What’s News – What’s New – What’s Next
Marshall University Forensic Science Graduate Program Ranks Number One in the Nation on National Assessment Test Scores
The Marshall University Forensic Science Graduate Program has once again been ranked number one in the country compared to other graduate programs participating in the Forensic Science Assessment Test administered earlier this year.
Marshall University was one of eight graduate programs that participated this year in the spring testing cycle. The exam is a national assessment test offered semi-annually by the American Board of Criminalistics.
Marshall’s Forensic Science Graduate Program ranked first in 15 of 18 subject-matter areas that included drugs, crime scene, evidence handling, fire debris, forensic biology, general science, latent prints, legal, pattern evidence, questioned documents, lab operations, firearms/toolmark, quality assurance/quality control, safety and trace evidence.
It is the seventh time in 10 years that Marshall’s nationally recognized program ranked number one in the country on this national examination.
According to the American Board of Criminalistics, graduate and undergraduate programs were ranked separately.
Dr. Terry W. Fenger, director of the program, said the test is useful for assessing the program’s strengths and demonstrating to prospective students and the general public its ability to meet national standards.
“The fact that our students continue to excel on this exam each year demonstrates not only the quality of the program and its students, but the dedication of its full-time faculty and the many adjunct faculty members,” he said. “The program greatly benefits from the input of law enforcement and criminal justice system professionals here locally and across the state.”
Dr. Pamela Staton, program coordinator, said the test scores are evidence of the high quality of students the program recruits and the education the program provides.
“The quality of an academic program can be measured by a program’s achievement of national accreditation as well as how well its students perform on national board examinations,” she said. “The Forensic Science Program at Marshall University has achieved both of these honorable distinctions. This translates into high quality forensic science services for law enforcement, the legal profession, and the public as graduates of this program become certified forensic scientists in the field.”
Staton also said the FSAT provides students with a pre-certification exposure while preparing graduates for the national certification process.
“This may be quite important as other fields of science and technology require professionals to become certified before they can practice,” she said. “This may be true for forensic scientists sometime in the future.”
Marshall’s Forensic Science Graduate Program is nationally accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission through the American Academy of Forensic Science. The program is one of 17 FEPAC-accredited forensic science graduate programs in the U.S. and the only digital forensics graduate program accredited by FEPAC.
Marshall’s forensic science graduate students who participated in the examination that was administered in spring 2016 are now graduates of the program.
The test is offered to students in their last semester of an academic forensic science program. While seeking their first job, recent college graduates may use their test results to demonstrate their knowledge across a broad range of forensic science disciplines.
For more information about Marshall’s nationally recognized Forensic Science Graduate Program, offering areas of emphasis in DNA analysis, forensic chemistry, digital forensics and crime scene investigation, please visit http://www.marshall.edu/forensics/ or call Staton at 304-691-8931. In addition to being the program coordinator, she is a professor of forensic science in the graduate program.
School of Pharmacy Granted Full Accreditation Status
Marshall University’s Doctor of Pharmacy program has been granted full accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Board of Directors.
Kevin W. Yingling, R.Ph., M.D., inaugural dean of the four-year-old program said the official notification came following the board’s meeting in Chicago.
“This achievement is an outstanding one for Marshall University, “Yingling said. “The standards for accreditation are complex and comprehensive and I am grateful to our team of faculty, staff and students who have worked so diligently during this process to ensure the outcomes were positive. In many cases, we not only met the standards of quality—we exceeded them.”
The ACPE evaluation team found the school compliant with each of the 30 accreditation standards with nine standards identified for continued monitoring. The school will advance from Candidate Status to Accredited Status with a two-year cycle, which is customary with all new programs.
Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert said the accreditation success is a testament to the work of Yingling and others whose vision for the school was undeterred during the early years.
“I want to congratulate Dr. Yingling on this stellar accomplishment, “Gilbert said. “He and our late President Stephen Kopp were dedicated advocates of Marshall opening a pharmacy school which is proving to be strategically important and beneficial to our community, region and state.”
Marshall University’s Board of Governors approved the doctoral program in 2009, the first class entered in 2012 and graduated in May.
“The Higher Education Policy Commission extends wholehearted congratulations to Marshall University, under the leadership of President Gilbert and Dr. Yingling, on reaching this commendable milestone,” said Paul L. Hill, Ph.D., chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. “This is a testament to the growing success of Marshall’s pharmacy school – and it signals burgeoning new opportunities for our students and improved health care for our state.”
The Marshall University School of Pharmacy is a 2+4 program which means students can matriculate after earning the required prerequisites. It also boasts a learner-centered, interdisciplinary, team-based learning approach.
