The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Carroll University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation AT apta DOT org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.
Societal demands and a changing health care environment affect physical therapy practice. The aim of the entry-level Physical Therapy program at Carroll University is to produce clinicians, trained for general practice in an evolving, diverse and interdisciplinary health care environment, who provide best care, respectful of patient/client values and grounded in evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning, and who contribute to the profession and their community. To achieve the program’s aim, individuals associated with the program demonstrate effective teaching, scholarship, clinical practice, and service to the university profession and community.
Graduates of the entry-level Physical Therapy program are reflective, adaptable, accountable and competent to render independent judgments within a framework of collaborative health care practice. Graduates are prepared to practice in a caring, compassionate manner with moral sensitivity, social responsibility and awareness of individual differences. Pre-professional education is grounded in the liberal arts and the natural, behavioral, and social and health sciences. Professional preparation is in the basic sciences, behavioral sciences, applied sciences, health sciences and the science of physical therapy. Graduates are prepared to examine, evaluate, diagnose, make prognoses and provide interventions designed to rehabilitate patients/clients to optimal levels of function, prevent the onset of symptoms, and progression of impairments, functional limitations and disabilities that may result from diseases, disorders or injuries. Understanding professional practice, patient/client management and practice management expectations allow graduates to impact health care delivery systems in their communities. Graduates have a life-long commitment to self-directed learning and critical inquiry, recognizing that completion of their professional education is the first phase on a continuum of phases to mastery and competency in physical therapy.
Graduates contribute to the profession and society by seeking and disseminating knowledge gained and providing pro bono services.The program aim is reflected in its curricular philosophy. The curriculum is developed around four tracks, incorporating both traditional and problem-based learning concepts. Each track is composed of courses that find their foundations in the same basic or professional science. The professional track presents material in a manner that develops content from general to applied concepts in professional practice, patient/client management, practice management, clinical decision making and evidenced based practice. The neurological, musculoskeletal and general medicine tracks present basic science, applied science in the absence of pathology, and applied science in the presence of pathology within the context of patient care. Across and within the four tracks are common themes that include ethical inquiry and practice, continuous integration of theory and practice across the curriculum, self-management of the learning process by students, and self-reinforcement whereby students learn because they value their growing competence. The curriculum includes both didactic and practical experiences. There is collaborative teaching within and across tracks and courses with planned redundancy of subject matter. Constant reinforcement of content with clinical experiences occurs through observations of, and exposure to, patients in academic courses, exposure to clients in the program’s Teaching Laboratory Practice, and integrated clinical education.
To meet the program aim, a variety of individuals including, but not limited to, academic and clinical physical therapists; other professionals; basic, behavioral and social scientists; patients and care givers; and the community are involved in the program. These individuals facilitate learning and share their content expertise in their area of specialization. The academic, community and professional collaborations allow the program to link education to the reality of practice, anticipate future developments and keep a global perspective.
The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program begins in the student’s senior year, lasts eight semesters, and is subdivided into two phases, Phase I and Phase II.
During Phase I, course work in physical therapy begins at the 400 level. The 400-level courses present the basic, behavioral, professional and applied science foundations for the 500-and 600-level courses in Phase II. Bachelor’s degrees are awarded to those individuals satisfying all relevant Carroll undergraduate requirements at the conclusion of the senior year.
Immediately following Commencement, students move into the graduate phase of the program, Phase II, where 500-level (summer, fall and spring terms of year five) and 600- level (summer, fall and spring terms of year six) courses in physical therapy are offered. Knowledge gained in each course is integrated throughout subsequent courses. The graduates participate in the University’s Commencement ceremony in May.
