Two degree offerings planned for UTC received approval from the UT Board of Trustees on Thursday, June 21st. Both the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) and the Bachelor of Integrated Studies (BIS) require approval by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, scheduled to meet on July 26.
UTC will be the fifth institution in the country and the only public school in Tennessee to offer the OTD. Students would be accepted to the program beginning in 2013.
The clinical degree will complement existing clinical doctorates in the College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies, the doctorate in Physical Therapy and the doctorate of Nursing Practice. OTD will be the fifth doctoral degree offered by UTC.
Occupational therapists are increasingly needed as rehabilitative and long-term care needs grow with an aging population, increased chronic debilitating conditions, increased survival rates for trauma victims, and low birth weight infants.
“We already have people calling who want to come to Chattanooga to pursue the Occupational Therapy Doctorate,” said Susan McDonald, and instructor at UTC and an occupational therapist for more than 30 years.
Pending THEC approval, the BIS degree will be offered in fall 2012. This degree will allow students to build a personalized program of study with the option to integrate two or more disciplines. It will be especially attractive to students who have previously earned credit hours and want to complete a degree as well as students whose educational goals are not met by traditional degree offerings.
Dr. Gretchen Potts will serve as the program coordinator for the BIS degree. Potts, UC Foundation Associate Professor of Chemistry, has been with the UTC faculty since 2002.
“Dr. Potts brings to the position valuable experience as an effective advisor and as a member of critical faculty committees, as well as her knowledge of the curriculum at UTC. Dr. Potts will continue teaching in the Department of Chemistry and will continue her extensive research activities during the summer months,” said Dr. Jocelyn Sanders, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs.
Potts will continue teaching in the Department of Chemistry and will continue her extensive research activities during the summer months.