FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tuesday is the first day of classes at Fresno State. And many are excited about the university's growing physical therapy program.
Crews are smoothing the path for the next class of physical therapists. The new "Physical Therapy Intercollegiate Athletics" building is nearly complete and students can't wait to get in.
Christian Lopez is in his second year as a doctoral student. The Lemoore native is happy to be pursuing higher education at home in a growing program.
Dr. Peggy Trueblood, Physical Therapy Department Chair, said, "It's very competitive. We actually had 500 and some applicants last year. We interviewed about 160 people for 32 spots."
California has 13 physical therapy schools. But Dr. Trueblood said Fresno State's hands on approach is attracting many students and so is the new building. The facility will help students learn in bigger lab spaces and utilize conference rooms for presentations.
Dr. Trueblood added, "Typically about 70 percent of our students stay here in the Central Valley, so we're putting out pt's here for the Valley and so it's a good thing in terms of upgrading healthcare here in the Central Valley."
As for Lopez, he hopes to stay in the Valley after graduation.
Doctoral students will have their first day of class in the new building on September 14th. Officials said it will mark a new chapter in education, not only for the students, but the university as well.