Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapy Programs
General Program Description
Carroll University, chartered in 1846, is Wisconsin’s oldest institution of higher education. Known as Wisconsin’s “Pioneer College,” Carroll’s historic commitment to the liberal arts remains the core of its academic program. The Carroll mission states “Carroll University provides a superior education, rooted in its Presbyterian and liberal arts heritage, and draws upon its Christian tradition to prepare all students for vocational success, lifelong learning and service in a diverse and global society.” The Carroll DPT Program was established in 1996 as a MPT Program and transitioned to a DPT Program in 2006. Throughout its existence, the DPT Program has maintained ongoing compliance with all CAPTE accreditation standards. The mission of the DPT Program is to “produce clinicians, trained for general practice in a dynamic health care environment, who provide best care, respectful of patient/client values, grounded in evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning and who contribute to the profession and their community.” The Program goals reflect this mission and describe our foci of 1) educating students to become professionals, 2) producing scholarship, 3) participating in clinical practice that integrates learning and scholarship, and 4) providing service to the institution, community and profession. Expected student outcomes are centered on professional practice, patient management, practice management and graduating students trained to be clinical scholars. The DPT Program offers a 3+3 option in which pre-professional students (freshman, sophomore and junior years) work toward completion of their undergraduate degrees in biology, psychology, exercise science or communications while fulfilling the requirements for entrance to the professional phase of the program. The professional phase of program is divided into two phases, Phase I (senior year course work) and Phase II (graduate course work). The professional phase, consisting of eight semesters, is year round for 33 months. The curriculum is developed around four tracks – professional, general medicine, musculoskeletal, and neurological. 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 specific, and from basic to applied concepts in health care delivery, patient management, education, and research. The general medicine, musculoskeletal, and neurological 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. There is collaborative teaching amongst the faculty within and across the tracks and courses.
The DPT Program incorporates three part-time clinical education Teaching Laboratory Practice Practicum courses within the program in which patient/client management, professional practice and practice management content is integrated. The Teaching Laboratory Practice is an experiential service-learning sequence that provides interdisciplinary primary and secondary wellness and prevention assessments and interventions to community members across the life span. It is integrated within on-campus semesters to provide students with clinical experiences at the same time they are enrolled in traditional courses. The program also offers a total of 35 weeks of full-time clinical internships integrated throughout Phase II of professional program. These five full-time internships are each 7 weeks in length and provide students opportunities to work with patients in clinical environments supervised by a clinical instructor. The college has more than 525 clinical experience placements primarily in Wisconsin and the Midwest, but also throughout the United States. Finally, students have the opportunity to participate in international clinical immersions in collaboration with partners such as Hearts in Motion. Clinical faculty supervise our students who provide physical therapy services to community members in areas such as Guatemala.
There are twelve full-time faculty members in the DPT Program. The faculty include basic, behavioral, social and physical therapy scientists. Seven of the faculty hold post-professional doctoral degrees, three are ABPTS certified clinical specialists, and five are engaged in clinical practice. Over the past 3 years, the faculty has averaged six publications in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty to student ratio is 1:20 in didactic courses and 1:8 in part-time clinical Teaching Laboratory Practice and Research courses. In addition to the full-time faculty, a variety of individuals including, but not limited to, clinical physical therapists, other health care providers and professionals, patients and care givers and the community service organizations assist with teaching as associated faculty to meet the educational mission of the program.
Carroll University offers 45 undergraduate majors in the humanities, social sciences, fine arts, natural sciences, health sciences, business and education, and five graduate programs. Total student enrollment is 3,540, which includes 3,265 undergraduate and 275 graduate students. Fifty percent of the University’s enrollment is in health sciences majors. The composition of the student body is 35% male and 65% female. Thirty-three percent of the students are first generation college students and 98% of the students reside in the Midwest. The DPT Program enrolls 80 students in each cohort annually.
Students are admitted to the DPT Program 1) as freshman through the direct admissions option, 2) as seniors through the non-direct admission option, or 3) following graduation from an institution of higher education with a baccalaureate degree. The direct (freshman) admission option, awarded upon review of applicant high school performance, guarantees the student a place in the professional phase beginning in the senior year as long as s/he meets professional program admission standards. The professional program has a rolling admission process beginning in September of each year. Minimum requirements for admission to the professional program include a cumulative grade point average (GPA) and a professional (natural, behavioral, and social sciences) GPA of 3.0; a Graduate Record Exam total score; three letters of reference; 75 observation hours in three different types of physical therapy environments; a completed Safety and Technical Standards Form; and an essay detailing reasons for choosing physical therapy as a profession. The prerequisite coursework used to calculate the pre-professional grade point average (GPA) includes 4 semesters Biology including one semester Human Biology (BIO402) and one semester Human Physiology (BIO403), 2 semesters Chemistry, and 2 semesters Physics. A minimum grade of “C” is required in all coursework used to calculate the pre-professional GPA. Students are allowed to retake and replace the grade of one pre-professional course only once. Additional requirements include 1 semester Statistics and 3 semesters Humanities/Social Sciences including up to 2 semesters of Psychology.
Over the past three years, 94% of admitted students graduate from the program and the program graduates have a 99.2% pass rate on the Physical Therapist Licensing Examination. Ninety-six students (68%) have presented their student scholarship at the American Physical Therapy Association Annual National Conference.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
Students enrolled in Phase I of the program (fall and spring semesters) are billed undergraduate tuition ($16,400 per year). During the five semesters of Phase II, graduate tuition at a rate of $440 per credit hour is charged for 13-15 credits each semester ($5,655 to $6,525 per semester, $29,580 total). Additional program fees of $370 per year are also assessed. Book costs average $350 per semester. There is on-campus housing for graduate students. Approximately 95% of professional students receive some sort of financial assistance. Direct admit and transfer students are eligible for federal undergraduate aid during Phase I. During Phase I, nontraditional students (second degree students), who are dependents, are eligible for undergraduate federal Stafford/Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Non-traditional students, who are independents, are eligible for undergraduate Federal Stafford/Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. During Phase II, students in the program are eligible for graduate Federal Stafford/Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Carroll College Fellowships also provided to eligible Entry-level Master of Physical Therapy students.
Carroll is a comprehensive university in a suburban setting with urban and rural experiences only short distances away. At Carroll University, there are numerous diverse campus organizations and many scheduled events including theater, music, and arts productions and fitness, open recreation, and intramural programs. Carroll is also a member of the NCAA Division III Midwest Conference and sponsors 10 men’s and 10 women’s sports. Waukesha is a rich and unique city with a variety of community and cultural numerous activities. Milwaukee, 15 minutes away, provides high-quality cultural activities, professional sporting events, and concerts.
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