Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapy Programs
General Program Description
The program’s format is a 3-year curriculum in a semester system. Each semester is between 12 and 18 weeks in length. Four clinical experiences are integrated throughout the program to provide students an opportunity to apply the didactic information at appropriate intervals in the curriculum. The first year consists of two 18-week semesters and a third 9-week semester, which includes the first clinical experience of 2 weeks. The second year includes two 18-week semesters, followed by a 12-week clinical experience. The third year begins with a 18-week didactic trimester followed by two 12-week clinical experiences and 4-weeks of elective courses. During their time on campus, students are in class or laboratory an average of 26 hours per week. A variety of teaching methodology is used including patient case scenarios and web-based learning.
There are 39 weeks of integrated clinical education assignment interspersed throughout the 36-month curriculum. The clinical experiences require students to be in the clinic 40 hours per week. First-year DPT students have a 2-week clinical experience based upon previously learned skills from the preceding educational semester. Second-year students have a 12-week clinical experience. During the final year students have the last clinical internship of two 12-week or one 24-week period. Western University has developed contractual agreements with more than 300 clinical education sites. These sites include a wide variety of clinical experiences and are located throughout the US. Western University students are responsible for living expenses and transportation to clinical education sites for clinical experience. In addition to the formal clinical experiences, students are exposed to real and simulated patients in their laboratory classes. The University established a faculty practice a few miles from campus. This site also provides clinical experiences throughout the program.
There are nine full-time faculty and two part-time. 100% of the full-time faculty hold post-professional doctoral degrees, four are certified as clinical specialists, and eight are engaged in clinical practice. The faculty to student ratio is 1:11.
Total enrollment at the Western University of Health Sciences is approximately 1,500 students. The physical therapy program accepts 52 students. The curriculum begins in August of each year. The program also accepts a limited number of licensed physical therapists as students with advanced standing who wish to pursue the DPT degree.
Prerequisite courses must be similar in value to courses offered by an accredited 4-year college or university, and grades of C or better are required. Generally, 3 quarters are considered equivalent to 2 semesters. Science courses must have laboratories. Prerequisite coursework must be taken for a letter grade. No more than one science (if semester-based course; two if the course is quarter based and one non-science prerequisite may be in process after the fall term prior to matulation. All prerequisites must be completed by the end of the spring term prior to the beginning of the DPT curriculum in August. There must be official documentation of grades prior to registration. The applicant must have an earned BA or BS degree from an accredited college or university by the time he/she matriculates at WesternU. Admissions criteria include two grade point averages (GPA); one in the prerequisite courses and an overall GPA for all undergraduate and post-baccalaureate coursework. We may also consider a GPA based on the last 60 semester/90 quarter units. The following are the required prerequisite courses for application: human anatomy, a full course of lecture and lab; human physiology, a full course of lecture and lab; general college chemistry, a full course sequence of lecture and lab (introductory level courses in anatomy, physiology, or chemistry are not acceptable, and human anatomy/physiology must be out of anatomy, physiology, A&P, biology, or zoology departments); physics, a full course sequence of lecture and lab (does not have to be calculus based); psychology, two courses; statistics, one course, and English composition, one course. WesternU is looking for students who come from a broad, liberal arts background with the baccalaureate degree being obtained from any field of study. A high degree of intellectual curiosity and accomplishment along with excellent verbal and written communication skills need to be evident in the applicant. The graduate of WesternU will be able to problem solve in clinical practice and will also be able to communicate appropriately with the client about the client/patient care plan. In addition to the above prerequisites and GPA, applicants must submit three letters of recommendation and verification of volunteer or paid experience under the direct supervision of a physical therapist. See our web site at www.westernu.edu for further explanation of admission criteria.
88% of admitted students graduate from the program (3 year average); 99% of the graduates passed the licensure exam (3 year average); and 94% of those program graduates are employed within 6 month of passing the licensure exam (3 year average).
Tuition, fees and financial aid
Tuition for 2013-2014 is $33,555. Additional costs include health and liability insurance, books, supplies, and uniforms as well as housing and other living expenses. Approximately 99% of the students received some form of financial aid. Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid for information and Student Financial Aid application packets.
The college is located in Pomona, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. The College of Allied Health Professions houses the Department of Physical Therapy Education, and has state-of-the-art equipment. WesternU has ten other large buildings with administrative offices, classrooms, a library, a patient care center, and laboratories for other programs. . The DPT class entering fall 2013 had 54 students. Student enrollment for the College of Medicine is approximately 200-220 students per class, with the first- and second-year students on campus and the third- and fourth-year students off campus for clinical rotations. The physician assistant program has approximately 98 students per class. The Master of Science in health professions education graduate studies course also has approximately 35 students per year. The College of Pharmacy has about 150students per class. The College of Graduate Nursing has has between 20-60 students in five different programs. . The College of Optometry has about 86 studnets. The College of Podiatric Medicine has about 50 students. The College of Biomedical Sciences has between 10-35 students between two different programs. The College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) about of 105 students. The CVM provides free health screening clinics on or close to campus for student, faculty and staff’s pets. There are a wide variety of interdisciplinary student organizations in which students can participate. A new on-campus housing development at WesternU will be opening on the Fall of 2014 to accommodate students. A local map, the real estate sections of local newspapers, and information on activities in the surrounding communities are available in the Student Affairs Office. For more information, visit our web site at www.western.edu.
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