University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) will soon open a new campus in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to help meet the growing demand for qualified rehabilitative science professionals and advanced-practice nurses in Texas. Located in the Riverside Commons complex in Irving-Las Colinas, USAHS Dallas will open to students with the first cohort starting in May. Riverside Commons is situated on a 13-acre campus located at the Southwest corner of Highway 114 and Riverside Drive, adjacent to the Lake Carolyn recreation area.
Founded in 1979, USAHS is an accredited, graduate–level university that is committed solely to health and rehabilitative sciences through innovative classroom and clinical education. USAHS is a private university that has been serving the Austin area since 2012, with other campuses in St. Augustine and Miami in Florida, and San Marcos in Southern California.
USAHS is the largest graduate-level physical and occupational therapy institution in the U.S. with more than 7,800 alumni, a strong 94 percent graduation rate and 100 percent clinical placement rate at hospitals and clinics across the nation, including the state of Texas with numerous in the DFW area.
“Our graduates from Austin have consistently demonstrated that they are well-prepared to practice as effective, interdisciplinary problem-solvers, and leaders in their professions,” said USAHS CEO Vivian Sanchez. “The programs being offered at the Dallas campus represent high demand professions and will meet our social mandate of attending to health care disparities in Texas and communities throughout the United States.”
“The university’s success blends our modern, interdisciplinary health sciences education with a focus on unparalleled patient care and service to the community,” said Dr. Divina Grossman, USAHS President and Chief Academic Officer. “A big part of our mission is to positively impact the communities we serve and the university has demonstrated that in a variety of ways, from numerous community clinics and other service projects in Austin aimed at helping those with disabilities, mobility challenges due to disease, and senior citizens. In the last year alone, our students and faculty logged over 3500 hours of community service through these types of programs.”
Pending accreditation and regulatory approvals, USAHS will initially occupy nearly 30,000 square-feet of classroom, laboratory, and administrative space at Riverside Commons, first offering *Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) programs, followed by a Master of Science in Speech and Language Pathology (MSSLP) and then Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs. The OTD degree will be offered on campus or through the university’s Flex option which combines online learning with periodic weekend residencies, allowing students to pursue advanced degrees without having to attend on campus full-time. USAHS also offers several online health science graduate programs including Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Health Administration (MHA), Master of Health Science (MHS), and Doctor of Education (EdD).
“Texas is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation; combined with an aging population, the demand for healthcare services in Texas and the greater DFW area will be remarkable,” said Dr. Thomas Werner, USAHS DPT Program Director for the Dallas campus. “The impact of this shortage will be profound if there are not enough licensed, practice-ready professionals prepared to meet this growing demand in next decade.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the decade from 2016 to 2026, there will be a 28 percent increase in demand for physical therapists, a 33.7 percent increase for occupational therapists and a 52.7 percent increase for nurse practitioners. The Texas Workforce Commission’s annual report also shows that speech-language pathologists are leading short-term growth in the state with a 7.4 percent rise in demand between 2015 and 2017.