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Monday, May 05, 2008

SU, USG Partner for Respiratory Therapy Program

SALISBURY, MD---One of the most in-demand health professions in the country will now be taught by Salisbury University through the Universities at Shady Grove (USG).

Starting fall 2008, SU will offer its Bachelor of Science in respiratory therapy at USG.  This collaboration is the first between SU and the Shady Grove campus in Montgomery County, which offers more than 60 degree programs through nine University System of Maryland (USM) institutions. Some $325,000 has been earmarked in the state budget to help support the program.

“Salisbury University and the Universities at Shady Grove have long sought this partnership, and I am grateful for the funding from the Governor and the General Assembly which make it possible,” said SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach. “Traditionally, Salisbury University has been popular with Montgomery County students and I think this will be a terrific fit.  This partnership also helps in addressing a critical healthcare need for our state and the metropolitan Washington area.”

“We are delighted to welcome Salisbury University and its respected Respiratory Therapy Program to Montgomery County,” said Dr. Stewart Edelstein, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs for the USM and executive director of USG.  “Through our collaboration, respiratory therapy will now be available at two USM campuses, which makes this program more accessible for students.  It allows USG to offer a proven and popular major that will train students to meet future  health care needs in our county and state.”

As part of the program, SU has signed an articulation agreement with Montgomery College where students may take their first two years of general studies.  This will allow students from that area planning to earn their baccalaureate in respiratory therapy to live at home and save money, said Dr. Robert Joyner, chair of the SU Department of Health Sciences and director of its Respiratory Therapy Program.

SU has signed affiliation agreements with Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and Children’s National Medical Center among others, where students will perform their clinical studies.  Classroom instruction will be taught live at Salisbury and Shady Grove using bi-directional interactive Internet transmission to connect both campuses.

Applicants must meet regular SU admissions requirements and pay SU tuition.  The USG students will have all the privileges of those enrolled on the main campus, from library to athletic facilities use, when they’re in Salisbury.  They will graduate with an SU diploma and will be invited to commencement ceremonies on the Eastern Shore.

Respiratory therapists are in such demand that hospitals often hire students while still in college, Joyner said. In 2007 mid-Atlantic region educational programs in respiratory therapy could not keep pace with hospital staffing needs.  Montgomery College officials have said they already are receiving inquiries about the major which will have an initial cohort of 10-20.  The program on main campus currently has some 100 majors.

SU’s nationally accredited respiratory therapy baccalaureate is one of some 50 nationwide and is the only one in Maryland.

To find out more about the SU-USG program, contact Joyner at 410-543-6365 or e-mail rljoyner@salisbury.edu.



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