February 20, 1998
KALAMAZOO -- Two graduate programs in Western Michigan University's College of Health and Human Services have been named among the top in the country by U.S. News & World Report magazine.
WMU's master's degree programs in occupational therapy and in speech pathology are listed as 18th and 21st, respectively, among comparable programs in the country. WMU's are the only programs in Michigan listed in the top 25 in those two categories.
The rankings are part of U.S. News' "1998 America's Best Graduate Schools" published in the March 2 issue of the magazine available at newsstands Monday, Feb. 23. Included are lists for 19 different graduate programs. This is the first year the magazine has rated graduate programs in occupational therapy and speech pathology.
"Needless to say, we are very proud of these two programs -- two of the earliest in their respective professions," said Dr. Janet I. Pisaneschi, dean of the College of Health and Human Services. "We have always known that their quality and effectiveness are of the highest standard, but this confirmation by U.S. News & World Report is further evidence that our assessment is right on the mark."
The programs were ranked using quantitative data as well as reputational surveys completed by deans, faculty and administrators of accredited graduate programs around the country.
U.S. News lists the top occupational therapy graduate program in the country as being at the University of Southern California. Sharing WMU's rank at 18th is Rush University.
The highest ranking speech pathology program is listed at Northwestern University. WMU shares its 21st slot with Louisiana State University Medical Center, Syracuse University, Teachers College at Columbia University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Connecticut, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the University of Texas at Dallas.
WMU's Department of Occupational Therapy celebrated its 75th anniversary last year. It was the first program in the field to be established in Michigan and one of the first five in the country to be accredited. Today, the program trains health care professionals in the uses of purposeful activity as a means of preventing, reducing or overcoming physical, social and emotional disabilities in people of all ages.
WMU's Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, established in 1936, was one of the nation's earliest clinics for the study and treatment of speech disorders. The graduate program was the first in Michigan and among the first six in the country to be accredited. The department educates specialists to work toward the prevention and treatment of speech, language and hearing disorders.
For more information, go to the U.S. News Online article at <http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/beyond/bcrank.htm>
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