‘Early Assurance’


Students interested in ECU’s doctor of physical therapy or doctor of audiology programs may obtain early assurance through a new advance admissions program at ECU. Pictured above, at left, ECU physical therapist Kevin Youngs works with Greenville resident Caleb Lee in ECU’s physical therapy clinic. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)


ECU offers advance admission to undergrads interested in audiology, physical therapy

By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services

Incoming freshmen interested in careers in audiology and physical therapy can earn advance admittance to graduate school if accepted to two new programs offered through the Honors College at East Carolina University.

The Early Assurance Program is expanding this year to guarantee entry into the competitive doctor of audiology and doctor of physical therapy graduate programs at ECU upon completion of participants’ undergraduate degree. That includes bypassing the Graduate Record Examinations.

Two outstanding high school students applying to enter ECU as freshmen in 2013 will be selected for admission to each program following a January review and an interview during Honors College weekend, Feb. 17-18. Two alternates will also be chosen.


Equipment is shown at East Carolina University Physical Therapy, an outpatient clinic owned by the Department of Physical Therapy in the College of Allied Health Sciences.

“Annually, several hundred students enroll here at ECU with an intent of applying to our program,” said Dr. Walt Jenkins, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. “We believe if we are able to identify students earlier in their undergraduate education they will become more involved in our department including the clinics and research laboratories, and enter our program with greater knowledge of what it means to be a physical therapist.”

“Employment of audiologists is expected to grow by 37 percent from 2010 to 2020 – much faster than the average for all occupations,” added Dr. Gregg Givens, chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. “(Our inclusion in Early Assurance) should benefit not only the program and university, but the citizens of this state and nation.”

The first Early Assurance Program launched in 2000, and guarantees entrance to ECU’s Brody School of Medicine to four students annually. More than 40 Early Assurance scholars and alternates have since enrolled in the Brody School, and 20 of those already graduated with medical degrees, according to Dr. James Peden Jr., associate dean for admissions at the medical school.

“The Honors College actively seeks partnerships within the university that can serve our brightest students,” said Kevin Baxter, associate dean of the Honors College. “The development of additional Early Assurance Programs allows us to promote East Carolina’s strengths in the health sciences and provide select honors students with an opportunity to receive the assurance of admission to these highly competitive graduate programs.”

More information about Early Assurance is available online at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/earlyassurance/.