Physical therapy program reaches milestone, prepares for inaugural cohort

In May, the Department of Physical Therapy reached another program development milestone as faculty continue preparing to launch the new Doctor of Physical Therapy program later this summer.

The program was awarded "Candidate for Accreditation" status from its accrediting body, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Though the "candidate" status does not guarantee program accreditation, it is seen as a significant step for the department.

To reach this point, the department submitted an application for candidacy that documented extensive and detailed plans for implementing the program. In January, two on-site CAPTE reviewers visited WMU to verify the information in the application and determine the program’s readiness for implementation. In April, the Commission met to conduct a comprehensive review of the program’s application and the reviewers’ findings to determine whether we are making satisfactory progress toward compliance with standards and required elements.

"Our faculty and staff are working incredibly hard to develop our curriculum and lay the groundwork for robust research initiatives that will come with a fully implemented program," says Dr. Stacie Fruth, founding chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. "Working toward accreditation requires another level of effort on top of it all, but that makes it even more rewarding to receive Candidate for Accreditation status."

The DPT program received over 100 applications from prospective students and, following application review and onsite interviews, 30 of those applicants have been admitted. "We are very excited to welcome our inaugural cohort and formally launch the program beginning in Summer II," says Dr. Fruth.