Ohio Dominican University Builds for the Future in Science
The following article appeared in the Sept. 16, 2012 edition of The Catholic Times.
When it comes to changing the academic landscape, size doesn’t matter.
Ohio Dominican University (ODU) has proven that.
With an enrollment of approximately 2,500 students, ODU quickly becoming the premier University in Central Ohio for students who are interested in a career in a variety of science-related fields.
As part of the University’s commitment to science education, ODU has spent the past year renovating Saint Albert Hall, which will have its official dedication and blessing ceremony at the end of September.
The 22,000-square-foot building has been refitted with state-of-the-art equipment and technology.
It now has classrooms that can accommodate as many as 50 students as well as collaboration rooms, a functional cadaver lab, and clinical, environmental science and psychology labs.
All of this work was done to ensure ODU students have the resources they need to prepare them for 21st century careers in the sciences.
“Surveys and studies consistently show that there’s a growing need for professionals trained in the sciences,” said ODU President Peter Cimbolic, Ph.D. “Ohio Dominican University is dedicated to filling that void in Central Ohio and beyond.”
ODU’s commitment to providing a quality education to its students in the fields of health and science extends beyond Saint Albert Hall.
Battelle Hall opened in August 2010.
The 25,000-square-foot science facility houses seven instructional labs, three research labs and six core labs for instruments. It also has an autoclave and cadaver lab.
ODU’s investment in the sciences is paying off. Since Battelle Hall opened two years ago, the percentage of undergraduate students who are majoring in a science has doubled, from 8.5 percent in 2009 to 17.1 percent in 2011.
The top science major in 2011 was Biology with 91 undergraduate majors, followed by Exercise Science with 53 students, and Pre-Nursing with 43 students.
This summer, ODU launched its Master of Science in Physician Assistant (PA) Studies program, the only such program in Central Ohio. The PA program, which is housed in Saint Albert Hall, will have the support of a new partnership with one of the top care facilities in the nation. As part of a two-year agreement, Nationwide Children’s Hospital will provide a lecturer and will facilitate internship opportunities at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for PA students.
ODU’s PA program is another example of Ohio Dominican’s commitment to preparing students for careers that serve the needs of the community.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts that unless action is taken at the federal level to expand the number of residency training positions, the United States could experience a shortage of 62,900 physicians by 2015 and more than 130,000 by 2025.
“The demand for primary care practitioners has always been high,” said PA Program Director David Paulk, Ed.D., PA-C. “The physician assistant profession was created in 1965 at Duke University in part to help increase access to quality primary care practitioners. The recent healthcare act underscores that almost 50 years later, we still face many of the same difficulties. This is one of the reasons that physician assistants are in such demand and so important to alleviate this problem.”
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an estimated 39-percent increase in job opportunities for physician assistants in the United States between 2008 and 2018, and a 35-percent increase in the state of Ohio.
“The health and science programs are in keeping with Ohio Dominican’s mission of service to the community and we are continually looking for additional opportunities to increase our presence and impact in health and sciences,” President Cimbolic said.