Inaugural DPT cohort begins work at WMU

DPT student taking notes

While the summer I session was winding down, a new beginning was underway at the College of Health and Human Services.

The inaugural cohort of the new Doctor of Physical Therapy program was on campus on Monday and Tuesday, June 24 and 25, for their orientation program and their official welcome to campus. Dean Ron Cisler met with the group to welcome them on Monday morning before they began going over program details, meeting faculty and staff, and touring the CHHS building and the newly renovated second floor of the Ernest Wilbur Building, where many of their classes will be held.

On Thursday and Friday, as the summer II session began, DPT students took their places in the classrooms at the EWB. After months and, for some of them, years of planning, PT faculty were excited to get back into the classroom. Dr. Stacie Fruth was named founding chair of the physical therapy department back in July 2016 and began laying the groundwork at that time for the new Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

"The structure is all in place," says Dr. Fruth. "The first couple weeks will largely be lecture based. But before long, we'll be teaching skills and fully utilizing our teaching labs and equipment. It's a very exciting time!"

 "I've been looking forward to this," says Daryl Lawson, associate professor in the PT department. "These will be long days, for sure - for the students and for faculty - but you can see that these students are excited to be here and are really ready to get started."

The cohort that began classes this week will graduate with their D.P.T. degrees in December 2021.

PT chair Stacie Fruth lectures the first cohort of DPT students