Just a week after the physical therapy program at Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences (MDCHS) reached another important accreditation benchmark, the college’s Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program has also earned candidacy status. The announcement from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy (ACOTE) allows Mary Baldwin to accept students into the occupational therapy program, keeping the timeline on track for first classes to begin in June 2014.
“I am exceptionally pleased with the feedback we received regarding our candidacy application,” said Linda Seestedt-Stanford, founding vice president of health sciences.
Mary Baldwin has steadily received applications for its PT and OT programs since July, and each program will accept approximately 30 students into its inaugural class. Some prospective students have had the opportunity to meet directors and faculty from the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences at graduate school fairs, open houses, and information sessions.
“We are thrilled and excited about the quality of our applicants and look forward to seating the class of 2017,” said Nathan “Ben” Herz, program director for occupational therapy, who has started informing prospective students about the development.
Construction is progressing on Murphy Deming’s initial three-story, 57,000-square-foot building on the site off Goose Creek Road in Fishersville. Instructional technology for the state-of-the-art facility has also been finalized, including simulation labs, lecture capture capability, videoconferencing, and projection of multiple images on large flat-screen monitors in classrooms. In addition, MDCHS faculty and staff have connected with key community partners through the Augusta Community Forum and the Mary Baldwin University service learning network to develop ongoing projects.
A $15 million gift from longtime Mary Baldwin benefactor Bertie Murphy Deming Smith ’46 launched the development of the college of health sciences and jump started construction. A master of science in physician assistant studies is also planned to start in 2015.