The physical therapy program admits qualified students regardless of race, color, creed, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, national or ethnic origin or handicap that does not interfere with the performance of professional physical therapy practice as provided by law. Students can enter the physical therapy program in one of three ways:1) Direct admission - Individuals with direct admission status matriculate directly from high school into the pre-professional phase of the program which consists of the Freshman, Sophomore and Junior years at Carroll. Students who meet admission standards at the end of the Junior year transition to the professional phase of the DPT program which begins the Senior year at Carroll. Students earn an undergraduate major with a pre-physical therapy emphasis at the conclusion of the Senior year and continue in the professional phase for two years of graduate level study.2) Non-direct admission - If a high school senior does not qualify for or choose the direct admission option above and pursues an undergraduate degree at Carroll, the individual can apply, during his/her junior year, for the professional phase of the program. Preference will be given to students who complete 60 or more undergraduate degree credits at Carroll.3) Non-traditional admission - An individual who has completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at another institution or at Carroll can apply for the professional phase of the program. Applicants must be eligible to return in good standing (be free of academic or disciplinary probation) to all institutions previously attended.Applications and credentials for admission to the Physical Therapy program must be submitted for processing to the Carroll University Office of Admission. Decisions are made on applications throughout the year by a selection committee in the program, and applicants are immediately notified of their acceptance status through the Office of Admission. Under certain circumstances, admission to the program on probation status is possible.
Successful participation in the Carroll University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program requires that a candidate possess the ability to meet the requirements of the program. Though the program may modify certain course requirements in order to provide a person with a handicap1 an equivalent opportunity to achieve results equal to those of a person without a handicap, there are no substitutes for the following essential skills. The applicant must initially meet the health requirements and technical standards described below to gain admission to the DPT program, and must also continue to meet them throughout participation in the program. If a student has a change in health status while enrolled in the DPT program, the student is required to inform their program advisor, submit a physician release, and update the technical standards form.
1 Handicapped as defined by the federal government pursuant to SS 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
In preparation for professional roles physical therapy students are expected to demonstrate the ability to meet the demands encountered in a physical therapy career. Certain functional abilities are essential for the delivery of safe and effective care. An applicant to the DPT Program must meet and maintain the following technical standards for progression throughout the program. Students unable to meet these technical standards will not be able to complete the program. Students shall notify the program in a timely manner of any change in their ability to meet technical standards.
The technical standards include but are not limited to the following:
The student is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing and smell so that data received by the senses is integrated, analyzed and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. The student is expected to possess the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, vibration and movement in order to effectively evaluate patients. A student must be able to respond promptly to urgent situations.
The student must have the ability to make accurate visual observations and interpret them in the context of clinical/laboratory activities and patient care experiences. The student must be able to document these observations accurately.
The student must communicate effectively verbally and non-verbally to obtain information and explain that information to others. Each student must have the ability to read, write, hear, comprehend and speak the English language to facilitate communication with patients, family members and other members of the health care team. The student must be able to document and maintain accurate records, present information in a professional manner and provide patient instruction to effectively care for patients and their families.
The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements with sufficient coordination needed to provide complete safe effective care for patients. The student is expected to have psychomotor skills necessary to safely perform examination procedures and treatment interventions, including CPR if necessary. Examples of examination procedures include, but are not limited to, cognitive assessment, range of motion, manual muscle testing, sensation, balance, functional abilities, pain, cardiopulmonary status, percussion, palpation, and anthropometrics. Treatment interventions include, but are not limited to, patient education, manual therapy, functional training (transfers, bed mobility, activity of daily living training, etc.), application of therapeutic physical agents such as electrotherapy, radiation, heat, and cold, and wound care.
The student must have sufficient levels of neuromuscular control and eye-to-hand coordination as well as possess the physical and mental stamina to meet the demands associated with extended periods of sitting, standing, moving and physical exertion required for safe patient care. Students must be able to bend, squat, reach, kneel or balance. The DPT curriculum may require students to carry and lift loads from the floor, from 12 inches from the floor, to shoulder height and overhead. The student must be able to occasionally lift 50 pounds, frequently lift 25 pounds and constantly lift 10 pounds. The student is expected to be able to maintain consciousness and equilibrium and have the physical strength and stamina to perform satisfactorily in clinical settings.
