RCHHS Newsletter

RCHHS Newsletter

July 2018

Message from the Dean

Entrepreneurship is a term used in business circles and in Schools of Business. Yet, you will find in Robbins College that entrepreneurship and innovation are central to our success and growth trajectory. We continue to attract some of the best and brightest students in undergraduate and graduate programs, those students who are willing to enter their chosen profession upon graduation with innovative ideas that enhance and move their professions forward. They are serving people, helping improve quality of life and continually answering their calling. It is during their time at Baylor where they are mentored by faculty and staff that perpetuates and accentuates their innovative ideas.

Robbins College has approached much of our work through entrepreneurship and innovation. We launched our Doctor of Physical Therapy this year with a record setting enrollment. The hybrid approach with online didactic work and two-week long lab immersions in Dallas and Waco every 9-weeks is one of only two programs in American higher education with this approach. Others are attempting, such as the University of Southern California, to adopt this model. The hybrid approach is an innovative way to meet the national demand for physical therapists while also giving students who simply cannot disrupt their lives to come to a campus, like Baylor, and spend a number of years working on a degree. Our approach to DPT education gives others a chance to extend their career path, support their families and help others.

The programs discussed in this newsletter are equally innovative with entrepreneurial faculty willing to look at degree plans differently and expand their influence with non-traditional students. They are changing the lives of these students and therefore changing the lives of others, improving quality of life and changing academic disciplines…all in a day’s work in Robbins College!

You will also notice a story about one of our partners, Waco Scottish Rite, that is helping us through a tremendous gift. This one gift, singularly, will impact children for generations to come.

I do hope you are enjoying your summer.

New Online Master of Public Health (MPH) Program

Church Under the Bridge

Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences will partner with 2U to deliver a new online Master of Public Health (MPH) with a specialization in Community Health. The program combines the concepts and professional competencies of both public health and community health and is designed to equip students to lead, administer, and promote public health in a wide variety of local or global health-related settings. The curriculum incorporates a strong practice-based approach and covers key topics including epidemiology, environmental health, biostatistics, health services administration, and behavioral science and health education. Students will apply the skills and concepts taught online in field practicum experiences in their communities as well as have the opportunity to attend immersions at the Baylor campus for in-person learning and networking with faculty, public health experts and classmates.

New Online Master's in Communication Sciences and Disorders

2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), a global leader in digital education, and Baylor University announced an expansion of their partnership to deliver a new online master of science (MS) in communication sciences and disorders through the department of communication sciences and disorders in Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences at Baylor. The new degree program, Speech@Baylor, represents a new domestic graduate program for 2U and will launch in fall 2019, pending approvals from accreditation organizations.

The department of communication sciences and disorders’ on-campus MS in communications sciences and disorders degree program has a rich tradition that spans more than 50 years and is one of the oldest, largest and most distinguished graduate programs at Baylor. The Speech@Baylor program will match the rigor and quality of the on-campus degree program, and Speech@Baylor students will receive the same degree as students enrolled in Baylor’s equivalent on-campus master’s degree program. Both programs are designed for those aspiring to work in the speech-language pathology field, which comprises such careers as speech-language pathologists and scientists in communication sciences and disorders.

“Baylor’s department of communications sciences and disorders has made a strong impact in Texas and the surrounding region, improving countless lives through our graduates and direct service to the community,” said Gary Carini, vice provost for graduate professional education at Baylor. “We’re excited to welcome students from around the country to learn from our esteemed faculty online and in-person on the Baylor campus. Our partnership with 2U will enable us to deliver high-quality digital education to advance our mission of working for the betterment of others through education and understanding in the field of communication sciences and disorders.”

Speech@Baylor is designed to teach students current theories and principles, cutting-edge technologies, research methods and practices of communication sciences and disorders. Students will be exposed to a variety of areas in speech-language pathology and audiology, including clinical audiology, language and literacy disorders, autism spectrum disorders, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), traumatic brain injury, aphasia, voice disorders, fluency disorders, motor speech disorders and swallowing disorders. Students also will participate in practical, real-world training at clinical experiences in their communities, and will attend hands-on training at Baylor’s on-campus clinics, which specialize in assessment and intervention in the areas of: speech and language, neurorehabilitation, audiology, concussion management, voice, AAC, autism spectrum disorders, fluency, language and literacy.

