As in 2008, recent U.S. News & World Report graduate program rankings place six College of Health and Human Services programs among the top in the nation. This year, three of those six programs—occupational therapy, physician assistant and speech-language pathology—are in the top 50 and are the most highly ranked programs of their kind in Michigan. The doctoral program in audiology and master's in rehabilitation counseling/teaching and social work are also highly ranked nationally.
Dean Earlie Washington celebrates these rankings and expresses congratulations and thanks to faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, whose service and support are essential to creating and maintaining this excellence.
"These distinctive rankings," she states, "reflect an exceptional educational experience for students and outstanding contributions to the health and human services professions. The College of Health and Human Services family can take pride in these accomplishments as we move toward a future of transformational teaching, research and service."
Top 50 and top in Michigan
Out of 151 ranked programs, OT in Kalamazoo is at number 21 in the nation. Western Michigan University's Grand Rapids OT program, established in 2009, is at number 36. The Department of Occupational Therapy is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and is the first and oldest non-teacher education program established at what was then Western State Normal School.
Out of 229 ranked programs, speech-language pathology is number 35. This master's degree and the highly ranked audiology doctorate (top 50) are programs of the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, established in 1936 as one of the nation's earliest clinics for the study and treatment of speech disorders and the preparation of speech therapists.
Out of 123 ranked programs, PA is number 38 in the nation. This program, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, was the first to be established with legislative approval and funding appropriation in Michigan and consistently has one of the highest pass rates in the country for its national licensure exam.
The doctoral program in audiology, established in 2003, is at number 45 out of 64 ranked programs nationally.
Rehabilitation counseling/teaching is a joint program of the WMU's internationally recognized Department of Blind and Low Vision Studies and Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology. Established in 1963, the program was the first graduate program in rehabilitation teaching in the United States. In 2012, it is ranked number 45 out of 96 ranked programs nationally.
The social work program is number 66 out of 200 ranked programs nationally. Established formally in 1969, the School of Social Work has been reaching national and international audiences through the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare since 1974.