Kent State Takes Steps to Add Podiatric College
As the number of Americans who are diabetic and/or severely overweight increases, the demand for podiatrists will grow substantially, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To provide students with new career opportunities in podiatry and to ensure that Ohio’s need for podiatrists will be met in the decades to come, the Kent State University Board of Trustees established the Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine (KSUCPM) on March 14. The action brings the university closer to finalizing its friendly acquisition of the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine (OCPM).
The OCPM Board is expected to act upon the acquisition later this month. Pending approval from the Ohio Board of Regents, the Higher Learning Commission and the Council on Podiatric Medicine, OCPM will be the only podiatric college associated with a state university. Only nine accredited colleges of podiatric medicine are in operation nationwide. The Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, established in 1916, is one of the largest and most respected podiatric medical education institutions in the country, and the only accredited podiatry school in Ohio.
In recent months, both institutions have been working closely to ensure a smooth transition for OCPM students, faculty and staff. The proposed KSUCPM will remain at the OCPM’s current site in Independence, Ohio, and will be considered a Kent State campus. The KSUCPM will be launched without any one-time funding needs and will continue to operate under a budget that reflects the OCPM’s current, “in the black” status. It will be led by a chief executive officer (formerly OCPM president) and executive vice president during a formal transition period that is expected to span July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2014.
The proposed college will provide opportunities for cross-functional research and teaching, and joint educational opportunities in areas such as public health, biomedical sciences, medical ethics and sports medicine. Other potential areas for interaction include medical practice management, faculty professional development, binary-degree program development, dual graduate-degree program development and shared access to technological resources.
In addition, Kent State will benefit from opportunities to expand community outreach, share grant-writing expertise, add podiatric care in campus clinics and facilities, and explore distance and blended-learning activities for students.
The proposed KSUCPM will offer approximately 60 courses leading to the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree. The partnership also will offer expanded academic options for podiatric students, including the ability to obtain a dual degree, such as a master’s degree of business administration or public health, or a Ph.D. in a variety of science programs. Access to Kent State’s many sports teams and activities, as well as the ability to work with Kent State faculty, trainers and team physicians, could lead to a new area of specialization in the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine program.
Prior to the Board’s action, the establishment of the KSUCPM was approved through Kent State’s Educational Policies Council and the Faculty Senate, with approval from the president and provost.
For more information about Kent State University’s College of Podiatric Medicine in Independence, Ohio, visit the transition site at www.kent.edu/ocpm.