Giving his fourth State of the College address, Dr. Andrew Balas, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences, told the faculty assembled in the Health Sciences building last week how happy he was at the college’s performance over the last year.
“Overall, I think we had a wonderful year, thanks to your great effort,” Balas said. “We have launched new programs, increased our enrollment substantially, increased our research, and we expanded our practice plan. With that summary, I think any college can be very proud, and you should be very proud of your accomplishments.”
With enrollment up 25.6 percent since 2011 and the college experiencing a 94 percent retention rate, Balas has reason to be optimistic. The college is also experiencing a growth of programs mirroring the enrollment numbers.
In 2015, the PhD in Applied Health Sciences welcomed its first class, the MD-MPH program enrolled its first student, the Augusta Area Dietetic Internship program transferred to CAHS and the Master’s in Clinical Nutrition degree was approved.
Not only that, but the Physician Assistant program was ranked #1 by graduateprograms.com; the number of research grant awards was up 41 percent, and publications increased by 62 percent.
All in all, a pretty good year. Throw in the Kinesiology Pro-Consult app created by assistant professor Jason Hughes, which won the Golden Award in the USA App Design Competition from Design100, and the impressive fact that 95 percent of CAHS graduates experience first-pass licensure, and the college’s success is clear.
Balas also pointed out that the success of the college has real-world ramifications for the community.
“Health care is a team sport, and I never miss an opportunity to remind my physician colleagues and nurse colleagues that actually the majority of the health care team is from the allied health professions,” he said. “It is an important segment of quality health care, and the need for these professionals will be growing steadily.”
That was another piece of good news. Growth in the field is predicted to experience a 25 percent growth by 2025.