Parker College of Chiropractic has announced that it has achieved university status and will rebrand as Parker University. The Dallas-based school cites the name change as part of an expansion of current graduate degree offerings and programs with a focused long-term strategy of educating the world's top health care and wellness practitioners for today's changing health care landscape.
"Alumni and student surveys conducted last year identified many of the suggested degree plans," said Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, president of Parker University. "We're also working with a SACS consultant to identify the programs with the highest market demand. Although the list is not final, bachelors programs in health technologies and masters programs in public health, nutrition, sports science and many others have been discussed."
Statistics show a shift in the health care industry as costs rise and patients look to natural, holistic care as an alternative to high prescription and surgery costs. According to CDC National Health Statistics, approximately 38 percent of American adults and 12 percent of children use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), which includes chiropractic, massage therapy and more.
"This is a great day for all of us, and especially for current and future students. The new designation further sets Parker apart as a leader in our industry and allows us to position our students for greater success," said the school's vice president of academics, Dr. Ken Thomas. "It is critical to seek specialty training to have an edge as a doctor of chiropractic in today's market, and Parker's new programs will set our students apart from other wellness professionals."
Additionally, the name change will raise awareness within the community, allowing for partnerships with regional universities, a new set of campus amenities, research collaboration with other universities and community health services.
Despite the name change, the chiropractic program will continue to serve as the cornerstone of every initiative launched by Parker. Chiropractic is, and will always remain, the hallmark program offered by Parker University.
The first graduation under the name Parker University College of Chiropractic will take place April 16, and the school will adopt its new name immediately. Transition to the new name will occur on the school's Web site, materials and elsewhere during the next six to 12 months.
Amid the transition, the focus to spread chiropractic worldwide and remain a leader in chiropractic education, along with the charge to expand opportunities in holistic health care education continues. The prestige, appeal and capacity to diversify educational opportunities will intensify Parker's status as the leading chiropractic and holistic-based educational institution in the country, supplementing the shifting attitudes of the consumer.
"People today are more aware of the importance of being proactive about their health, and they're realizing they can do this by making better choices in their lifestyles," said Dr. Mancini. "Because of this, there's great demand for chiropractors right now. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that chiropractic is a rapidly growing profession, with employment of chiropractors expected to increase 20 percent by 2018."
With just 27 students in its first graduating class in 1985, Parker has grown into a leading chiropractic and wellness institution with 270 employees and more than 1,000 students impacting the local economy, education and health care industries. Twenty-eight percent of Dallas area chiropractors are graduates of Parker.
"In all my years as a student, administrator and now president, I cannot recall a more exciting time to be part of the vibrant community here at Parker," said Dr. Mancini. "I know our founding father, Dr. Jim W. Parker, would have been immensely proud of our college's evolution to university status."
The university also expects hiring to occur as the offerings continue to grow with its new focus and status. "As we expand, we will have a need to hire additional faculty who have the knowledge to support our new programs," said Dr. Mancini.
Source: Parker University