RCHHS Newsletter

RCHHS Newsletter

May 2017

Message from the Dean

Pro Futuris is a compelling vision for Baylor that attempts to build upon 19th and 20th century Baylor to become a Christian Research University. We are attempting to “approach the profile of Carnegie Foundation's Research Universities with the highest research activity” by focusing on maintaining and strengthening undergraduate education while growing professional graduate and doctoral programs. The great work of previous faculty and staff over the centuries have positioned us as an institution and Robbins College to make a significant impact in a unique and promising time. Our future in Robbins will be impactful as we begin to create new graduate programs such as the Doctor of Physical Therapy that will launch in January of 2018 in addition to the storied Army-Baylor health programs that will transition to Robbins.

Over the next five years, we will begin to launch exceptional graduate programs that will help us to increase research productivity, attract and retain very gifted students and well as retain and attract talented faculty. As graduate programs are created and research productivity increases, some of the greatest benefactors will be our undergraduate students. They will have more opportunities to conduct research projects enhancing their competitiveness for jobs and graduate schools and have increased experience in community outreach settings. Additionally, with new graduate programs and research, typically more national recognition and prestige follows that increases the brand awareness of the University and increases the respect externally for a Baylor degree. We have also prioritized good teaching in Robbins and understand that research and teaching are synergistic, expanding opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.

In this addition of our e-newsletter are two examples of new programs that will transition to Robbins that will promote great teaching, meaningful research that answers important questions, further collaborative efforts with external groups and provide greater opportunities for our students.

Sic ‘em Bears

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in 2018

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Baylor University’s Graduate School is launching a new Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program aimed at providing an innovative, career-focused education to develop skilled, empathetic care providers in a profession in which doctorate programs are struggling to keep pace with demand.

Projected job growth for the physical therapy profession is 40 percent over the next 10 years. In current DPT programs, more than 425 qualified applicants vie for every 40 slots, and an additional 73,500 therapists will be needed by 2022, according to the Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook.

“In addition to our long-standing and highly ranked program with the U.S. Army, Baylor will now offer a civilian DPT program that is open to all applicants around the country,” said Larry Lyon, Ph.D., vice provost and dean of the Graduate School.

The new DPT program has been in the works for several years and is part of Baylor’s strategic plan, Pro Futuris, calling for greater emphasis on health-related professional programs. The program will blend intensive, faculty-directed online and onsite learning activities and collaborative clinical experiences that will be available in a nationwide network of clinical education sites, with laboratory sessions in Dallas and orientation, student events and graduation at Baylor’s Waco campus.

“We will integrate the most innovative technology, blended learning methods and structured clinical education into an accelerated, two-year curriculum, compared to three years in other DPT programs,” said Denny Kramer, Ph.D., associate dean of the Graduate School. The three-year academic program, compressed into two calendar years, will reduce the cost of DPT education as well as the overall duration, said John D. Childs, PT, PhD., MBA., FAPTA., associate professor and director of Baylor’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. “Students can live anywhere in the country as long as they can commute to Dallas for the onsite lab intensives,” Childs said.

The model will address many of the challenges facing PT education today, such as the lack of qualified faculty, difficulty in scaling programs given “brick and mortar” facility constraints, demand and competition for quality clinical education sites, inability to meet the education and healthcare needs of rural communities and the unsustainable cost of PT education, Kramer said.

“The new Doctor of Physical Therapy will be a great addition to graduate education at Baylor in many ways,” said Rodney Bowden, Ph.D., dean and professor of Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences. “It will bring new and innovative approaches that enable more access to those wishing to enter the profession, help meet the demand for therapists and just as importantly, it has the potential to transform the discipline with innovative approaches to clinical education.”

Baylor’s charter class is scheduled to begin in January 2018 with an estimated 100 students, with graduation scheduled for December 2019. The curriculum will consist of 66 weeks of didactic education and 31 weeks of clinical education, with a six-month internship to prepare graduates for entry-level practice and serve as a foundation for post-professional residency opportunities in several specialties within physical therapy practice. 

To learn more about the program, visit Doctor of Physical Therapy or e-mail DPTAdmissions@baylor.edu. Baylor University is seeking Candidate for Accreditation status from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

U.S. Army-Baylor Programs

Robbins College soon will house U.S. Army-Baylor affiliated health programs in nutrition, occupational therapy, orthopaedic physical therapy, physical therapy and physician assistant studies, which will move from the Graduate School. “As we transition the Army-Baylor Health programs over the coming year, Robbins and Dean Bowden will have even more opportunities to build on strengths and develop new opportunities. We are thrilled that Dean Bowden has agreed to serve Baylor in this role,” said Executive Vice President and Provost L. Gregory Jones, Ph.D.

The U.S. Army-Baylor affiliated health programs represent some of the best in the Country. For more information or to apply please visit Army-Baylor Graduate Programs.

Dr. Rodney G. Bowden Appointed Dean of Robbins College

Rodney G. Bowden, Ph.D., professor of health education and Brown Foundation Endowed Chair, has been appointed dean of Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences at Baylor University, as announced April 12th by Executive Vice President and Provost L. Gregory Jones, Ph.D. Bowden’s appointment is effective immediately.

Bowden, who joined the Baylor faculty in 2000 and has served as interim chair of Robbins College since 2015, will continue his leadership of Baylor’s newest academic unit, which was established by the Board of Regents in May 2014. Later that year, it was named Robbins College in honor of William K. and Mary Jo Robbins of Houston, who provided a significant gift for the College.

As emphasized in the University’s strategic vision, Pro Futuris, Robbins College further strengthens Baylor’s position in health and wellness-related education, research and community engagement through its departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD), Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) and Health, Human Performance and Recreation (HHPR). Each area shares a common purpose: improving the quality of life and well-being for individuals, families and communities through opportunities for interdisciplinary research, creative endeavors, clinical experiences and innovation.

“The Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences is strong and poised for even greater visibility and leadership at Baylor as we increasingly emphasize initiatives in health across the University,” Jones said. “Rodney Bowden has done an outstanding job over the last two years as interim dean. He has shown innovative leadership, strong capacities for collaboration and a wonderful commitment to strengthening Baylor as a University. After careful assessment, it is clear to us that he is the right person to appoint as the long-term dean to lead Robbins College to greater strength and fruitfulness.”

“I am excited about the opportunity to serve the students and faculty in Robbins College,” Bowden said. “As we advance Pro Futuris through research and teaching, we have the opportunity for many collaborative efforts with Baylor partners and work with external groups advancing health and quality of life. The great work of faculty and staff over Baylor’s nearly two centuries brings us to a unique time in the University’s history regarding health and health care. I am grateful for the opportunity to help lead during this unique and promising time.”

Dr. Rodney G. Bowden Profile



Get Involved

The Robbins College invites you to engage and support our efforts in developing tomorrow’s Christian leaders in health and human sciences. There are multiple opportunities to be involved with the College, including attending lecture series or campus events or donating to our continued development of excellence in research, teaching and community engagement.