New Program Puts George Fox in Exclusive Company
George Fox University will offer a three-year doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree beginning in the fall of 2012.
The addition will make George Fox the second school in Oregon – and the only Christian college in the Pacific Northwest – with a physical therapy program. Currently, only three schools in Washington and one in Idaho offer physical therapy, and there are no such programs in California north of Sacramento. George Fox also will become just the fourth institution in the 111-member Council for Christian Colleges & Universities to offer a doctor of physical therapy degree.
Tyler Cuddeford, a physical therapist who formerly worked as a researcher in the Nike Sport Research Laboratory, has been hired as the program’s director. At Nike, Cuddeford helped develop innovative products, including the Nike Shox, Nike Free and Air Shox shoes. His doctorate in biomechanics and background as a physical therapist were instrumental in helping Nike develop products that didn’t cause injuries to the sporting goods manufacturer’s high-profile athletes.
“I’ve been passionate about physical therapy and teaching for more than 20 years, and I’ve always thought that George Fox was the perfect place to start a physical therapy program,” Cuddeford said. “We not only want to prepare graduates to meet the ever-changing demands of today’s health care system, but to develop leaders in clinical practice, research, and business and industry. George Fox is consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the country, and it’s our goal to be ranked as one of the top physical therapy programs in the country.”
Demand for physical therapists is expected to increase in the next six years, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, a document created every two years by the U.S. Department of Labor. According to the 2010-11 Handbook, employment of physical therapists is expected to grow 27 percent between 2006 and 2016. The report concluded that job opportunities will be most promising in the acute hospital, rehabilitation and orthopedic settings.
“The addition of physical therapy makes sense for us, not only from the standpoint that the demand for physical therapists will only increase as the Baby Boomer generation ages, but because it fits right in with our ethos and mission as an institution,” said Jim Foster, dean of the George Fox School of Behavioral and Health Sciences. “This follows our addition of nursing (in 2004) and represents our commitment to the health sciences and those professions that help people.”
President Baker Chosen for National Board
George Fox University President Robin Baker was elected to serve a three-year term on the board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, effective with the election’s official announcement at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C.,
on Feb. 2.
Baker was one of eight individuals chosen for the board and will represent Region VIII, a 13-state region that includes Alaska, California, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Washington.
“President Baker was selected by his peers because of his expertise in the field, proven leadership, and commitment to America’s college students,” said NAICU President David L. Warren. “He assumes his responsibilities at a time of great challenge and transformation for American higher education.”