is planning to admit its first public health students in fall 2014.

The College is planning to start two graduate programs--the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) and the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Health Professions Education.  The occupational therapy program will graduate students who are qualified to work as occupational therapists.  According to Dr. Kramer, Iowa has only one other occupational therapy program.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growing demand for occupational therapists over the next several years.  Allen College is planning to open the occupational therapy program in fall 2015.

The Doctor of Education in Health Professions Education will address a growing need for nurses and other health educators who hold doctoral degrees.  Dr. Kramer noted that Iowa has a shortage of nurses and other health professionals with this level of education.  The new doctoral program, the only one of its type to be offered by an Iowa college, will admit students in fall 2014 and will be offered entirely online.  Allen College currently offers one other doctoral degree program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). 

More information about the new programs is available by calling 319-226-2014.

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