POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Marist College’s plan of bringing its first ever Doctor of Physical Therapy program to campus has finally come to fruition.
According to a Marist College press release, the program received approval from the New York State Board of Regents, which is required to begin the process of enrolling students. The institution is also waiting to hear back from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education regarding its application for Candidate of Accreditation status.
“This is an important and exciting move for Marist that continues our commitment to educating health professionals,” college president David Yellen said in the release.
Beginning at the start of the Spring 2018 semester in January, the program will be full-time, covering 115 credits over a 36-month period. The program will consist of didactic and clinical work, which will merge hands-on skills, ethical care, clinical judgment, and critical inquiry to promote optimal functioning of current and future clients. It is designed to prepare students for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), which is required in becoming a licensed physical therapist.
Marist College has created a Mission Statement for their newest program. “The Marist College DPT Program is committed to creating the next generation of physical therapists by offering the highest standard of excellence in physical therapy education. Graduates will be prepared to merge hands-on skills, ethical care, clinical judgment and critical inquiry to promote optimal functioning of current and future clients throughout their lifespan. The DPT program will instill the importance of providing advocacy and service to the profession as well as to local and global communities.
“This program recognizes the high demand for physical therapists in the workforce while being consistent with the mission of the College and School of Science,” program director Claudia Fenderson said in the release. “It is the intent of the program to graduate highly-skilled specialists prepared to work in a wide variety of healthcare settings.”
The program has been in the planning stages since mid-2013 and follows Marist’s successful Master of Science Physician Assistant Program, which launched in 2016. “The DPT Program is very much in line with our institutional goals and complements the Physician Assistant Program in Marist’s professional health program offerings,” says Thomas Wermuth, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty
Classes will be held the College’s brand new $33 million Science and Allied Health Building, which opened at the start of the Spring 2016 semester. The Physical Therapy wing of the building will include a research room and a simulation lab in which students can work with real patients, as well as high tech manikins. Additionally, the program employs eight full-time employees with extensive experience in physical therapy, athletic training, and rehabilitation sciences. Due to the high-tech, state of the art equipment and facilities offered at Marist, the program is set to cost roughly $185,000 over the 36-month period, according to the Marist College Doctor of Physical Therapy Program website.
Marist College’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program has many goals set for the first cohort of enrolled students, who are expected to graduate in 2020. These goals include maintaining a curriculum plan that will ensure that students receive an education that provides entry-level proficiency, and adheres to the standards established by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
Demand for physical therapists is at an all-time high, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provided in the release. Employment in the field is expected to grow 34 percent through 2024 — a rate that exceeds the average for all occupations.
Those in need of physical therapists include aging boomers who remain active later in life and the growing number of people with mobility issues.
“I know for a fact that there is a shortage of Physical Therapist at the hospitals, at the private clinics, and the surrounding area. Now Marist is in the middle of that, so I believe that this is huge for the area,” said Chris Campilii P.T, D.P.T for the Center for Physical Therapy.
The prerequisite for applying to the program is a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Admission to the program is competitive, and each applicant will be evaluated on individual merit. The academic standard for admission is a 3.0 GPA overall, combined with a 3.0 GPA for science prerequisite courses. Students wishing to apply for the Marist College DBT program should apply directly to Marist’s Office of Graduate Admission.