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Clarkson University To Offer New Master's Degree In Physical Therapy

Clarkson's traditional strength in engineering provides a unique perspective in physical therapy, says Clarkson PT Professor Leslie Russek, physical therapist and Orthopedic Certified specialist. "I am both a clinician and a biomedical engineer, and this is an exceptional opportunity to link the two."

Potsdam, N.Y. – One of the most dynamic health fields in the country becomes a master's degree program at Clarkson University next summer, when a new master of physical therapy (MPT) degree will be offered. The new MPT in physical therapy degree was recently approved by the state Board of Regents. The seven-semester program will be run by the School of Science's Division of Health Sciences.

Physical Therapy involves evaluating, alleviating and preventing impairments, functional limitations, and disability from injuries, diseases, and other causes. Clarkson University's PT program is unique, since it's built around an interdisciplinary approach and because the school will emphasize use of the latest computer technology.

The Clarkson Board of Trustees this spring designated $1.6 million to be used for the renovation of the University's Clarkson Hall building into a health-care complex. The facility will house the University's new Physical Therapy Program and the Canton-Potsdam Hospital's Potsdam outpatient physical therapy department, along with additional comprehensive rehabilitation services, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, and neurorehabilitation programs.

Our facilities will feature an integrated basic science learning center, practice, research and evaluation laboratories,says associate dean and director of Division of Health Sciences Samuel B. Feitelberg. "The program will emphasize student-centered learning through problem solving. Together, we will dedicate our efforts to meet the needs of a rapidly changing health care system."

The new problem-based learning (PBL) program shares the general Clarkson University commitment to a team-based learning experience in a cooperative, supportive atmosphere. Students will actually get into the community and learn from the real world. "Problem-based learning is significant teaching change in medical and PT schools throughout North America," says Feitelberg. "It's not only the best way to master the skills and knowledge our students need, but it also prepares them for lifelong learning, so they'll be better able to keep up with the rapidly changing health care profession."

Clarkson University now offers a Pre-Physical Therapy program for undergraduates and is also planning a doctoral program.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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