Salus students at Elkins Park campusSalus recently signed articulation agreements that will benefit Pennsylvania college students who want to pursue several in-demand healthcare professions. The partnerships give qualified undergraduate students special consideration for admission, including reserved seats, under the new agreements with Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania, and Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia.
 

Offering a direct pathway for admission into the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) at Salus, through the agreement with Misericordia, students can complete a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree in four years.

Along with the flexibility of a variety of settings in which to practice, the optometry profession had a median annual pay of more than $115,000 in 2019 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In addition to a six-figure income, however, the highlight of the agreement is the unique learning and clinical experiences offered at PCO, according to Melissa Trego, OD ‘04, Resident ‘09, PhD, dean of PCO/Salus.

“Whether it be for the return on investment, earning potential, early clinical exposure, feedback from alumni and employers or learning collaborations, PCO/Salus prepares students to be the type of clinicians who are ready for anything,” Dr. Trego said. “When students choose to be educated at PCO/Salus, they are choosing a program that will expose them to a diversification of patient conditions – early and often.”

“Misericordia University is excited to be working together with Salus to provide an opportunity to more students in health science professions who are interested in working in the field of optometry," noted Dr. Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, dean of the College of Health Sciences and Education at Misericordia. "Sharing a joint vision of diversity and inclusion, we believe we can collectively work together to foster and support a strong pool of diverse candidates through our partnership. We believe that this partnership will be mutually beneficial and will allow for a variety of innovative alliances across programs, faculty and students in the future.”

Salus has also finalized a series of articulation agreements with Chestnut Hill College (CHC), allowing students who meet the admissions requirements to earn advanced degrees from the University’s Occupational Therapy (OT), Physician Assistant (PA) Studies or Blindness and Low Vision Studies (BLVS) programs in two years. Additional degree pathways offered under the agreements between Salus and CHC include a four-year Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree or Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree.

The partnership comes at a time when federal labor projections show six of the top 15 occupations with the most job growth through 2029 will be in healthcare professions. In fact, the BLS predicts a 31 percent increase in demand for physician assistant (PA) jobs between 2019 and 2029 with the average annual wage reported at $112,000 in 2019.

“The partnership with Chestnut Hill College will help students enter into a career in any of these fields, offering job stability as well as flexibility and satisfaction, all while helping to improve the lives of others,” Monica Scirrotto, MS, director of Admissions at Salus, said. “In today’s uncertain times, employment in healthcare is expected to continue to grow much faster than average with increasing salaries. It is an opportune time to establish these new agreements, which will enable students to achieve their academic and professional goals.”