ACPE is an autonomous and independent agency whose board of directors is appointed by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the American Pharmacists Association (AphA), the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and the American Council on Education. Since the inception of its accreditation agency recognition program in 1952, ACPE has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and in April 2004, received recognition by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Newly Accredited Physical Therapy Program Welcomes New Chair
Scott Davis PT, MS, EdD, OCS
It is with great excitement that I return to Marshall University to serve as Professor/Chair of the School of Physical Therapy. My college education began at Marshall University where I completed two years (1984 to 1986) of my undergraduate degree. Unfortunately, Marshall did not offer a Physical Therapy program at that time, requiring me to complete my degree at West Virginia University. Today, Marshall undergraduates have the competitive opportunity to continue their graduate education in Huntington and attend one of the best new DPT programs in the country.
Through the leadership of the Founding Chair (Penny Kroll PT, PhD), the program has exceeded all expectations. The program achieved initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), filled several classes with 40 well qualified DPT students, produced outstanding student outcomes, and recruited a full compliment of highly-qualified and dedicated faculty. The program is on firm footing and ready for future growth and development.
My vision for the MU School of Physical Therapy is bold; however, I am confident that this vision can be realized over the next 5-10 years. A 2016 US News and World Report article ranked the Marshall PT program 118 out of 233 accredited programs. My vision includes a long-term program goal of being ranked in the top 50 by 2025. I believe this can be achieved through a carefully crafted strategic plan that includes: 1) Continuing to produce well-trained and professional Physical Therapists, who are ready to hit the ground running at graduation; 2) Achieving a full 10-year CAPTE re-accreditation in 2020; 3) Partnering with local physical therapy providers to develop post-professional residency training programs that promote advanced clinical specialization; 4) Developing a vibrant faculty research agenda; 5) Exploring opportunities to develop a complimentary PhD or ScD program in the rapidly growing area of Movement Science.
I have strong roots in southern West Virginia having spent my formative years in Chapmanville (Logan County). As such, I look forward to reconnecting with this region of the state and helping to educate healthcare providers that will serve the residents of the Appalachian region and beyond. It is also my hope that through community engagement, the Marshall School of Physical Therapy will be a leader in fostering health, fitness, and quality of life for all West Virginians.
Short Academic Biography
Dr. Davis attended Marshall University for two years before transferring to West Virginia University to complete a Bachelors Degree in Physical Therapy in 1988. He later earned a Masters degree in Statistics (2002) and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Psychology/Higher Education Leadership Studies (2006). He has practiced physical therapy for 28 years primarily in the areas of orthopedics and sports medicine. Before accepting the position of Professor/Chair in the Marshall University School of Physical Therapy, Dr. Davis was Professor and Director of Professional Education in the WVU School of Medicine where he taught entry-level physical therapy for 18 years. He is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist (21 years). Dr. Davis has been involved in the APTA at the National and Component levels for many years. He is the Vice President of the West Virginia Physical Therapy Association and a Director on the APTA Orthopaedic Section Board of Directors. He is also the recent past Chair of the Research Committee for the Orthopaedic Section.
Marshall Offers New Master of Social Work Degree
The Marshall University College of Health Professions will offer a brand new Master of Social Work degree beginning fall 2016. The Board of Governors met Oct. 28 and voted to approve the new program.
Social workers are uniquely trained to work with addiction, mental and emotional health, the elderly population, veterans and members of the military and various other community components, according to MSW program director, Dr. Peggy Proudfoot Harman.
“MSW graduates work directly with clients and serve as a liaison between health care professionals and patients,” Harman said. “The program offers specialization in integrated behavioral health with opportunities to focus on veteran affairs and a variety of rural and underserved populations, which is especially exciting for our community given the large numbers of veterans who have returned from active duty, many returning from combat situations.”
The MSW program consists of 60 hours for the two-year generalist component designed for those coming to the field of social work from a related discipline, and 36 hours for those holding a bachelor’s degree in social work. Full-time students can expect to graduate within two years and advanced standing students will be able to complete the program in one calendar year. Part-time and online options will be available to those who cannot attend full-time classes. The program will begin accepting students in mid-January. For more information on the Department of Social Work, visit www.marshall.edu/social-work or www.marshall.edu/cohp.
Graduate Tuition Benefit
The Graduate College is not accepting applications for the Graduate Tuition Benefit for Fall 2016. The deadline was Monday, August 8. We will begin accepting applications for the tuition benefit for the spring semester in mid-October. You must have a FAFSA form on file with the Financial Aid office to qualify for this benefit. Students enrolled in the Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Public Health, and Management Practice in Nurse Anesthesia programs are not eligible for the benefit. In addition, graduate students receiving assistantships that offer tuition benefits or students classified as Distance Learners may not receive this benefit.