The student must have the ability to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills essential to professional physical therapy practice. Problem solving skills include the ability to measure, calculate reason, analyze, synthesize, and judge objective and subjective data, and to make decisions in a timely manner that reflects thoughtful deliberation and sound clinical judgment. The student must demonstrate application of these skills and possess the ability to comprehend, retain, retrieve and incorporate prior knowledge with new information from multiple sources including, but not limited to self, peers, instructors and related literature to formulate sound judgment for competent patient/client management, practice management, and functions required for clinical scholarship.
The student is expected to have the emotional stability required to exercise sound judgment, complete assessment and intervention activities. Compassion, integrity, motivation and concern for others are personal attributes required of those in the DPT program. The student must fully utilize intellectual capacities that facilitate prompt completion of all responsibilities in the classroom and clinical settings; the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationship with patients and other members of the healthcare team. The student must have the ability to establish rapport and maintain respectful interpersonal relationships with individuals, families and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds. Each student must be able to adapt to changing environments; display flexibility; accept and integrate constructive criticism given in the classroom and clinical settings; and effectively collaborate with others. Students must continuously self-assess to improve as a professional.
The student must be able to adapt to and function effectively in relation to stressful situations encountered in both the classroom and clinical settings, including emergency situations. Students will encounter multiple stressors while in the DPT program, and must effectively manage these stressors throughout entire workdays. These stressors may be (but are not limited to) personal, patient care/family, faculty/peer and/or pro- gram related.
An applicant/candidate with a handicap shall not, on the basis of his or her handicap, except those which would preclude the essential skills outlined above, be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, nor be subjected to discrimination in the program. Carroll University may require that the applicant/student undergo a physical examination and/or an occupational skills evaluation.
All DPT students must be able to perform the essential functions of a student physical therapist. Reasonable accommodations will be afforded to students with disabilities as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. A student who can no longer perform the essential functions of a student physical therapist must report this to their program advisor. If reasonable accommodations cannot be made, the student will not be able to remain in the DPT program.
The Physical Therapy program may require that an applicant/student undergo a physical examination. An applicant/student who is handicapped shall not, on the basis of his or her handicap (except those which would preclude the essential skills outlined above), be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, nor be subjected to discrimination in the physical therapy program.
Students in the Physical Therapy program are required to complete the Carroll University Physical Therapy Intern Medical Information Form upon entrance into the program. This form documents information about the student’s health insurance carrier, physician, medical conditions, vaccination history and completion of health risk training. A copy of the original documents remain on file in the program. Students carry a copy to each full-time clinical internship. It is the student’s responsibility to update the information on this form on a yearly basis, or more frequently if necessary. Any medical treatment needed by a physical therapy student during academic preparation or clinical education experience is the responsibility of the student.
On October 1, 1998, the State of Wisconsin, Department of Health and Family Services mandated that all persons who seek to be employed and/or licensed in the caregiver industry must fulfill the Caregiver and Background Check requirements in Section 50.065 of the Wisconsin statute. Entry-level Physical Therapy students are required, on the first day of class of the program, to complete a background and criminal history check.
Health: Pre-professional and professional students are required to have medical insurance. Those who are covered by a family or personal policy must provide the insuring company’s name and the policy number on a waiver form that is sent to the student by the University’s Business Office. For students without their own coverage, a group insurance policy is available through the University. Students are also required to have a personal health history form completed and on file at the University’s health center. Clinical facilities may require proof of immunizations or X-rays. The student is responsible for the cost of any laboratory and X-ray studies.
Professional Liability: Professional students are required to purchase on a yearly basis professional liability insurance through a university endorsed company.
