Spend time with Physical Therapy students
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"I chose Upstate because the environment was very welcoming and it seemed like a great environment to learn. The faculty are great and willing to help anyone."
— Kristina Wulff

Mission and Goals

Professional Doctoral Program

The SUNY Upstate Medical University Physical Therapy Education Program is a full-time professional (entry-level) preparation program in physical therapy. Graduates of this program receive a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree and are eligible to apply for licensure to practice as physical therapists throughout the United States. All entering students except 3+3 students must hold a bachelor's degree. Early admission programs are available for high school seniors and college juniors.

Accreditation

The Professional Physical Therapy Program at SUNY Upstate Medical University is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org External Icon. Anyone wishing to file a complaint about the program may do so by contacting CAPTE at the address above or calling 703-706-3245. Additional information about filing a complaint may be found at http://www.capteonline.org/Complaints/ External Icon

Program of Study

The first year begins in the summer, and the program of study includes a minimum of 121 graduate credit hours over three years (including summers). The curriculum includes classroom instruction and clinical education experiences, which may include day, evening, and weekend classes. Short-term integrated clinical education experiences and thirty-six weeks of full-time clinical education experiences are interspersed throughout the program, including two ten-week clinical experiences in the final semester.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Physical Therapy Education is the preparation of students to become generalist physical therapist professionals who are reflective, competent, compassionate and autonomous, and who are prepared to meet the changing physical therapy needs of society.

Goal: The Physical Therapy Education program will provide an environment that promotes a solid foundation for the development of a competent professional physical therapist.

  • Students will achieve all requisite training to perform as entry level clinicians as measured by performance on the Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI)*, and all curricular assessments.
  • 90% or more of enrolled students will successfully complete all coursework and graduate.
  • A minimum of 90% of graduates will pass the licensure exam on the first attempt.
  • Graduates seeking employment will be working in the field within 6 months of graduation.
  • Employer and graduate surveys will reflect satisfaction with the preparation provided by the Upstate program and the performance of graduates in the clinical setting.

Goal: Students and Graduates will engage in autonomous practice in a legal, ethical and reflective manner in a variety of settings, meeting the needs of patients and clients now and in the future.

  • Students will engage in ongoing self-assessment and reflection as demonstrated by entries in a student portfolio and the successful completion of a number of assignments throughout various courses.
  • Students will achieve entry level performance as measured by the CPI in the following items:
    • Adheres to ethical practice standards
    • Adheres to legal practice standards
    • Incorporates an understanding of economic factors in the delivery of physical therapy services
    • Uses support personnel according to legal standards and ethical guidelines
  • Employer and graduate surveys will reflect positive feedback regarding autonomous and reflective practice of graduates.

Goal: Students and Graduates will actively demonstrate evidence of effective critical thinking and problem solving skills.

  • Students will successfully complete a patient case study reflecting critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Students will successfully complete the capstone course, PHYT 651 Applied Clinical Decision Making.
  • Students will achieve entry level scores on the CPI in the following items:
    • Applies principles of logic and the scientific method to the practice of physical therapy
    • Evaluates findings to determine physical therapy diagnoses and outcomes of care
  • Employers and graduate surveys will reflect positive feedback regarding critical thinking and problem solving of graduates.

Goal: Students and Graduates will apply the principles of lifelong learning, evidence based practice and best practice approach to patient/client management.

  • Students will consistently use current best available evidence in course work.
  • Students will achieve entry level scores on the CPI in the following items:
    • Applies principles of logic and the scientific method to the practice of physical therapy
    • Implements a self-directed plan for professional development and lifelong learning
  • Employer and graduate surveys will reflect positive feedback regarding the lifelong learning, evidence-based practice and best practice behaviors of graduates.

Goal: Students and Graduates integrate core values and generic abilities into physical therapist practice.

  • Students will participate in ongoing self-assessment with regards to development of professional core values and generic abilities and provide exemplars in a student portfolio. Students will be open to feedback from other students, clinical and academic faculty as demonstrated by a change in behaviors or actions.
  • Students will achieve entry level scores on the CPI in the following items:
    • Presents self in a professional manner
    • Demonstrates professional behavior during interactions with others
    • Adapts delivery of physical therapy care to reflect respect for and sensitivity to individual differences
    • Screens patients using procedures to determine the effectiveness of and need for physical therapy services
  • Faculty will receive positive feedback regarding student core values and generic abilities during clinical site visits.
  • Employers and graduate surveys will reflect positive feedback regarding graduates core values and generic abilities.

*Tool used across PT education programs for clinical instructor assessment of student performance

Outcomes

Table 1 - Graduation Rate


Class

Admitted

Graduated

Percent

2009

32

31

96.9

2010

32

29

90.6

2011

32

30

93.8

2012

33

29

87.9

2013

33

33

100

5 Year Average

162

152

93.8

Table 2 - Licensure Pass Rate*


Year

Upstate Ultimate

Upstate
First Time*

State
First Time

National
First Time

2010

100 %

28/30

93.33 %

79.82 %

87.99 %

2011

100 %

26/27

96.30 %

80.88 %

89.15 %

2012

100 %

29/32

90.63 %

79.27 %

88.58 %

3 Year Average

100%

83/89

93.3%

79.9%

88.6%

Unofficial Report:

2013

Unavailable

31/32**

96.88 %

86.83 %

90.22 %

*Numbers taking the exam may not match the numbers reported in Table 1 since for licensure purposes, students who graduated late are reflected in the year of actual graduation rather than with the original cohort.
**Note: One student has not yet taken the exam for the first time

Table 3 - Of graduates who actively sought employment, # employed within 6 months of graduation


Class

Number of original cohort

Percent

2009

31/31

100

2010

29/29

100

2011

30/30

100

2012

29/29

100

2013

33/33

100

5 Year Average

152/152

100