ANDERSON, SC (courtesy andersonuniversity.edu) — The Anderson University School of Physical Therapy is now accepting students for the summer of 2019, becoming just the third physical therapy doctorate program in South Carolina.
The new school, announced in 2017, marks the latest expansion of AU’s offerings at the University Center of Greenville. The inaugural class is expected to begin in June, 2019 on AU’s main campus, home to the Center for Medical simulations as well as a cadaver lab. The remaining coursework then shifts to the Greenville campus and new, state-of-the-art teaching and research labs.
“Our faculty have worked diligently to offer a program that provides an academically rigorous experience in the classroom and in the clinical environment,” said Dr. Donald Peace, Dean of the Anderson University College of Health Professions. “Our program will certainly enhance the quality of education with the latest innovative technology in our University Center Greenville Campus.”
The developing DPT program will be submitting its Application for Candidacy (pre-accreditation status) to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) before the end of the year. Pending CAPTE’s approval is anticipated in the spring of 2019, classes are scheduled to begin at the end of May.
AU’s physical therapy doctorate program consists of a 126 credit-hour curriculum with 32 weeks of full-time clinical opportunities in inpatient, outpatient, long-term rehabilitative care and specialty settings. By completing their degree in only eight semesters, AU graduates will be able to enter the job market three to six months sooner than DPT graduates from other nearby programs.
“In addition to our faith-based mission and shorter curriculum, AU’s DPT program will be distinguished by its smaller class size (28 students per class), its strong focus on community service, and opportunities for students to pursue research and specialized clinical experiences,” said Dr. Martha Hinman, Chair for the Anderson University School of Physical Therapy.
Physical therapy is one of the fastest growing career fields, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Career opportunities are expected to grow by 28 percent over the next eight years. The need for physical therapists is even greater in South Carolina, where predicted job growth is 34 percent. The median salary for physical therapists is more than $86,000 per year, with starting salaries averaging between roughly $65,000 and $70,000 annually, government statistics show.
“The new DPT program has been in the works for several years and is part of Anderson University’s strategic plan,” Dr. Peace said. “Our DPT degree is a post-baccalaureate program that is completed in approximately three years. This program emphasizes foundational sciences and clinical skill development. The Anderson University DPT program provides an opportunity for these students to build on this foundation and will emphasize clinical reasoning, problem-solving and advanced application of knowledge and skills.”
Anderson University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on December 1, 2018. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.