2002-2003 Updates

April 2003

Applications for our next class are being reviewed as they are received. Construction for the new laboratories is almost complete.

Faculty Activities – MSPO faculty will be present at several meetings in April. Dr. Geil is a featured speaker at the ABOTEC national meeting of prosthetists and orthotists in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Chris Hovorka will represent Georgia Tech at the annual meeting of the National Association of Prosthetic and Orthotic Educators.

February 2003

Construction Started – Ground has finally been broken on the Clinical and Fabrication laboratories, with a scheduled completion date in April. An Instron materials testing system was recently placed such that  the P&O materials research lab will be incorporated within the clinical labs.

CAD/CAM Concepts – Georgia Tech’s MSPO students have the unique opportunity to learn CAD/CAM techniques in parallel with their learning of traditional P&O fabrication techniques.On one occasion, students got a little carried away and might have used the new OWW/Tracer Omega system in a manner for which it was not intended!

GSOP – Dr. Mark Geil and Christopher Hovorka were both featured speakers at the Georgia Society of Prosthetists and Orthotists Annual Meeting and Seminar, Feb. 6-8. Dr. Geil presented an update on pedabarographic analysis of amputee responses to alignment changes, and Mr. Hovorka gave insight into current trends in higher education in O&P.

Road Trip – MSPO students and faculty pack their bags for a trip to Mt. Sterling, Ohio for formal instructional courses and facility tours at Ohio Willow Wood.

January 2003

Spreading the Word – The MSPO program seeks to increase national exposure with a listing on the Peterson’s web site. Regional student recruitment is augmented by representation at the Graduate Seminar at the annual meeting of the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine.

MSPO in the News – Publicity continues in O&P Business News, January 1, pp. 25-29. The program was also mentioned in the September 2002 issue of NCOPE Noteworthy.

December 2002

That’s a Wrap! – MSPO Students recently completed their first full semester in the program. The first semester was a great success and the MS model is now a reality.

Special Visitor to Gait Analysis – As part of their Clinical Gait Analysis course, MSPO students conduct instrumented motion analyses in the laboratories of the Center for Human Movement Studies at Georgia Tech. This Fall, students were able to conduct a walking and jogging analysis of Shea Cowart, Paralympic Gold Medalist and world record holder in sprinting.

MSPO in the News – The program’s start this year warranted attention as one of the top stories of 2002. See the article, “Progress and Change: 2002 in Review” in the December 15 issue of O&P Business News.

August 2002

First Class Underway – The world’s first entry-level MS students in prosthetics and orthotics started classes on August 19, 2002. The students have already experienced laboratories in clinical gait analysis at the Georgia Tech Center for Human Movement Studies, observation of surgery in the OR, and education in pathology by leading physicians from Emory University.

International Student Exchange – On Wednesday August 28, the MSPO program hosted a delegation of faculty and students from National Taiwan University. Liang-Wey Chang, Ph.D., P.E. along with several students from the Institute of Biomedical Engineering toured educational facilities and research laboratories and engaged in a dialogue with the first class of MSPO students. Dr. Chang is taking an active role to initiate the P&O research and education in Taiwan, so the students and faculty had lots to share.

MSPO in the News – The new program was recently featured in Georgia Tech’s alumni magazine, Tech Topics, Fall 2002, and in the August edition of Biomechanics magazine. In the September 1 issue of O&P Business News, Gary Bedard, CO, FAAOP noted the following:

“A person considering a career change may want to ask himself or herself if he or she wants to do research or teaching. If so, they should strongly consider the master’s program at Georgia Tech. A graduate degree will give them quite a number of options after they have attained a competent level of clinical experience.”

July 2002

Final Approval – At its June meeting, the Georgia Board of Regents granted unanimous approval to the founding of the Georgia Tech MSPO, the nation’s first entry-level Master of Science program in Prosthetics and Orthotics. Classes are set to begin August 19 and the first class of students is almost finalized.

New School – At the same meeting, the Georgia Board of Regents also unanimously approved the new School of Applied Physiology with graduate degree-granting status to host the program.

New Center – This month Georgia Tech also established the Center for Prosthetic and Orthotic Research and Education. The Center will synergize a number of related activities in P&O Research, Education, and Clinical Care, including the MSPO.

MSPO in the News –

O&P Business News Letter to the Editor, July 15, 2002
O&P Almanac,  June 2002, p. 15
O&P Almanac, June 2002, p. 20
Biomechanics, May 2002, p. 9-10
Plus an upcoming article in the first September issue of O&P Business News

MSPO at the Academy – Academic Coordinator Dr. Mark Geil recently provided a program update to members of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists at the CEC-1 conference in New Orleans.

