Allied Health Graduates Excel Beyond Cedarville

by Bethany Brock, Public Relations Writer

Ruth Christiansen, a 2012 allied health graduate, said the allied health classes in Cedarville University’s Department of Kinesiology and Allied Health prepared her for academic success in physical therapy (PT) school. Christiansen is currently attending Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, Ill., where she is pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

Christiansen’s goal is to treat patients with neurological diseases and injuries, such as spinal cord injuries or multiple sclerosis.

Christiansen is excited to start her first clinical rotation in June.  “I am really enjoying the patient contact I have as a student PT and the relational side of therapy. It's a rewarding field,” she said.

The allied health major is designed to prepare students to enter graduate level programs in the allied health fields of physical therapy, physician assistant (PA) and occupational therapy (OT).

The courses in these three areas of study meet the prerequisite requirements of respective graduate programs.

According to Dee Morris, professor of allied health and allied health coordinator, “We occasionally have students interested in fields like chiropractic, podiatry, or optometry. We can develop courses of study which will prepare them for going on to graduate programs in those fields, as well.”

Christiansen appreciated how the courses she took were designed to meet specific requirements to enter PT school. These challenging classes also gave her an academic advantage as some of the material in her graduate classes were covered in her classes at Cedarville.

“Our professors took great care to make sure they were offering relevant and cutting edge information and always wanted feedback from us so that they could continue to improve the program,” Christiansen said.

Another aspect of the major that assisted Christiansen is the program’s emphasis on walking students through the preparation process to apply for graduate programs. 

“From mock interviews, to observation hours, to maneuvering the national Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) web site, the faculty were right there providing the support we needed to be the best candidates possible for our respective programs,” said Christensen.

As coordinator of the allied health major, Morris networks with graduate professional programs in order to facilitate graduates’ admission into those programs.

“It is exciting to guide them through their course work, the application and interview process and to enjoy their acceptances with them,” she said.

“What we’ve found is if one of our PA, PT or OT graduates get into a given program, the way will be open to more of our graduates,” said Morris.  She believes this is due to Cedarville’s Bible minor and the university’s focus on Christ-centered learning, which produces graduates who bring a unique perspective to whatever field they enter.

Christiansen said the faculty members were serious about supporting her and her classmates in prayer and challenging them to bring their faith into the workplace.

“I am so very thankful that God allowed me to spend four years at Cedarville. It was the best of times, and truly formative for who I am today,” Christiansen said.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at