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 theEducation 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.