University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
Saint Augustine, Florida campus
|Founder||Stanley V. Paris, PT, Ph.D.|
|President||Dr. Wanda Nitsch|
|Location||San Marcos, California,
St. Augustine, Florida and
Austin, TX, United States
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||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (January 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences' is a graduate institution that emphasizes health science education. It has campuses in San Marcos, California, St. Augustine, Florida, Miami, Florida and Austin, TX, United States.
The mission of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences is the development of professional health care practitioners through innovative, individualized, and quality classroom, clinical, and distance education.
The Commission for Independent Education, Florida Department of Education, Tallahassee, Florida, licenses the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences to offer its degree programs. This licensure includes the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT), the Dual Degree Option (MOT/DPT), the Doctor of Education (EdD), the Flex Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree, the transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), the transitional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD), the Master of Orthopaedic Assistant (MOA), and the Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) degrees.
The institution is regionally accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC): http://www.usa.edu/p54-223-Accreditation.aspx.
The Bureau for Private, Post-secondary and Vocational Education approves the entry-level DPT expansion program in San Marcos, California.
The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredited the first professional Physical Therapy program in October 1996 and re-accredited the program in April 2001.
The entry-level Occupational Therapy program was accredited with no deficiencies by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) in April 1999 and reaccredited in April 2009. The San Marcos, CA MOT program received accreditation from ACOTE in the fall of 2010.
Stanley V. Paris, PT, Ph.D. in 1966, began teaching continuing professional education courses to physical therapists. These courses carry continuing education units (CEUs) which are helpful in both maintaining and developing professional competency and, in an increasing number of states, for maintaining professional licensure.
In 1979, the University formally known as the Institute of Graduate Health Sciences was founded. The State of Georgia granted the Institute authority to offer a clinically based post-professional (advanced) Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MScPT) degree. Thus, the Institute became the first independent proprietary school in physical therapy able to confer a graduate degree.
In 1981, the Institute began a certification process in manual therapy wherein candidates, after taking a series of courses, were examined in their written, oral and practical abilities. Successful candidates were awarded a Certification of Competency, which is now a necessary step to attaining our clinically oriented post-professional (advanced) degrees. There are now four certifications.
In 1991, the Institute moved to St. Augustine, Florida. Soon thereafter, the Institute achieved accreditation for its MScPT degree by distance education from the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The United States Department of Education lists the independent Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. The Accrediting Commission is also a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
In 1992, the Institute started an advanced standing (post-professional) Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. This was a nationwide program that enabled therapists to study in a selected clinical area. The first student graduated from this program in the spring of 1995. (It was replaced in the year 2000 by the Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) degree.)
In 1994, the Institute commenced a first professional degree in physical therapy - the Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) - for those individuals who have achieved a baccalaureate degree with the necessary prerequisite natural and social science courses. This MPT degree is the first to be offered by an independent and proprietary school of physical therapy. This program was accredited by CAPTE in October 1996 and re-accredited in 2001.
In 1996, the Institute of Occupational Therapy was founded to offer a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree. The MOT degree program commenced September 1997. The program provides a series of entry-level courses for the first professional degree of occupational therapy. The MOT program was accredited with no deficiencies by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) in April 1999 and was reaccredited in April 2009.
On March 4, 1997, the organization formally became the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Also in 1996-97, the University entered into contracts to purchase a small private hospital and an adjoining twenty-six acres of land at the Flagler Health Park Campus in St. Augustine, thus creating the University's current physical campus.
In July 1999, the University was given authorization by the State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities (SBICU) to award the transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, to restructure the current MScPT degree to a Master of Health Science (MHSc) degree, and to implement a Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) degree. These changes were effective January 1, 2000.
In August 2000, the University was successful in sponsoring a non-profit foundation, The Foundation for Rehabilitation and Movement Sciences, to support faculty and student scholarship.
In 2001, the University was given authorization by the Commission for Independent Education to award the first professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) and the transitional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD).
The university received accreditation and licensure in 2004 to begin a Flex Doctor of Physical Therapy program in Boca Raton, Florida. The Flex Doctor of Physical Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE) and the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). It is an expansion of the campus based program in St. Augustine and takes twelve trimesters consisting of online education and weekend labs.
In June 2006 the university broke ground on a 98,000-square-foot (9,100 m2) academic and clinic building at the St. Augustine campus. Amenities include seven classrooms, Separate Wet & Dry Anatomy labs, Fitness Center, Occupational Therapy clinic, Physical Therapy clinic, CPE classroom, and 3rd floor Heritage Lounge
The University received approval from the Bureau for Private, Post-secondary and Vocational Education and Commission for the Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education to begin an expansion DPT program in San Diego, CA in 2007. This campus officially opened August 29, 2007. In January 2009, the San Diego campus moved to nearby San Marcos, to a state-of-the-art 56,000 sq ft (5,200 m2) facility.
Dr. Stanley Paris, founding president, retired on August 4, 2007, and Dr. Michael Hillyard, DPA was inaugurated in as the second president of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. The university celebrated the opening of the academic and clinic building along with the retirement of Dr. Paris and the inauguration of Dr. Hillyard. In 2009, Dr. Hillyard resigned and Dr. Paris resumed the Presidency of the University.
The San Diego campus moved to a 76,000 square foot 3-building corporate center in San Marcos, CA in January 2009. The university received developing program status from ACOTE for the San Marcos OT program which allowed the Inaugural Class to begin in fall 2009. The dual degree option also began in fall 2009.
The University received accreditation and licensure in 2009 to begin to offer the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree. The EdD degree is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) and licensed by the Commission for Independent Education.
In 2010, the University received approval from the Commission for Independent Education to restructure the Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) degree. The Distance Education and Training Council approved accreditation of the DHSc degree in 2010.
The University began offering the Master of Orthopaedic Assistant (MOA) degree in May 2011. The University received licensure from the Commission of Independent Education and accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) in 2010 to offer this degree. The CA Bureau of Private and Post-secondary Education approved all degrees offered by the University to be available on the California campus in April 2011.
On April 16, 2011, Dr. Wanda Nitsch was inaugurated as the 4th President of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on the San Marcos campus.
In September 2011 the University was approved by the Texas Workforce Commission to offer the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree in Austin Texas commencing the fall of 2012. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board gave approval in October 2011. Construction on the Austin campus commenced in February 2012 and opened with its inaugural DPT class in August 2012.
The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) in May 2012 gave approval to the University to begin to offer the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree in a flexible online and weekend format over ten trimesters commencing in January 2013.
In 2013, the Florida Department of Health announced it cited several individuals at the University of St. Augustine as part of a statewide effort called Operation Vandal that aimed to prevent the unlicensed practice of medicine. The individuals who were cited were teaching an "Orthopedic Physician's Assistant" course at the University of St. Augustine. An Orthopedic Physician’s Assistant license does not exist under Florida law, and these perpetrators were not eligible for licensure as PAs in Florida.
In the last several years, the University has been growing at a healthy and rapid pace, adding programs, faculty, and facilities to meet the needs of rehabilitation in this time of great change and challenge. The University will continue to be a leader in providing meaningful educational experiences in areas and directions that both therapists and consumers require. Our program extends to such distance destinations as Iceland, Japan and Chile.