To capture critical baseline data about Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs and how they operate, the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) launched its inaugural member Institutional Profile Survey targeting 95% of all accredited DPT schools in the United States. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of the programs responded, understanding that by sharing their data along with other DPT programs, each institution can learn from others.

Survey results reinforced and revealed important takeaways for academic physical therapy:

1) Career paths within PT academia are growing.

2) There are opportunities for increased DPT program influence, budget knowledge and authority.

  • Half of the DPT program directors are not sure about the amount of tuition and fees applied to their program budget. Nearly a quarter aren’t sure how their program budget is determined.

3) Programs identify DEI as a top area for improvement.

4) DPT programs lack access to student financial aid and alumni data.

5) Clinical-academic partnerships are evolving. Future surveys will delve further into this topic.

  • More than a third of all programs do NOT require any pre-admissions observation hours – while 38% require 26-50 hours, which is the amount recommended in ACAPT’s 2020 observation hours report.
  • The majority of academic programs report being actively engaged with fewer than 25% of their clinical partners.

Using survey data for innovation & inquiry

One survey participant noted:

“This survey made me think about how I am collecting data regularly for my program assessment and information on my grads.”

ACAPT recognizes that each institution has a unique mission, structure and approach. Member institutions can use the survey aggregate data to learn about different DPT programs and make a business case about any changes they’d like to make. Academic physical therapist programs understand that they need more data — both internally and from peer institutions — to support their strategic planning and decision-making.

[Source(s): ACAPT, Business Wire]