SRU to launch College of Health Professions in 2022

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Slippery Rock University is creating a College of Health Professions, to begin in fall 2022, that will support existing departments and academic programs related to health care that are mostly housed, at present, in the College of Health, Engineering and Science.

Feb. 17, 2021

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University is creating a College of Health Professions, to begin in the fall 2022 semester. The new college will be largely made up of existing academic departments currently housed within the College of Health, Engineering and Science, which is the largest of SRU's four colleges with 15 departments.

"SRU continues to be an innovator in establishing professional health care programs in western Pennsylvania to meet the needs of our growing and aging populations," said SRU President William Behre. "The new College of Health Professions will enable students in these programs to work in greater harmony with each other and to prepare for careers that are very much in demand in our community, the commonwealth and the country."

There are no current plans to increase academic programs as part of the new college and the exact number of departments that will comprise the College of Health Professions will not be determined until the University hires a dean to lead the new college. According to Abbey Zink, provost and vice president for academic affairs, the need and timing for the change is the result of several factors, including the size of the current College of Health, Engineering and Science, which is led by an interim dean, Michael Zieg.

Provost Zink

   ZINK

"This change provides us the opportunity to enhance the configuration to the colleges," Zink said. "With the addition of health programs in recent years, we have a need to emphasize and appropriately focus attention on our health programs, and our engineering and science programs, by having them in separate colleges. It's difficult for one dean to effectively build all those programs with all the accreditations and complexities, but beyond that, having a college dedicated toward health professions is going to set us up as a regional leader and highlight our outstanding health profession programs."

The current College of Health, Engineering and Science consists of 158 full- and part-time faculty and programs that enroll 3,438 full- and part-time students. Each of those headcounts exceed a third of all faculty and students, respectively. Among the new programs added in the last five years are graduate programs in health informatics and public health, along with the physician assistant and occupational therapy programs that are housed in the Harrisville Building. A former elementary school that was renovated in 2016, the Harrisville Building includes 13 labs and four exam rooms that include cameras for professors to monitor student progress and equipment that simulates real-time patient care.

"With state-of-the-art facilities and a dedicated faculty, we are in a unique position to launch this comprehensive college that will not only meet a wide variety of educational needs but serve the people of our region in a most advantageous way," Behre said. "This opportunity has the potential to foster engagement in interprofessional education that will be a tremendous asset for our University and our region."

More information about SRU's four colleges and academic programs are available on the SRU website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |   justin.zackal@sru.edu