A brand-new space for two brand-new programs!

Concordia University Ann Arbor’s North Building remodel is nearing completion, just in time for an open house to celebrate the makeover, as well as the launch of CUAA’s first-ever doctorate programs: the entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTDe) and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degrees.

Workers tackled more than 7,300 square feet to create an intentionally and expertly designed shared space for future occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) students. The upgrade was on top of significant renovations that the university undertook in 2015 for its School of Nursing and in 2020 for its Master of Physician Assistant Studies program. Altogether, the North Building—a former law school located just under three miles north of the main campus on Geddes Road—is fast becoming a state-of-the-art epicenter for CUAA’s blossoming health care offerings.

Campus and community members are invited to celebrate the new space:

North Building Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Wednesday, April 27 | 3-5 p.m.
 3475 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor

No reservation is needed. Participate in tours of the space, see displays and demonstrations in action, and enjoy fellowship and light snacks. At 5 p.m., remarks and a ribbon cutting will take place. Stay afterwards, from 5:45-6:45 p.m., for a Continuing Education opportunity for community professionals.

What the remodel includes

The PT and OT refurbishment project included two classrooms and four labs, as well as storage, a reception area, and offices. The space features:

  • A large multipurpose treatment lab with a full-range kitchen with adaptive equipment and supplies
  • A second lab with 15 powered hi-lo plinth tables
  • A simulation lab modeled after an outpatient clinic that has cameras and microphones in a viewing room to allow instructors and peers to observe and give feedback during learning exercises
  • A pediatrics/neuro studies lab that includes a suspension bolt for affixing bolster swings or other suspension/therapeutic devices
  • Two classrooms, with one conveniently located near the front entrance of the building to better welcome future community guests whom the programs will serve

Students in the OTDe program will be the first to utilize the new space as the inaugural cohort begins this summer. CUAA will welcome its first DPT cohort in August 2023.

An intentionally collaborative space

Julie Chreston, OTD, OTRL, and Bob Frampton, PT, DHCE, MPT, joined the CUAA faculty in January 2020 to take the helm of the OT and PT programs, respectively. Their early onboarding afforded the pair opportunities to weigh in on the construction for the ultimate benefit of their students.

“We were intentional about wanting to make it a combined space,” Chreston said. “We’ve worked collaboratively ourselves to custom-design these rooms and maximize space in order to best meet our learning objectives.”

The collaborative nature of the OT/PT space sets Concordia’s programs apart, said Bob Frampton, PT, DHCE, MPT, CUAA’s director of physical therapy. Nationwide, employers and certifying boards are placing increasing emphasis on inter-profession instruction, yet few institutions have it literally built into the design of their programs.

“It speaks to the curricula that Julie and I designed,” Frampton said. “We have very accelerated programs where students are expected to put knowledge learned through video lectures into immediate practice during class time. It’s very hands on because we ultimately want to produce clinicians and practitioners who can make a difference in our patients’ lives while growing in our university’s mission.”

Apply now

CUAA is still accepting OTDe applicants for its inaugural cohort. Click here to learn more and to apply: cuaa.edu/otd. Learn more about the DPT program here: cuaa.edu/dpt.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Ann Arbor and Wisconsin. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

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