“Coming right on the heels of announcing our first partnership with Baylor University two months ago, we’re pleased to expand our work with its department of communications sciences and disorders, known for excellence in its field,” said 2UGrad President Andrew Hermalyn. “This partnership positions Baylor as a leader in digital higher education and 2U is committed to providing Baylor’s students and faculty with the highest level of service as we deliver the best of what the university has to offer for students wherever they may live.”

Baylor faculty will teach students through weekly live classes and faculty-developed interactive coursework on an online platform that works seamlessly on mobile devices.

For more information visit www.onlinegrad.baylor.edu.

Two New Programs in the Field of Occupational Therapy

Baylor University’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences is launching two new programs — a Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree program that will begin in August and an entry-level degree program scheduled to start in January 2021.

The programs are aimed at providing an innovative, career-focused education to develop skilled, empathetic health care providers in a field in which doctorate programs are struggling to keep pace with demand. Job growth in occupational therapy is projected to expand by 25 percent over the next 10 years, adding more than 31,000 positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The profession of occupational therapy is shifting from the master’s degree to an entry level doctoral degree as a means to keep up with the demands for contemporary knowledge in an increasingly complex and specialized health care environment,” said Rodney Bowden, Ph.D., dean of the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences at Baylor.

Baylor will partner with Evidence in Motion, a provider of post-professional educational programs in the physical therapy industry.

To keep up with demand in the occupational therapy field, new graduates soon will enter the profession exclusively with a doctoral degree, according to the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. The shift to a doctoral level as an entry-level requirement will take place July 1, 2027. The change also is expected to create an incentive among existing occupational therapists to update their knowledge and skill set to a larger scope of practice.

“The Baylor Post-Professional OTD program is ideally suited to meet that demand,” Bowden said.

Marian Gillard, Ph.D., program director, said that one of the unique benefits of this program is that it is fully online.

“Students will be able to continue working full time and have the flexibility to fit education into their already busy lives,” she said. “We think the flexibility of this program is one of its most attractive features.”

The program will assist existing occupational therapists in maintaining the most contemporary practice standards consistent with a doctoral-level profession, Gillard said.

The new program is part of Baylor’s strategic plan, Illuminate, which calls for greater emphasis on health-related professional programs. It will prepare students for continued professional development in an area of clinical specialization, including teaching in an academic setting.

The program is open to therapists with a master’s degree in occupational therapy or a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy with a master’s degree in a related field. It integrates active learning into an online environment, with the core curriculum designed to bridge the gap between master’s and doctoral-level training and allow students to choose elective content that matches their professional and clinical goals. The curriculum consists of 30 total credits that can be completed in 12 to 36 months. To learn more, visit www.baylor.edu/otd or e-mail OTDAdmissions@baylor.edu.

Waco Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation Gives $1.6 Million to Endow Baylor’s Camp Success

Baylor University today announced a $1.6 million gift from the Waco Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation that will create a permanent endowment for Camp Success, a free intensive summer language and literacy intervention program for children through the department of communication sciences and disorders (CSD) in Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences.

The endowment will ensure the continued impact of Camp Success, providing resources for the program, supporting CSD faculty, staff and students as well as the growth of the department’s nationally ranked graduate program and enhancing community outreach to raise awareness about this valuable resource for Central Texas children. It also will provide resources for the annual end-of-camp ceremony, during which children and their families celebrate their tremendous progress and successful completion of the program.

“Waco Scottish Rite Bodies have long been a source of support for Baylor University and the families in our shared community who rely on the resources available through Camp Success,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “We are truly grateful for Scottish Rite’s decision to create this generous endowment that will ensure the long-term health and trajectory of this life-changing program, both as a resource for the children who are transformed by the literacy and language outreach and for the Baylor graduate and undergraduate students who benefit from the clinical practice setting. We celebrate what this support will mean for generations of Central Texas families.”

“Through the endowment of Camp Success, the Waco Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation desires for all children to be able to read, opening the doors and windows of the world to them; thus allowing them the opportunity to become all they can be,” said Claude Ervin, chairman of the Waco Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation.

