Physical therapy is a multi-faceted helping profession that aims to prevent or alleviate pain and dysfunction in individuals suffering from injury or disease. To this end, education of the provider and the recipient is critical to the success of the treatment program. The curriculum must be updated on a continuous basis so that students enter the profession as caring, thinking, analytical and questioning individuals who can function in a health care system with a sound background of knowledge. Students must actively participate in their educational experiences so that they not only develop confidence in their own abilities, but they are also prepared to evaluate their learning experiences and offer constructive criticisms. The faculty should function as facilitators of the learning process and as role models for students, to promote their development to the highest possible level of competence through their own participation in clinical, research, teaching, administrative and service activities. Learning is a life long endeavor. In order for graduates from this program to continue to be competent professionals, they must be committed to the pursuit of personal and professional development.
The Department of Physical Therapy is committed to developing engaged, competent life-long learners who provide evidence-based physical therapy to the community through teaching, research, service and leadership.
Community service is supported by students and faculty alike. While enrolled in the program, students participate in tutoring, the student government association, religious projects, and multiple fund-raising events. For example, students have raised funds and participated in the Susan B. Komen Race for a Cure and the Multiple Sclerosis Walk. Faculty frequently join students in these events.
Students have the opportunity to participate in multiple community service projects while studying in the PT program. For example, in Human Growth and Development, students actively apply course materials to develop health, wellness, and developmental screenings for children under 4 years of age and older adults over the age of 65. In the pediatric motor evaluation, students work in small groups to evaluate preschool children for appropriate gross, fine, and oral motor development. As needed, students then develop intervention strategies for the preschool teachers and parents. In the geriatric wellness project, students develop and implement a fall-risk assessment. Local health clubs and the shopping malls serve as screening sites.