Georgia Tech MSPO in International P&O Higher Education – The Prosthetic and Orthotic Educators Meeting (POEM), the first international workshop/symposium investigating the advancement of P&O Education will take place at the Department of Rehabilitation, School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden, August 14-17, 2002.  The Georgia Tech MSPO program will be strongly represented by faculty member, Christopher Hovorka, MSPO Program Clinical Coordinator.  Mr. Hovorka serves as a convening committee member and was selected as an invited keynote speaker for the section on “Post Graduate Education in P&O”.  He is also the moderator for the session on “University Collaboration”. (http://www.IAPOE.org/)

May 2002

Admissions – The admissions process is in full swing. Pre-applications are being reviewed as they arrive and we are doing all we can to provide an expeditious return of full application packages to qualified candidates. Please contact us if you have any questions.

April 2002

Open House is coming Friday April 26th! – Make plans now to join us for an informative day on the campus of Georgia Tech. Get all the details on the nation’s first entry-level Master of Science program in Prosthetics and Orthotics.

When: April 26th, 2002

Where: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

Who:

MSPO faculty and staff
Program administrators
Honored Guests

What:

Tour the Campus
Explore the new MSPO facilities
Experience cutting-edge research in MSPO laboratories
Learn about the program’s innovative clinical training mode

To register for this free Open House please contact Joy Daniell, (404) 894-7658, joy.daniell@ap.gatech.edu

March 2002

Admissions Deadline Announced – The MSPO coordinating committee is in the process of mailing full application packets to qualified students who have submitted a request for application materials (see Admissions). Full application materials received by May 1, 2002 will be reviewed immediately following that date, with decisions announced on or before May 15.

Slight Change in Prerequisites – Georgia Tech will not yet be able to offer cadaver-based anatomy this Summer. Consequently, an exception to the prerequisites is being made for the first class only. For these students we will require at least non-cadaver-based anatomy taken prior to admissions (strongly recommended) or during the initial Fall 2002 semester. Cadaver-based anatomy is still recommended, as is Physiology.

January/February 2002

Program Approval – The Georgia Tech MSPO has been unanimously approved by the Academic Senate at its February meeting. In addition the Senate has granted full approval to an escalation in scope and name of our home department, now the School of Applied Physiology. The program requires final approval by the Georgia Board of Regents. Check here for updates as this process progresses.

Curriculum – Our innovative approach to clinical training has taken shape on paper and has been approved, along with the rest of our new classes, by the Georgia Tech Registrar’s office and the Graduate Curriculum Committee. Please see the Education section for detailed information on clinical training. It is a first-of-its-kind method for teaching clinical skills that promises to produce practitioners with experience well ahead of their peers.

Applications/Acceptance – After approval by the Academic Senate, we will screen our requests for applications and send materials to qualified students. This process will occur in parallel to the approval process at the Georgia Board of Regents in the hope that final approval has occurred in time for us to accept students. Alternative measures are in place should this timeline be altered.

Accreditation Status – Some students have inquired about accreditation. The accrediting body in prosthetic and orthotic education, NCOPE, does not accredit programs that have not yet begun. NCOPE prefers to conduct a site visit while a program is in operation, teaching students, to get a more realistic picture of the program’s status. We have been accepted by NCOPE as a developing program, and will pursue accreditation according to their standard timeline. There is no way to accelerate this process.

Tuition Set – The MSPO program is recognized at Georgia Tech as a professional master’s degree, and as such will be classified with a higher tuition rate than general master’s programs. Pending approval, tuition for the MSPO program has been set at twice the standard rates for Georgia Tech graduate study. Scholarships will be available for students to offset the amount of tuition above the standard Georgia Tech rates.

Other Master’s Programs – Some of you may be aware that the developing MS program in orthotics at St. Ambrose University in Iowa has been discontinued by the university. In addition, the MS program in prosthetics at Rutgers has been placed on moratorium. These unfortunate developments have left Georgia Tech’s program as the only Master’s program in P&O in the United States. We are confident that our program will continue to lead the way in P&O education. Where we can learn lessons from these other schools, we have. New MS programs are on the way in the US, and we still believe we represent the new standard for education.

Academy Meeting – For those of you who will be attending the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists in Orlando in March, look for us in the exhibit hall. We’ll be at booth 208, and you can also catch Dr. Geil delivering a Thranhardt finalist lecture on March 21.