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College of Engineering & Science - Louisiana Tech University

Biomedical Engineering

Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering: Certificate in Assistive Technology


The Louisiana Board of Regents has approved (July 2000) a new Certificate in Assistive Technology. This 15-credit graduate program utilizes a combination of print materials, lectures on CDROM, world-wide-web, and email resources to deliver a unique learning experience to the student. The curriculum places strong emphasis on the application of knowledge of assistive technology to current clinical problems. Upon successful completion of the program, a Certificate in Assistive Technology is awarded. The certificate program is designed for the academic preparation of assistive technology specialists working in the field of rehabilitation. The program is responsive to the external requirements leading to professional certification by RESNA as an Assistive Technology Practitioner. Federal funding from the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Education has been received to sponsor this program to the year 2003 ($500,000 total). Louisiana Tech University's Biomedical Engineering Program has a long history of offering training courses in assistive technology (1987 - present). Assistive technology training through the Biomedical Engineering Program at Tech has always emphasized the integration of clinical practice into the curriculum. The courses required for the Certificate in Assistive Technology are:

BIEN 560 - Review of Assistive Technology in Rehabilitation: The study of physical and sensory disabilities and the clinical application of assistive technology in the rehabilitation process.

BIEN 562 - Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology I: Assessment and the development of assistive technology solutions in rehabilitation. Emphasis on wheelchairs and seating systems, personal transportation, and home modifications.

BIEN 563 - Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology II: Assessment and the development of assistive technology solutions in rehabilitation. Emphasis on devices for independent living, electronic devices for automatic controls, computer access, and augmentative/alternative communication.

BIEN 565 - Clinical Practice in Assistive Technology. Assessment and development of assistive technology solutions in worksite modifications and integrated controls. Assigned cases will be used to develop and assess the students' ability to apply assistive technology in current disability-related problems.

ENGR 589 - Case Studies in Application of Assistive Technology

During 1999-2000, 21 students were enrolled in this program of whom 14 were out-of-state and 7 were in-state (including two Biomedical Engineering graduate students). The M.S. in Biomedical Engineering is integrated with the Certificate Program in that on-campus students may also take the distance education sequence to specialize in rehabilitation technology. The proposed program is designed for rehabilitation professionals and engineering students. Rehabilitation professionals will earn the Certificate by completing the 15-hour sequence. The engineering students will use the 15-hour sequence to satisfy the specialization in the Masters degree program.