FRANKLIN PIERCE UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES EXPANSION AND HYBRID MODEL FOR ARIZONA DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY PROGRAM
Dec 6, 2021
Franklin Pierce University announced a substantive change in the delivery model for its Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, located in the University’s academic center in Goodyear, Ariz., on Monday, December 6. With approval from Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), the accrediting body that oversees the program, Franklin Pierce’s Arizona program will pivot from traditional, full-time and face-to-face education to a hybrid model with intensive lab modality and expand its cohort size from 36 to 56 students starting the Fall 2022.
“This change to the delivery model of our DPT program in Arizona is a critical component of our strategic plan, Pierce@60, as we continue to focus on innovation in teaching and learning,” shared Dr. Catherine M. Paden, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The programs that we offer must not only resonate with the demands of the broader marketplace, but also continue to establish Franklin Pierce as an institution that meets the needs of those who choose to enroll. Innovation is central to the way programs are developed and in the methods through which students are taught.”
Franklin Pierce University has successfully established two Doctor of Physical Therapy programs in two states—New Hampshire and Arizona. Since April 2018, Franklin Pierce administration and physical therapy faculty have been exploring strategies to not only enhance enrollment but also to meet the needs of significant population growth anticipated in the Phoenix West Valley.
Plans to expand Franklin Pierce University’s footprint in Arizona have been at the forefront of the University’s strategic planning, citing the increased demand for highly-skilled allied health graduates. The University also currently operates a DPT program at its Manchester, N.H. Academic Center. The New Hampshire program will not see a change to its face-to-face delivery model at this time.
Priscilla Marsicovetere, JD, PA-C, Dean of the College of Health & Natural Sciences, believes that Franklin Pierce’s hybrid delivery model allows the University to be on the cutting-edge of where education is headed, especially in the allied health professions. “This change to our delivery model in Arizona paves the way for more innovation in the way we teach and train the next generation of healthcare workers,” she shared.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Franklin Pierce, for our DPT students and for our faculty and clinical staff,” shared Letha B. Zook, P.T., Ed.D., Department Chair and Associate Professor of Physical Therapy. “The flexibly of a hybrid-based program provides a more productive use of class time with active learning experiences and evidence-based practice for our faculty, and allows students from all over the country to join our program, complete their education more quickly and at lower cost, all without having to permanently relocate themselves and their families.”
The program based the curricular changes upon an analysis of the current courses,
with a goal of decreasing the length of the program maintaining strong student outcomes,
including a 100% board pass rate and 100% job placement within six-months of program
completion. In addition to the full-time clinical experiences at the end of the program,
students participate in short-term clinical experiences during the immersion labs,
working alongside peers and faculty to treat volunteers and community members with
limited access to health care during the intensive lab portions of the program. These
experiences along with the didactic curriculum prepare the student for entrance into
the physical therapy profession.