Allied Health 'Gets Creative' to Manage Growth
Published March 2006
In the last five years, UC's College of Allied Health
Sciences has nearly tripled its enrollment--from 470 students in 2000
to more than 1,260 in 2005. And the college anticipates the number to
increase again for fall 2006.
Although distance learning has played a major role in
attracting more students, off-campus students account for only about
half of the increase.
"Across the board, there are shortages in many of the
allied health professions that we train students for," says Elizabeth
King, PhD, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences. "We're proud
to be doing our part to fill that need with our graduates, but we
recognize that we must 'get creative' in order to accommodate and best
serve the influx of students."
And the college has done just that.
In an effort to add more teaching space, one of the
computer labs in the French East building was transformed into a
full-time classroom. But understanding the tremendous need for computer
technology, the college applied for and won a grant that was used to
buy a mobile laptop cart. With French East's wireless internet
capabilities, instructors can now set up a temporary computer lab in
The college has also made many classrooms
streaming-video compatible. More lectures can now be posted online for
distance learning programs in clinical laboratory sciences, health
information management and speech-language pathology--designed
specifically for a group of students traveling between New York and
Classrooms have also become more interactive with the
installation of personal response systems--a technology designed to
allow students to actively participate in class through real-time
feedback on a device similar to a television remote control.
High-tech tools in the classroom aren't the only new
advantages for allied health students. The college has put a major
focus on community engagement--so much so that many academic programs
are integrating community projects and experiential learning into the
"We really view this growth not only as a challenge,
but also as a great opportunity," says Dr. King. "The contributions of
our faculty have really made such enormous growth possible.
"This exciting time has really forced us to explore new
ways to educate our students and has opened our eyes to many chances to
form partnerships outside UC," she adds. "Creative application of
technology and greater opportunities for community engagement are
becoming integrated into our curriculum."