By Paco Snyder
Developed by the University of North Texas in conjunction with the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, the Allied Health Pathway (AHP) program is off to a promising start since its establishment at North Lake roughly a year ago.
The program offers North Lake students the opportunity to begin a doctorate degree in physical therapy and is geared toward those interested inAllied health, science and math professions.
“Students in the program from NLC would first get their associate degree, then transfer to a four-year university before being eligible to apply—[in roughly 33-36 months]—into a physical therapy doctoral program,” said human anatomy and physiology professor Dr. Pius Aboloye, who directs the program.
Professionals also hope that this program will help increase the level of diversity in the field of physical therapy and other Allied health professions. The pre-physical therapy program is especially focused on Hispanic and other minority recruitment. According to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy, less than 1 percent of male physical therapists are African-American or Hispanic. The Center for California Health Workforce Studies has deemed the lack of minority representation in the field of physical therapy a public health crisis.
“If you are an African-American or Hispanic male student who is interested in science and has an interest in healthcare careers, you need to know more about this program and we need to know about you,” said Marilyn Mays, dean of mathematics and science.
Gilberto Gonzales, Jerry Jacob and Hector Perez are among the handful of students in the program and are on their way to gaining admittance to the PT doctoral program.
“I would say the benefits for this program are giant steps into a lifelong and fulfilling career (professionally and financially) in medicine as a ‘Doctor of Physical Therapy,’ ” said Aboloye.
Students interested in the AHP program are encouraged to contact Aboloye at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Math-Science Division Office in P-330. To find out more about the Allied Health Pathways program at UNTHSC, go to www.AlliedHealthPathways.org.