The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education in Fort Smith recently welcomed its first School of Physical Therapy class.
CEO Kyle Parker said in a news release, “Our School of Physical Therapy is another positive move of the needle to improve health care for our region and state. Our institution is still in the early years and we are just getting started. Stay tuned for more good news.”
The three-year program, which welcomed 36 students and has 11 full-time faculty members, brings the number of students attending ACHE to approximately 700.
The new school’s students will graduate with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Clinical specialties including orthopedic, neurologic, sports, pediatrics, geriatrics, and pelvic health physical therapy will be taught there.
Teressa Brown, the school’s dean, said 30 of those students are from the ACHE service region. “Twenty-four of the 36 students are from Arkansas. Oklahoma and Texas make up the remaining students from the service area,” she said.
“Our students will benefit from our state-of-the-art classrooms, which feature a lecture/physical lab layout so students can immediately transition from lecture to lab in order to learn the techniques necessary for a physical therapist,” Brown added. “PT students will have the opportunity to work with real patients, under faculty supervision, through the ACHE Interprofessional (IP) Clinic. The ACHE IP clinic is a pro bono clinic located on the first floor of the school. Our students will be well-prepared and ready to work in a clinic, hospital, or wherever they choose to practice.”