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Fairmont State and Wheeling University establish partnership to impact health care

WHEELING, W.Va. Monday, June 6 – On Monday, representatives from Wheeling University and Fairmont State University signed an articulation agreement to establish a partnership amongst the institutions, which aims to produce more quality health care professionals to serve patients in the State of West Virginia and across the country.

“This partnership will allow eligible students from Fairmont State University to make a seamless transition each year into Wheeling University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program,” said Ginny R. Favede, president of Wheeling University. “More importantly, by producing well trained physical therapists, there will be more health care professionals grounded in our mission to serve others in Appalachia and in our region.”

The agreement between the two institutions will allow for up to three students per year from Fairmont State’s Exercise Science program to be accepted into Wheeling University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, pending qualifications and academic requirements.

According to Dr. Alison Kreger, PT, DPT, Ed.D., director of Wheeling’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, “This agreement will help bring more graduates from West Virginia colleges and universities into the University’s DPT program. By partnering, Wheeling and Fairmont will help both institutions facilitate the training of physical therapy professionals who can provide high quality patient care.”

The Fairmont State Exercise Science program integrates the theories and practicalities of exercise physiology in preparing graduates for a career in the field of health and fitness, while also providing the foundation required for the successful application into several professional pathways, including physical therapy.

“We are grateful for the efforts from both institutions that have brought this partnership to fruition,” said Fairmont State University Health & Human Performance Department Chair, Jan Kiger. “We’re excited to work together to engage our students in further professional degree programs, physical therapy in particular, which is a highly sought-after degree.”

Wheeling University’s DPT program emphasizes a whole person approach to the investigation of clinical issues using a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) format. PBL encourages teamwork, open discussion, and researching appropriate resources to acquire the essential didactic knowledge. Through this unique learning format, Wheeling’s physical therapy graduates demonstrate exemplary professionalism, exceptional skills and problem solving, as well as the ability to access and utilize knowledge, reflective of a commitment to life-long learning.

“This partnership will allow Fairmont State Exercise Science majors to move forward in their careers by easing the transition into a professional degree pathway,” said Fairmont State University College of Education, Health & Human Performance Dean, Amanda Metcalf. “Through this partnership we are not only building a relationship that will benefit our students, but one that will benefit the community and local workforce. We are thrilled our students will have the opportunity to continue their educational journey and positively impact health care settings.”

Fairmont State University Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Dianna Phillips, echoed Metcalf’s comments, “At Fairmont State University we center student success at the heart of everything we do. Engaging in this partnership with Wheeling University allows us to continue providing a transformative impact to our students, while also strengthening health care throughout our region and beyond.”