doctor of physical therapy (dpt) program
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program
The Alvernia University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program achieved the status of candidacy from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education in November 2014. The DPT is a clinical post-graduate doctoral degree that is 3 years in length and deemed to be the preferred credential for optimally preparing graduates to make significant contributions to the profession. Beginning in the Fall of 2015, the DPT program will be offered in a 4+3 year curricular format. Prospective students with an earned bachelor s degree from Alvernia or another four-year accredited institution are welcome to apply. A 3+3 year, accelerated format is also available that allows Alvernia students who are admitted as undergraduate freshman into one of 4 majors (Biochemistry, Biology, Healthcare Science, or Psychology) to begin the professional phase of the curriculum in their senior year. Upon maintaining the required GPA and completion of all requirements, these students are eligible to compete with other accelerated students for entrance into the program, and may complete their undergraduate training and doctoral degree within 6 years. See Alvernia DPT Program’s current accreditation status under the “Accreditation” tab.
Preparing the Next Generation of Physical Therapists
By the year 2020, physical therapy will be provided by Doctors of Physical Therapy, who are recognized by consumers and other healthcare professionals as an entry-point into the healthcare system. The physical therapist will be responsible for evaluating and managing an individual’s movement system across the lifespan to promote optimal development; diagnose impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions; and provide interventions targeted at preventing or ameliorating activity limitations and participation restrictions. The movement system is the core of physical therapist practice, education, and research. Educators will seek to propagate the highest standards of teaching and learning, supporting collaboration and innovation throughout academia. Researchers will collaborate with clinicians to expand available evidence and translate it into practice, conduct comparative effectiveness research, standardize outcome measurement, and participate in interprofessional research teams. The physical therapy profession will advocate for patients/clients/consumers both as individuals and as a population, in practice, education, and research settings to manage and promote change, adopt best practice standards and approaches, and ensure that systems are built to be consumer-centered.” 1
As an Alvernia Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) graduate, you will be prepared to engage in evidence-based clinical care, understand your rights and responsibilities as a member of a doctoring profession, and possess the required knowledge and skill to change the lives of those whom you serve. Consistent with the vision of the American Physical Therapy Association and Alvernia University, the DPT Program endeavors to develop graduates who are “ethical leaders with moral courage” and prepared to assume a leadership role in addressing the health-related concerns that society faces.
Expand Your Opportunities and Make a Difference
The profession of Physical Therapy appeals to people who enjoy physical activity, service to others, and interactive therapeutic relationships. They make a positive difference in the lives of individuals who have impairments in mobility by helping to prevent, restore, or resolve dysfunctional conditions.
More than 120,000 physical therapists are licensed in the United States today, treating nearly one million people every day. Physical Therapists are employed in a variety of practice settings which include, but are not limited to, orthopaedic outpatient clinics, acute care hospital-based facilities, acute and sub-acute rehabilitation hospitals, sports medicine centers, research institutions, long-term care facilities, pediatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, transitional care units, school-based facilities, and home health care.
The profession of Physical Therapy was considered the 8th best job in America in 2012 with an expected 40% increase in job opportunities by the year 2020 with an anticipated 77,000 new job opportunities. (US News and World Report, 2/27/12) A 30% increase in job opportunities is expected between 2008 and 2018. (US Department of Labor, 2010-2011). Physical Therapy is considered one of the best jobs for fast growth ranked #2 in 2011 and ranked #4 on the Best Jobs in America list in 2010. (CNNMoney.com )
The DPT Program at a Glance
The Alvernia DPT Program features the following:
- Early and frequent clinical education immersion which begins in the first semester of the Program, serves to connect the classroom with the clinic
- Performance-based physical therapy education, which focuses on the practical application of knowledge and the development of clinical skills ensures that graduates will be prepared to have an immediate impact on the lives of others.
- Opportunities for interprofessional educational experiences with students from OT, nursing, behavioral health, athletic training, medical imaging, and healthcare science, among others provides students with an appreciation for the unique contribution of each discipline within the healthcare team
- Active community engagement and service-learning through various initiatives in the nearby city of Reading enables students to appreciate their role within the community and their responsibility to use their skills in the service of others
- Our Clinical Expert Integration Model (CEIM) endeavors to identify highly skilled, expert clinicians within a variety of areas within the Program, as associated faculty who perform didactic teaching, lab assistance, and provide clinical education
- Active learning experiences provide opportunities to engage students as adult learners who take the onus for the creation of authentic learning
- Completion of a Comprehensive Examination helps to prepare students for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE), which is required for licensure
- DPT core faculty have over 80 years of combined clinical experience and 50 years of academic teaching experience representing a variety of specialty practice areas within the profession. Students will learn from professors who currently practice, publish, impart contemporary and evidence-based practices, and truly care about each student’s educational journey.
- 1. APTA. Vision Statement of the Physical Therapy Profession. 2013