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Published 12/20/02
Owens Community College Receives Grant To Initiate Physical Therapist Assistant Degree Online

A state grant worth more than $122,000 has been awarded to Owens Community College for the development of an online Physical Therapist Assistant Program, enabling the College to continue offering innovative educational opportunities to students throughout the state of Ohio.

Owens recently was selected as one of only three, two-year community colleges in the state to receive Ohio Learning Network grant funding, which will be used to increase the accessibility of academic curriculum through online education. With this funding, Owens will become the first higher educational institution in Ohio to offer an associate’s degree in Physical Therapist Assistant Technology through distance learning.

"The selection of Owens Community College to serve as the lead academic institution for this online program initiative demonstrates the College’s responsiveness in providing high quality programs to meet market demands," said Dr. Paul Unger, Provost of Owens Community College. "When we begin to offer the online Physical Therapist Assistant degree program, Owens will significantly impact Northwest Ohio’s health care community."

According to Lee Grinonneau, Owens Chair of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, the establishment of the distancing learning curriculum will give anyone an opportunity to pursue the online associate’s degree in Physical Therapist Assistant Technology.

"Before this program was available online, many individuals might not have considered attending college as an option because of their busy schedules," Grinonneau said. "The new online degree will add a significant amount of flexibility, allowing them to fulfill coursework requirements when it is more convenient for them."

Grinonneau added, "Due to the population of the country aging, the need for physical therapist assistants is greater than ever. This degree will greatly enhance the educational options available for students who are interested in a career as a physical therapist assistant, as well as address the demand for highly skilled professionals within the health care community."

The new online Physical Therapist Assistant degree program will require approximately 73 credit hours of coursework, which include anatomy and physiology, interdisciplinary health concepts, life span psychology and muscular skeletal dysfunction.

"Physical therapist assistants are an integral part of the health care community," Grinonneau said. "Individuals in this profession can be found applying their practical skills at hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient facilities, wellness and prevention clinics and within the school setting."

"These grants create many winners in our state," said Kate M. Carey, Ohio Learning Network Executive Director. "People want the flexibility e-learning courses offer as they balance life, work and professional development."

Carey added, "Health care providers around the state can look to Ohio’s colleges and universities to meet workforce needs. And Ohio can have a brighter economic future with a well-trained workforce."

Owens will be collaborating with Sinclair Community College to establish this new online Physical Therapist Assistant degree program and intends to offer courses to students in Spring Semester 2004 upon North Central Association’s approval.

The Ohio Learning Network was established by the Ohio Board of Regents to work with colleges and universities using technology to improve teaching and learning, as well as to help build partnerships among higher education, schools, businesses and communities.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Northwest Ohio with 23 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 140 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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