Gannon University’s Ruskin Campus Adds Programs, Builds on Strengths

Posted: February 28, 2017

The addition of new Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Master of Athletic Training (MAT) programs to the existing Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program is evidence of Gannon University's commitment to graduate education in the rehabilitative sciences at its Ruskin, Florida campus.

Gannon University has long been acknowledged for its strength in the rehabilitative sciences at its Erie, Pennsylvania campus. The new programs in Florida hope to build on that strength by providing the opportunity for students to receive a high-quality graduate education in disciplines that are much in demand in Florida's rapidly expanding healthcare economy.

The DPT program in Ruskin consists of 109 credits over nine semesters in a curriculum that is both innovative and personalized. The curriculum includes 40 weeks of full-time clinical education experiences split into four different experiences that begin after only three semesters of classroom work. Students will also have the opportunity to travel for clinical education experiences.

In addition, courses provide students with hands-on service-learning experiences with a network of community partners. Ruskin DPT students will work alongside expert faculty on clinical and community research projects and will be encouraged to attend, participate and present research projects at national and state conferences.

The Ruskin MAT program offers a two-year postgraduate degree for individuals who have already completed their bachelor's degree, and incorporates didactic and clinical education experiences necessary to prepare them to become certified athletic trainers through the Board of Certification (BOC) examination. The program's comprehensive curriculum has been designed to integrate formal classroom instruction, online coursework and hands-on clinical experiences.

According to the Commission on Accreditation for Athletic Training Education (CAATE), Gannon University is the only institution of higher learning to offer MAT programs on campuses in two different states.

For the 2016-17 Academic Year, enrollment in the OTD program, with which the campus was formally opened in 2015, exceeds 50 students. It is one of only three programs accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) to offer the OTD degree in Florida.

 To accommodate the three programs and growth at the Ruskin campus, renovations are underway and plans are being considered for future academic programs and for the construction of facilities to house them.

Florida is America's third most populous state, a place where the population of both older persons and school-age persons is growing, offering a dual opportunity for both student recruitment and community service with the Ruskin campus as its base.


Effective November 23, 2016, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Gannon University, Ruskin Campus has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apata.org). Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates that the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in the technical/professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.

Gannon University, Ruskin, Florida, is currently seeking accreditation for their new Athletic Training program and is not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The institution will be submitting a self-study to begin the accreditation process on July 1, 2018.

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-
3245; accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.