TTUHSC School of Allied Health Sciences

SOAHS Mission

The mission of the TTUHSC School of Allied Health Sciences is to provide a high-quality, student centered learning environment for graduate and undergraduate education in the allied health professions; advance knowledge through scholarship and research; and provide clinical services that improve health and quality of life in Texas and the Nation.

As part of a state-supported university system, we serve the people of Texas, with particular emphasis on developing regional solutions to meet the educational and clinical needs of rural communities of West Texas.  

Vision of the School of Allied Heath Sciences

TO EARN REGIONAL AND NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR EXCELLENCE in graduate and undergraduate allied health sciences education, research and clinical service.

We will progress toward achieving this vision by:

  • 1. Achieving high levels of excellence in teaching, research and clinical service, while fostering the professional and personal competence, growth and success of our students, our faculty and our staff.
  • 2. Providing an environment that values, supports and rewards research and other scholarly activities.
  • 3. Contributing to the improvement of health status and the reduction of health disparities in the communities we serve.
  • 4. Expanding the cultural and ethnic diversity of our student-body, faculty and staff.
  • 5. Remaining responsive to the evolving needs of our students, patients and communities we serve.

Goals of the School of Allied Health Sciences

Enhance national reputation for educational excellence

  • First time licensure/certification pass rates at least 1 S.D. > national mean
  • Maximum allowable accreditation for all programs
  • "Students First" the major driver of School/Department policies

Enhance research and scholarly activities

  • Increase research, publications, and other scholarly activities

Expand external funding

  • Increase external grant funding from all available sources
  • Exploit clinical practice revenue potential of SOAHS Centers and the Molecular Pathology Laboratory
  • Achieve $1.0 million/year in external grants, contracts and clinical practice revenues by 2010

Maintain and sustain enrollment

  • Achieve and maintain Fall enrollment headcount of approx. 1,000 by 2010
  • Obtain sufficient resources to develop support structures required to sustain tripling of degree programs, long term

Enhance diversity of students, faculty and staff

  • Expand recruitment of minority students
  • Maintain at least 20% minority student representation
  • Continue efforts to recruit minority faculty and staff

Develop and implement a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences

Our History

In the 1960s, over 100 health-related professions were classified as Allied Health Professions by the federal government. Medical specialization and new technologies called for the support of related disciplines such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical technology, respiratory therapy, and many others. Throughout the 70s and 80s, colleges and universities across the United States raced to establish educational programs to meet the critical shortages in these new health professions. Because the shortage of these caregivers was even more critical in the rural areas of West Texas, the 67th Texas Legislature approved funding to establish the School of Allied Health Sciences at TTUHSC in 1981. The School of Allied Health Sciences was authorized to begin baccalaureate programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medical technology. In 1983, the School accepted its first class of 18 students.

Despite the challenges of growth presented to the small faculty and staff, the School of Allied Health Sciences received full accreditation for its programs in 1985. By 1986, the application rate for class slots was doubling on a yearly basis. Because of competition for admission and critical shortages in the workplace, allied health careers became some of the most sought after in higher education. In 1991, the Emergency Medical Services Educational program (EMS) was added to the programs in the School of Allied Health Sciences. This program was nationally recognized as one of the most successful programs of its type. The EMS program offered Emergency Medical Technician certification at three levels: Basic, Intermediate, and Paramedic.

Responding to the public demand for larger classes, the administration of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center asked the School of Allied Health Sciences to expand the Physical and Occupational Therapy programs to two of the regional campuses--Odessa and Amarillo. In 1993, the School of Allied Health Sciences placed its first classes in those regional sites, which effectively doubled the size of these programs, as well as meeting the mission of providing higher education opportunities to regional sites.

Texas Tech University is the home of the oldest Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology program in Texas. The program had by 1993 outgrown its classrooms and clinics. At that time this distinguished graduate program, which properly belonged in a medical education environment, was added to the School of Allied Health Sciences. Additionally in 1993, the School received permission from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to replace the existing bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy with a master's degree in Physical Therapy.

In little more than a decade, the School's enrollment had grown from the original 18 students to approximately 500 students. In 1997, the School of Allied Health Sciences was virtually assured of becoming the largest health profession school in Texas when the Texas Legislature authorized the establishment of a bachelor’s degree program to educate physician assistants. The program was the first of its kind in West Texas and continues to draw large numbers of applicants. In keeping with the mission of providing higher education at regional sites, the Physician Assistant program is located in Midland.

Recent additions to the School of Allied Health Sciences include approval by the coordinating board to change the bachelor's degree programs in both occupational therapy and physician assistant studies to master's degree programs, changing the master's degree program in audiology to a doctoral degree program, and developing a bachelor's degree program in emergency medical services management. The Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Services Management was the first of its kind in Texas. Other additions to the School include the approval of the Master of Athletic Training, a Master of Rehabilitation Counseling, a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Services Management, a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences, a Master of Science in Molecular Pathology, and a Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy. The bachelor's degree in EMS Management has recently merged with the bachelor's degree in Clinical Services Management. The newest program to be approved by the coordinating board is the Ph.D. program in Communication Sciences and Disorders. With the addition and changes of its programs, the School of Allied Health Sciences continues to grow and diversify.

Date Approved by TEC: May 1, 2008.