In November 2011, UIW received the approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, becoming the second Catholic university with a DPT program in the southern tier of the United States.
This accreditation includes the post-professional program to be offered online to individuals who hold a bachelor or master’s degree in physical therapy and are licensed to practice in the U.S., as well as an entry-level program for students who hold a baccalaureate degree but are not physical therapists.
An Application for Candidacy – the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage – was submitted to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) on Dec. 1 and a site visit was completed at the end of January. Upon CAPTE’s determination to grant the UIW Entry-Level Doctor of Physical Therapy program Candidate for Accreditation status, students will be enrolled, at the earliest in the Summer of 2012.
“The Physical Therapy program is steadily growing,” said Dr. Caroline Goulet, director and professor. “As of January 2012, we have extended offers to 25 students who applied for the program, and have hired two new faculty members as well as a full-time admissions/recruitment staff member in January. Four more faculty members will be joining us in June.”
Goulet explained that with the aging population more and more physical therapists will be needed.
“By 2015, all physical therapy programs will be at the doctorate level,” she said.
Accompanying the new program will be a new state of the art facility located in Northwest San Antonio, at Tezel and Guilbeau. The new building will stretch across 75,000 square feet and will be specifically designed to meet the needs of the program.
“Plans for the building are going to create a fantastic facility,” Goulet said. “It will feature excellent resources including a library, a gait and movement analysis lab, two lecture halls with adjoining breakout rooms, four teaching labs, a clinic, and more. It will also allow the students to get involved in the community.”
Goulet said when the new building is up and running that the program intends to feature a pro bono clinic run by the students.
The new School of Physical Therapy is scheduled to open in August of 2012.