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Rehabilitation Program Earns Accreditation

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Arkansas Tech University has learned its rehabilitation science program has been granted accreditation by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) as part of its charter accreditation class.

The Council on Rehabilitation Education first offered undergraduate accreditation this past year, and Arkansas Tech is one of only eight undergraduate rehabilitation programs nationwide to have earned accreditation.

Dr. Dan Martin (photographed left), head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and professor of sociology, says this is a significant accomplishment for the program and for Arkansas Tech.

“To be among the first in the nation and the only program to earn this honor in Arkansas is a great testament to Arkansas Tech.  I am proud of the effort that went into obtaining this recognition and the work these faculty perform on a regular basis to provide a quality education for our students,” said Martin.

Dr. Lyman Harris (photographed right), director of the rehabilitation science program and professor of rehabilitation science, says he was honored to be among the first programs in the country to be recognized.

“We have always believed and maintained that we have one of the premier undergraduate programs in the nation,” said Harris.  “Once accreditation was offered, we wanted to apply because it verifies the quality of the program that Arkansas Tech has worked to achieve.”

In order to earn accreditation through CORE, Arkansas Tech completed a self-study to assess the program quality on a number of standards, and CORE representatives also reviewed the program during an on-site visit.

“During the site visit, the accreditation team met with a variety of individuals including Arkansas Tech leadership, current students, program graduates, the program advisory committee and community agencies,” said Harris.

Harris says the honor speaks to the hard work of current and former members of the Arkansas Tech rehabilitation science faculty and the Arkansas Tech administration.

“When I came to Tech in 1975, the goal was to grow the rehabilitation emphasis into a degree-granting program,” said Harris.  “Without the support of the administration and the work of the faculty over the past 37 years, the program would not be the caliber it is today. When I think about this accomplishment, it really has been a team effort.”

Martin says he believes the accomplishment will provide enhanced opportunities for Arkansas Tech students.

“This achievement will help our students in their efforts to find employment or to pursue an advanced degree after they graduate,” said Martin.  “Employers and graduate programs understand the quality standards associated with accreditation. This mark of excellence is now available to our students and will help give them a competitive edge.”

Harris says the program will also be regularly evaluated to ensure it continues to meet high standards.

“We have an advisory committee that meets annually, and we must also apply to maintain our accreditation in several years,” said Harris.  “Both of these efforts help ensure the program continually meets quality standards and serves our central purpose of providing a quality education for students.”

Over the past several years, CORE has been working toward establishing an accreditation process for undergraduate programs.  The organization began offering registry membership as a step in that direction in 1999.  Arkansas Tech achieved registry membership in 2000 and maintained its membership until accreditation was offered.

Arkansas Tech was the first university in the state to offer an undergraduate rehabilitation program and is currently one of only two such programs in Arkansas.

Learn more about rehabilitation science and the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Arkansas Tech.

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