All entry-level Physical Therapy program requirements must be completed in 33 months unless permission is otherwise granted by the director of the Physical Therapy program. The academic progress of students in the Physical Therapy program is evaluated at the end of each semester. Progression standards are subject to change based on regulatory, licensing, and/or certification needs. Satisfactory progress is contingent upon satisfying the following academic requirements:
1) A grade of C or better is required in all physical therapy courses. A letter grade of D, F or U in physical therapy courses requires the student to repeat the course before progressing to subsequent courses for which the failed course is a prerequisite. When repeating a physical therapy course, a student may be required to successfully complete ancillary learning experiences or clinical competencies/practicums that validate theoretical knowledge. If a student is unable to take further courses in the next occurring semester as a result of this policy, the student is placed on academic suspension and repeats the course during the next appropriate semester. A course may be repeated only one time. A student receiving a D, F or U in the same physical therapy course twice or in two physical therapy courses is dismissed from the program.
2) A student must obtain a grade point average of 3.00 or better each semester. If a student earns a semester grade point average between 2.00 to 2.99, he/she is placed on academic probation. To meet academic standards for progression, the student must earn a grade point average of 3.00 or better in the following semester. If a clinical internship course is scheduled during the next semester, the student must earn a satisfactory (S) grade in the clinical internship course and a semester grade point average of 3.00 or better in the semester following the clinical internship to be removed from academic probation. If a student is on academic probation the last semester of the program, the student must earn a grade of S in the clinical internship and PTH 612: Clinical Research II to graduate. If a student is placed on academic probation a second time during his or her tenure in the program, he or she will be dismissed from the program. If a student fails to meet the criteria for removal from academic probation, he/she will be dismissed from the program. If a student earns a semester grade point average of 1.99 or less, he/she will be dismissed from the program.
The policy on reapplication defines the process by which students may seek readmission to the program following dismissal of the student from the program for failing to maintain good academic standing. Readmission candidates may apply for readmission to the program no sooner than one year and no later than three years from the date of dismissal. Readmission candidates may exercise their reapplication option only once. Readmission candidates applying to the program must submit the materials required of all applicants for admission. In addition, they must provide transcripts relating to any education experiences completed since leaving the program. A letter indicating why the readmission candidate believes s/he will succeed academically and technically in the program must accompany the application materials. Upon review of the materials, the program’s admissions selection committee may render the following decisions: 1) Approval of the request for readmission to the program with the academic condition that the readmission applicant repeat the entire academic program or 2) denial of the request for readmission to the program.
Clinical education in the physical therapy program consists of patient experiences in courses, integrated teaching laboratory practice courses, and 35 weeks of full-time supervised clinical internship courses. Clinical education experiences occur off campus, and thus a student must secure appropriate transportation.
Learning experiences involving clients begin in the classroom through course experiences both at the University and at clinical practice settings where students observe and have planned practical experiences. The classroom experiences are expanded into a series of three integrated teaching laboratory practice courses where students participate in campus-community service learning wellness and prevention initiatives with healthy individuals and individuals with pathology and disability across the life span. In addition, students participate in five seven-week full-time (40 hours/week) internships with patients/clients in a variety of environments that include rural, inpatient, outpatient, and specialty facilities and that are representative of contemporary physical therapy practice and patient/client differences.
During the Professional Phase I of the Physical Therapy Program, tuition and other fees apply to all students. A professional program fee of $285 per semester is assessed for course related supplies and equipment, liability insurance, and assistance with membership dues in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Carroll University students in their senior year are eligible for undergraduate financial aid. Students who have previously earned a bachelor's degree are eligible for undergraduate Federal Subsidized Stafford/Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.
Graduate (Phase II) tuition is $665 per credit, and students enrolled in Phase II are not eligible for Carroll University financial aid grants. Students in Phase II are eligible for graduate Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.
Information regarding any clinical facility scholarships and how to make applications for them is available.
Students are responsible for determining the requirements of and securing the application from the state in which they expect to be licensed.