I am so pleased you are visiting our website. We are very proud of our School, its academic programs, faculty, students, and alumni, and I would like to share some of our outstanding highlights with you.
The School of Allied Health Professions (SAHP) is an international leader in the education of knowledgeable, innovative, and clinically competent health professionals. The School is an integral part of Virginia Commonwealth University and its Medical College of Virginia Campus. The School recognizes the importance of remaining accountable to students and their families, the Commonwealth, faculty, staff, alumni/alumnae, and other benefactors through the effective use of resources. Allied Health Professionals comprise an estimated 50-60 percent of the nation’s health care workforce. Hence, the School takes seriously its responsibility to the needs of society through the promotion of excellence in healthcare service and collaborative research that generates state-of-the-art and specialized knowledge. Educational formats that are technologically advanced and accessible to students through on-campus and distance learning are emphasized. Strong linkages with clinical educators, preceptors, and the community are essential to the success of the School.
The School fosters fair and equitable work responsibilities and compensation for faculty and staff as demonstrated by the recent workload study conducted by the Office of the Dean. It nurtures faculty development toward new knowledge and increased research productivity. The School serves and represents its member departments through a decentralized structure that empowers programs to achieve leadership in each of their respective disciplines. Recently the School has added new, accessible, and technologically improved classroom and laboratory facilities, increasing the morale of the students, faculty, and staff. The School derives its strength from professional diversity that is based upon cooperative interdisciplinary education, research, and service. A regular program of School sponsored grand rounds is just one example of these efforts. Our commitment to the promotion of VCU's Quest for Distinction includes enhancing diversity among our faculty, staff, and students and emphasizing cultural competence in our professional training.
Virginia Commonwealth University's SAHP is considered one of the top Schools in the country by the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP) because of our national rankings and outstanding faculty, many of whom have earned national and international reputations for excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship. The School has consistently received high rankings for its academic programs. Among those ranked by the US News and World Report are: Health Administration (3), Nurse Anesthesia (4), Rehabilitation Counseling (4), Occupational Therapy (15), and Physical Therapy (19). Also, our Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) hybrid distance learning program, is ranked fifth in the nation by Modern Hospitals Magazine and our PhD Program in Health Related Sciences is ranked in the top quartile in the country by a survey by the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. Although U.S. News and World Report does not rank our other departmental programs, they are considered excellent programs by their peers as they enjoy an outstanding reputation as evidenced by the successes of their graduates. The Departments include: Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Gerontology, Patient Counseling, Radiation Sciences, and the Virginia Center on Aging. Our hybrid distance learning Doctoral Program in Health Related Sciences was ranked in the top quartile in the Country in doctoral programs in the health related sciences by the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. As a result of this excellent reputation, health care institutions and educational programs heavily recruit graduates of our programs. Many of our alumni hold leadership roles across the nation and abroad.
The School continues to promote doctoral education as evidenced by the recent additions of clinical doctorates in Occupational Therapy and Nurse Anesthesia Practice in addition to our already successful Doctorate of Physical Therapy. In an effort to reach students in rural areas of the Commonwealth, the School has engaged sites such as the Higher Education Center of Southwest Virginia (Abingdon), Carilion Health (Roanoke), and Northern Virginia to offer synchronistic distance courses.
The fact that we are experiencing a steep decline in state budget allocations has significant implications for the School. The School continues to review its strategic plan in light of budgetary constraints. We now are looking more at program results and resource allocation rather than individual budgets. We recognize that change is inevitable and that we must use this crisis to leverage new opportunities that present themselves. Promoting the use of distance technology in program development is just one example. Since the allied health professions represent a significant component of the health care workforce and continue to experience shortages of qualified professionals, the School is committed to explore the necessary measures to maintain student numbers while ensuring academic and clinical excellence in higher education.
The upcoming year brings new excitement and challenges to the School of Allied Health Professions. We hope you will join in our endeavors to achieve the goals set forth for 2015-2016, and continue to support the School's commitment to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, and service.