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Board of Governors approves doctoral degrees in business administration, occupational therapy
Shippensburg, Slippery Rock universities to offer unique programs

Kenn Marshall, (717) 720-4054 or (717) 329-0809
Thursday, April 6, 2017 
Harrisburg – The Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education today approved new doctoral degree programs in business administration and occupational therapy, both unique offerings within the State System.
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania will offer the professional Doctor of Business Administration degree; Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy.
“These new programs not only will provide opportunities for individuals to earn advanced degrees that will help advance their careers, but also will address important workforce needs,” said Chancellor Frank T. Brogan. “They are further examples of how our universities are redesigning their curricula to address the emerging and future needs of students, their future employers and the Commonwealth.”
The Doctor of Business Administration degree to be offered through Shippensburg University’s John L. Grove College of Business will be the only accredited DBA degree offered by a public college or university in the region. It was designed to accommodate the schedules of full-time working and executive-level individuals by utilizing a variety of delivery methods and will be offered at a “nationally competitive price.”
The new program will seek to attract a variety of potential applicants, including recent graduates of Master’s of Business Administration programs, mid-level managers and executives seeking career development, local and regional educators, international students and career-military personnel exploring a second career. It will prepare graduates to accomplish complex applied research activities, valued by both management and business consultants. The program has the potential to recruit not only locally, regionally and nationally, but also to attract international students seeking a high-quality accredited doctoral degree.
Shippensburg University will offer the program beginning in fall 2018.
Slippery Rock University will offer its new Doctorate in Occupational Therapy at its facility in Harrisville, which also houses its physician assistant program. The program will prepare graduates to be practitioners in the high-demand field of occupational therapy. It will build on the success of the university’s existing master’s programs in related fields such as exercise science, therapeutic recreation and athletic training; and, because it will be the only program of its kind in the State System, will provide many opportunities for articulation agreements with other System universities.
The degree will be offered as a 36-month, year-round program for students who hold a bachelor’s degree or who are enrolled in one of the university’s current 3+3 pre-occupational therapy undergraduate tracks. The curriculum will focus on contemporary practice.
The state Department of Aging estimates that the number of Pennsylvania residents aged 65 or older will climb to 19 percent of the state’s population by 2020 and to 23 percent by 2030, for a total increase of 1 million people over 20 years. This large and growing senior population will experience longer lifetimes than ever before, with associated chronic conditions that result in impairments, disabilities and handicaps needing to be managed for longer periods. To meet this increasing volume and duration of healthcare services, the state will need a growing healthcare labor force that includes rehabilitation providers. Occupational therapists also provide services to children with developmental delays, injuries or educational challenges.
Slippery Rock University will offer the program beginning in June 2018.
For more information on either of the new degree programs, please contact the appropriate university.
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, enrolling more than 100,000 degree-seeking students and thousands more in certificate and other career-development programs. Collectively, the 14 universities that comprise the State System offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas. Nearly 520,000 State System university alumni live in Pennsylvania.
The State System universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. The universities also operate branch campuses in Oil City (Clarion), Freeport and Punxsutawney (IUP), and Clearfield (Lock Haven), and offer classes and programs at several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and in Center City in Philadelphia.