When the University of Bridgeport opens its doors to its first class of approximately 65 chiropractic students on May 6, 1991, it will enter the history books as the first such program affiliated with a university in the United States.
Currently more than 400 prospective students are vying for those coveted 65 spots for the first trimester, reports Dr. Frank Zolli, program director. An additional 65 students will be enrolled in September. During the first year of operation a total of 180 students will be admitted to the program. A matriculation capacity of 500 students for the entire 10-trimester program is projected.
In late December, the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education paved the way for the college's opening when they unanimously approved the licensure of a doctor of chiropractic degree and the establishment of a college of chiropractic on the main campus of UB. UB has had a pre-chiropractic program offered through the college of science and engineering's biology department for more that a decade.
"This is a great opportunity for the University of Bridgeport and the chiropractic profession. I feel the decision to grant this license reflects a vote of confidence by the board of governors not only at UB but in chiropractic education in general," Dr. Zolli said.
Dr. Edwin Eigel, UB's provost and academic vice president said, "The University of Bridgeport has had a successful pre-chiropractic program for several years and its graduate program in human nutrition has attracted practicing chiropractors who want to broaden their expertise in a related field. The college of chiropractic here is a natural addition. Students will now be able to complete their entire undergraduate and professional training at UB ... this, affiliation is not only unique but enhances educational opportunities for students in the field. They now have access to the programs and resources of a comprehensive university with a law school, and four colleges: health and human services; business and public management; science and engineering; and arts and humanities."
UB President Dr. Janet D. Greenwood said, "The University of Bridgeport is fully committed to offering students chiropractic education which is on the cutting edge of the profession."
Plans for the establishment of the chiropractic college began in early 1989 and were spearheaded by a steering committee of chiropractic physicians in the Northeast. Dr. Arnold Cianciulli, from Bayonne (NJ), said, "The trustees and president of the University of Bridgeport have demonstrated progressive educational foresight by establishing this college as part of their university. This major step will herald a new era in American chiropractic education."
UB's board of trustees appointed Dr. Robert J. Mastrisciano of South Ozone Park (NY) to its board to represent the new college. He said, "UB's willingness to establish a college of chiropractic together with members of the chiropractic profession will form a productive relationship that will forge the framework for a superior chiropractic education which is fully integrated within the operations of the university."
"I look forward to working with fellow board members in building a bright future for the college of chiropractic and the University of Bridgeport," Dr. Mastrisciano added.
All candidates for admission must furnish proof of three years (90 or more acceptable semester hours) of study creditable toward a baccalaureate degree, taken in accredited, degree-granting institutions.
Pre-professional education acquired must have been completed with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.25 on a 4.00 scale. A baccalaureate degree is recommended.
Zolli explains that applicants must have completed: general biology/zoology; general chemistry; organic chemistry; general physics; english/communications; humanities; social sciences; and psychology.
The University of Bridgeport is a private, non-sectarian, medium-sized comprehensive university located on an 85-acre campus adjacent to the Long Island Sound, in Fairfield County, Connecticut, 55 miles from New York City. Dotting the campus and its environs are structures and features of the former "Marina" estate of showman P.T. Barnum, and mansions of his descendants, their neighbors and their descendants.
There is diversity in UB's 70-plus buildings which in addition to stately mansions include many structures that embody the most modern concepts of design. The nine-story library is a resource not only for the campus and law school but for the community. The university has several modern residence halls on campus as well as a student dining room and student center. Cultural events on campus include art exhibits, theatre productions, dance ensembles, cinema, lectures, and concerts by UB groups. UB also has an active sports program and the Wheeler Recreational Center for tennis, swimming, and other sports.
The University of Bridgeport's rich cultural heritage and diversity is reflected in its student body of 4,000 from 40 states and 70 countries.