Camp Success was launched in the summer of 2003, made possible by the generous contributions of both time and resources from members of the Waco Scottish Rite. Since then, the four-week summer camp has been offered annually at no cost to participants.

“Waco Scottish Rite has supported Camp Success over the past 15 years, through giving generously of their time and resources to impact the lives of hundreds of children with reading and language disorders. This generous endowment means a permanent continuation of this program. It is truly a blessing to us all. We are thankful to Waco Scottish Rite for this life-changing gift and for the opportunity to continue to serve and transform the lives of children with language and literacy challenges,” said Camp Success director Michaela Ritter, Ed.D., associate professor of communication sciences and disorders and associate dean for undergraduate studies and international experiences in Robbins College.

This year, 48 CSD graduate students work alongside department faculty, with support from Baylor CSD undergraduates, to provide evaluation, therapy and pre/post-testing for children ages 5 to 17 with language and literacy disorders that affect vocabulary, word relationships, sentence structure, sound structure, reading, writing and spelling. Camp Success clients receive approximately 50 hours of one-on-one therapy – equivalent to a full year’s worth of intervention in many school districts. The children represent diverse cultural and economic backgrounds and gain admittance to the program based on their comprehensive language and literacy assessment results.

Due to the demonstrated effectiveness of the program and the increasing number of children with communication disorders, Camp Success has continued to grow at a rapid pace – graduating a program-high 84 children in the summer of 2017. This year, 96 children will participate in Camp Success.

“Camp Success is a ministry to the children and their families, some of whom have struggled with language and reading difficulties for years. This intensive intervention program also transforms the lives of our undergraduate and graduate students as they see growth and success in the children they treat,” Ritter said. “It is exciting to see the children make significant progress and become more confident in such a short period of time and at the same time see the excitement and growth of our undergraduate and graduate students as they experience the positive changes in their clients. The significant progress and success seen in the clients is inspiring to our students to know what can be. Our clients receive approximately 50 hours of therapy in four weeks, so as the brain is changing, that child’s life is changed. It’s a pretty amazing process.”

The Waco Scottish Rite endowment gift follows an anonymous $10 million gift in 2015 that sparked the transformation of the educational experiences of CSD students, including significantly increasing the capacity of the graduate program, expanding service to those with speech-language needs in Texas and positioning the department for national impact as a leader in the field of speech language pathology. In 2016, the CSD department, its areas of speech language pathology, audiology and deaf education and Camp Success moved into new academic and clinical space in the Hankamer Academic Center and Cashion building. The move allowed for a major expansion of the Baylor Speech and Language Clinic, a professional clinical division of the department, which provides more than 10,000 hours of community service each year to children and adults of all ages.

The new academic and clinical space, combined with the Scottish Rite endowment gift, has further ignited excitement about the future growth and impact of the department’s work and its ability to continue to serve the community in the future.

“Baylor’s Pro Futuris strategic vision, bolstered by our Illuminate academic strategic plan, outlines aspirations addressing such areas as research and academic excellence through transformational education,” said Rodney G. Bowden, Ph.D., dean, professor of health education and The Brown Foundation Endowed Chair. “Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences is working to enhance these and other areas through innovation, creating knowledge and transforming academic disciplines and practice. Waco Scottish Rite will be a strong partner to help us in these efforts. Not only will we be able to help more children and their families, we will be able to translate discoveries we make in Camp Success and disseminate those research findings to help even more children in clinics and schools across the country. We are grateful for the support of Waco Scottish Rite.”

The effective treatment of a communication disorder literally can transform a child’s interaction with the world and set them on a new trajectory in life, Ritter said. Children who graduate from Camp Success often leave feeling empowered, capable and enthusiastic about their futures.

“It’s really exciting to see the change for kids who were reading far below where their peers were reading and to make a great amount of progress,” said Ritter, whose mailbox is often filled with high school and college graduation announcements from former Camp Success students. “It’s wonderful to get the testimonies and the letters from parents stating how much of a difference Camp Success has made. Now with this endowment from Waco Scottish Rite, this impact will live forever.”



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.