A new agreement between Hope College and Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant enhances access to graduate school for Hope students interested in careers in physical therapy.

The articulation agreement, signed in the fall, provides for the direct admission of two Hope students who otherwise meet the school's admission requirements each year to CMU's graduate program in physical therapy.

"The students that we have received from Hope College have consistently been of the highest quality," said Dr. Herm Triezenberg, director of CMU's graduate physical therapy program. "We have enjoyed instructing them and the graduate program in physical therapy at CMU has benefited from their involvement."

"The transfer agreement will help create a stronger relationship with an institution that shares our educational values and graduates outstanding students," he said. "We hope that this agreement will facilitate the transfer of students from Hope College to Central Michigan University. It should be an agreement that is in the best interest of both institutions."

Dr. James Gentile, who is dean for the natural sciences and the Kenneth G. Herrick Professor of Biology at Hope, agreed.

"I believe that agreements of this sort benefit Hope and our students in several ways," he said. "First, it is clearly an affirmation of our students and the Hope program overall. It also provides a longer-term perspective on continued education and professional growth opportunities. Students will now see the opportunities spelled out before them in a clear and defined manner, and this will enable them to move forward with their Hope education with clear outcomes in mind."

"Finally, the sharing of students will inevitably result in opportunities for faculty from both institutions to collaborate and interact in both teaching and scholarship through opportunities that would not have easily come available without the program as a bridge," Gentile said. "When this happens, both programs become stronger and, ultimately, students benefit."

Physical therapists practice in all health care settings, including hospitals, private practice offices, schools, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, fitness centers, nursing homes, home health agencies and universities.

CMU's graduate program in physical therapy leads to the conferral of a master of science in physical therapy. The program is offered through The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions, and the time to degree completion is three years in length. The graduate program in physical therapy at CMU is recognized as a leading physical therapist educational program in the State of Michigan with many nationally prominent faculty members. CMU's contact for the program and the person who guided CMU's part of the agreement is Anne Monroe, director of admissions and enrollment in health professions. She can be reached at (989) 774-1730.

In addition to having completed their bachelor's degree at Hope, students admitted through the articulation agreement must meet the graduate program's grade requirements; complete an application; present evidence of meaningful community work or volunteer service; and have a recommendation from Hope's health professions advisor, Dr. Dan Gerbens, who is also Hope's contact for the agreement.