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West Liberty, Wheeling University Sign Articulation Agreement

WHEELING — West Liberty University students looking to further their education in the field of physical therapy now have the option to pursue that at the base of the hill at Wheeling University.

The heads of both schools signed an articulation agreement which will allow two students per year to transfer from West Liberty into Wheeling University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, provided they meet the qualifications. Students looking to transfer under this agreement must meet grade point average requirements and pass a number of specific classes with a B or better.

Wheeling University President Ginny Favede said the agreement was also a way for the school to help meet the healthcare needs of the community.

“It’s wonderful to do something between the two universities. We’re obviously thrilled about this articulation agreement, which fulfills our mission to serve the area and the healthcare of Appalachia,” said Favede. “Having the ability to guarantee two students to come to physical therapy at Wheeling University is a wonderful opportunity for your students, as well as for the community.”

“What a wonderful opportunity it is for our students to be a part of this doctorate program,” added WLU president W. Franklin Evans.

“Two of our fortunate students each year will get to go to Wheeling University and obtain a doctorate of physical therapy only adds to the community, to the workforce and healthcare. This is such a great partnership.”

Wheeling University’s physical therapy program emphasizes hands-on classwork, which helps students start applying their knowledge quicker, according to Dr. Alison Kreger, director of Wheeling U’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program

“One of the things that’s unique about our program is that we’re a problem-based curriculum, which is not a traditional, didactic lecture,” Kreger said. “Our curriculum is driven by 42 patient-case scenarios that drives all of our curriculum. It’s a lot of critical thinking and knowledge application. We do a lot of hands-on application, problem solving, critical thinking, teaching students to question themselves and others so they can get to the depth of the content.”

The program involves providing services to local assisted living facilities and offering free clinics, as well as trips elsewhere in the state to provide those services across the region. International trips to Mexico and South America, temporarily on hold due to health concerns, have also been a staple part of the curriculum until recently.

“We do local service learning, (where) we have students go out with our core faculty and they do service week every week for the first year of their program,” Kreger continued. “We do things such as free, pro bono clinics on campus for people who need physical therapy, but don’t have insurance. We go to the retirement homes to do exercise and gate training, walking with residents, we work with senior citizen centers to do exercise for the groups that attend there.”

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