Lebanon Valley College’s Jeanne and Edward H. Arnold Health Professions Pavilion on the Annville campus has been open for a full year. The 55,000-square-foot facility serves as the home to the school’s Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Athletic Training and Bachelor of Exercise Science programs.
The Arnold Health Professions Pavilion provides flexible classroom space, observation rooms, and flexible faculty office space.
“This facility is amazing. We have so much space and equipment that we didn’t have before,” said Joe Murphy, director and associate professor of athletic training.
Claudia Gazsi, chair of the exercise science department said that’s also the case for exercise science students.
Learning commons are dispersed throughout the facility, offering formal spaces for quiet study, team rooms for collaborative learning, and breakout spaces for all students to study or socialize. The building has outdoor seating and an adjacent food/beverage area.
“Our students are so dedicated. I often see students using the spaces at all hours (the building is open until 10 p.m. during the week)—they may be working on a team project or studying—and that’s gratifying,” Murphy said.
“The building was designed to be student-centric. There are a lot of nooks and crannies for studying,” Gazsi added.
Both Murphy and Gazsi said the new facility offers more opportunities for both student and faculty collaboration. “We (faculty) collaborate a lot, and our office space is designed to facilitate that. Offices for the various disciplines are intermingled with one another,” Murphy said.
The pavilion also features the Lewis Human Movement Laboratory that includes sports biomechanics equipment. Murphy said the lab contains gait training equipment that’s used in physical therapy and athletic training. There’s also what he described as “top-notch” space dedicated to athletic training.
Gazsi said the lab area also boasts an exercise physiology lab that can be used for testing and working with a wide range of people and fitness levels from young athletes to geriatrics. “Our students are being exposed to the continuum of technology from low tech to high level testing such as this lab. As a whole we have equipment in the Human Movement Lab that’s typically only found at upper-level graduate programs and research institutions,” she said.
She said equipment can be used to perform a walk test for the geriatric population. She described the testing as low tech but said the equipment is more comfortable for geriatrics to use than the more traditional treadmill. A more high-tech example is a VO2 max test, which measures the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense or maximal exercise and is an indicator of an individual’s fitness level.
Murphy said most of the health science degrees can lead to opportunities for advanced degrees.
“When our students are out in the world, they’ll already know how to use the equipment. Plus our under-graduate students have a well-rounded liberal arts education,” he said, “The goal is to create well-rounded clinicians who can integrate into a culture.”
Gazsi said in exercise science, students also leave with real world experience—they’re required to complete a 16-week (one semester) practicum. Some of the practicum partners are Power Train Sports and Fitness, AnyTime Fitness, Lancaster and Lebanon YMCA, Penn State Health: Better Together and Cardiac Rehab, WellSpan Health: Cardiac Rehab and Community Wellness, and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Cardiac Rehab and Healthy Weight Management.
“The practicum not only gives them career experience before they graduate, it also gives them an idea of where they can start in a career,” she explained.
New this school year is the opportunity to sit for the CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) certification. And in January or February 2020, the Arnold Pavilion will deploy community-based fitness testing. “It’s another way for students to gain experience, and it’s a benefit to the community,” Gazsi said.
Student numbers in the health professions majors have increased over the past four years. According to information from LVC in fall 2015, the first classes of athletic training and exercise science majors, 14 students were enrolled in athletic training, 21 students in exercise science, 53 students in the undergraduate phase of physical therapy, and 77 in the fifth- and sixth-year graduate phase of physical therapy.
Fast-forward to this fall, and 41 students were enrolled in athletic training, 95 in exercise science, 163 students in the undergraduate phase of physical therapy and 90 were in the fifth- and sixth-year graduate phase of physical therapy.
Additionally LVC started a bachelor’s/master’s five-year program in speech-language pathology this fall. It’s housed in the Heilman Center across the parking lot from the Arnold Pavilion. College spokesperson Thomas Hanrahan said the program has already exceeded expectations as well so they are expanding their space starting during our winter break.
There will also be a free community hearing-language-speech clinic open to children to older adults, beginning fall 2020.
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