KANSAS CITY, KAN. John Ferraro, acting dean of Kansas University's School of Allied Health, believes the job opportunities for his graduates are tremendous.
Because of the increased attention to providing services to children and the elderly, Ferraro said, the demand for allied health professionals is very high.
Ferraro said some students are even securing jobs before they graduate from allied health, which has 10 departments that range from occupational therapy to medical records administration.
And he said, "as the population increases, the demand will remain high."
KU'S SCHOOL of Allied Health, established in 1977, trains students at the KU Medical Center in biometry, cytotechnology, dietetics and nutrition, hearing and speech, medical records administration, medical technology, nurse anesthesia, occupational therapy, physical therapy and respiratory therapy.
Ferraro, who took on the duties of acting dean in July, said the school offers a "considerable amount of diversity."
Enrollment varies, he said, but usually is between 400 and 450. The school, which is one of the largest allied health schools in the Midwest, is gearing up for some new programs for the fall, Ferraro said.
He said the medical center is reopening its program in deaf education this fall. A longstanding program, it wasn't offered for two years.
Designed to train students to become teachers of the deaf, the program will confer degrees through the School of Education on KU's Lawrence campus, but the training will be completed at the med center.
HE ALSO noted that the occupational therapy program has been approved to give graduate degrees, which Ferraro described as an "important step for that particular program."
A University of Denver graduate, Ferraro said many of the important activities of the school have to do with the recruitment of a new dean. The former dean, James Cooney Jr., left July 26 for the College of Health Sciences at Georgia State University.
Ferraro also is involved in the search for a new chairperson for the physical therapy department. In addition, he said the chairman of the medical technology department is retiring to a less-than-full-time position.
Ferraro, whose research is in auditory electrophysiology the responses of the brain and ear to sound said the School of Allied Health prepares students in a clinical setting. And in the various clinics at the medical center, the patients are the first priority, not the students.
"The patient is our No. 1 priority,'' he said, ``but the training of students is the No. 1 mission of our school."