After becoming a candidate for accreditation in 2017, Marist’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program has been granted accreditation status for five years by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The program is full-time and is designed to prepare students for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) which will allow them to practice physical therapy in any state.
“Full accreditation for five years is the highest achievement possible for a new DPT program,” Dr. Alicia Slater, Dean of the School of Science said in a Marist press release. “It is even more impressive that the bulk of this work was done under pandemic conditions which included a virtual site visit from the accrediting agency.”
The program is 115 credits and will include 36 months of instructional and clinical and hands-on work. Marist’s mission in the DPT course work is to “instill the importance of providing advocacy and service to the profession, as well as to local and global communities.”
The DPT Facility is located in Marist’s Allied Health Building, which is equipped with simulation labs, including trauma, surgery and traditional examination rooms. The lab also contains a full gross anatomy lab and high-tech classrooms to give students a realistic career setting.
“Gaining full accreditation status without any citations and for a 5-year period is an exceptional feat that is attributed to the dedication and excellent work of the faculty and staff and the support of the administration,” DPT Program Director Dr. Claudia B. Fenderson said in a press release. “We are gratified that we are able to send exceptionally qualified physical therapy graduates into the workforce.”
Graduates in the program are expected to use critical thinking skills and ethical judgment in all aspects of learning, research, collaboration and consultation. Marist admitted its first class in the DPT program in January 2018 with Candidacy Accreditation status. The students who began their doctoral degree of physical therapy in 2018 recently graduated in December 2020.
“Being a part of the inaugural cohort here at Marist has been both an honor and a pleasure,” Jose Reyes ‘20 said. “Every day you are in the program you learn something new and build upon what you learned yesterday. This experience has been the most difficult, yet most gratifying endeavor of my professional career.”
Students in the program will be required to complete research in areas of need within the physical therapy field. According to Program Director Dr. Fenderson, they want the program to address global need so they plan to do international medical missions. The program is also looking to expand their clinical education exposure to locations outside of the United States.
“Being taught by such a wide range of experienced and knowledgeable clinicians truly prepares our cohort to practice at the top of our license with confidence,” Reyes ‘20 said. “Learning from various backgrounds allows for a wealth of insight into the profession, along with invaluable lessons.”