Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapy Programs
General Program Description
Gannon offers an entry level Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT) after the completion of thirty-two (32) months of study (including summers). Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the framework for physical therapy practitioners’ clinical decision making. Both clinical science and research content are framed within an EBP format, utilizing current scientific research in conjunction with clinical experience for a specific patient/client problem within the physical therapists’ scope of practice. The study of normal structure and function is followed by specific case-based patient/client problems and pathologies organized around body systems. Elements of the patient/client management model including examination, evaluation, physical therapy differential diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and outcomes are integrated into each of the clinical science courses. Concepts between and within each course are cumulative, competency based, and continued enrollment depends upon mastery and use of previous concepts. Practical clinical experiences are integrated into the academic program at the completion of major areas of study. The academic coordinator of clinical education assigns students to clinical sites, based on student needs and learning goals. In addition to sites in the Erie and Western Pennsylvania areas, the program offers clinical experiences at sites throughout the United States and Canada.
Students participate in four full-time clinical experiences [forty (40) total weeks] spaced throughout the curriculum. The clinical education component is designed to allow students the opportunity to practice and refine their assessment process, skills and techniques immediately following the presentation of the didactic material. The Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education formally tracks the clinical site placements of each student, makes site selections, and advises each student to gain the most diverse exposure possible. The students are required to go outside of Northwestern Pennsylvania for a least two of the four clinical rotations.
There are nine full-time and several adjunct faculty members. Five of the full-time faculty have post-professional doctoral degrees. Four faculty are ABPTS certified. There are seven faculty actively practicing in a clinical environment. The full time faculty are actively engaged in scholarly activity with numerous national and regional presentations, and publications in peer reviewed journals. The student/faculty ratio is 14 to 1.
Total enrollment is approximately 4000 students in a small comprehensive, Catholic, urban university. The physical therapy program enrolls 50 students and gives preference to Gannon University undergraduates. Places are reserved for qualified graduates of other universities and colleges. Articulation agreements for early enrollment exist with Lock Haven University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Thiel College and Mercyhurst University.
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required. Applicants must have a cumulative prerequisite course quality point average (QPA) of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale and an undergraduate cumulative QPA of 3.0 Satisfactory (C or better) completion of prerequisite courses and an on-campus interview are required as well. Exposure to physical therapy and the health care setting is strongly encouraged but not required. Prerequisites include 1 course in each: statistics, psychology, human anatomy (w/lab), human physiology (w/lab), and exercise physiology; and 2 courses in physics (w/labs), biology and chemistry. All prerequisites must be completed within five years of application. Two courses in sociology and a course in kinesiology are strongly recommended. Students must demonstrate graduate level competence in written and verbal communication. Initial review of applications begins in the fall semester with a deadline of January 15th for all application submissions.
92% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average); 94% of the graduates passed the licensure exam (3-year average); and 100% of those graduates seeking employment are employed within six months of graduating (3-year average).
Tuition, fees and financial aid
Tuition for 2013-2014, with 10 or more credits, is $14,720 per semester. Tuition, with 9 credits or less, is $8,195 per semester. The tuition will remain at that rate for the eight semesters that students are continuously enrolled in the program. Book costs are approximately $1,500 total. The University fee is $18 per credit for semesters with 1-8 credits and $215 per semester for 9 or more credits. Enrolled students should expect to spend approximately $3,500-$4,000 total for all clinical experiences. Costs between students vary depending on travel and cost of living. A majority of students at Gannon University receive financial assistance. Several graduate assistantship positions for certified athletic trainers and for students interested in assisting in laboratory courses in anatomy are funded by the program and provide partial tuition waiver and stipend. Twenty $1,000 physical therapy academic scholarships are awarded annually. The majority of graduate students receive aid from public, private, and corporate sources.
Graduate students live in on campus and off-campus housing conveniently available in the surrounding area, most of which is within walking distance. Graduate students can be actively engaged in the Gannon community, intramurals, wellness activities, and a clinic environment on campus. Because of our urban location, the small city provides easy access to sports, arts, health care facilities, and entertainment. Four season sports and activities abound in Erie and within a 30 minute drive.
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