Doctor of Physical Therapy students embark upon a rewarding journey of both personal and professional growth when they begin their clinical education. These experiences are interspersed throughout the curriculum for both the on-campus pathway and the hybrid pathway. Students are provided the opportunity to apply the knowledge obtained throughout the curriculum to real patients under the direct supervision and mentorship of a licensed physical therapist. In collaboration with the Directors of Clinical Education, students are evaluated by their Clinical Instructor on their professional knowledge, skills, and behaviors. The goal of clinical education is to meet or exceed expectations for an entry-level physical therapist. Students will learn and work with physical therapist clinical instructors and patients/clients in a variety of treatment settings including, but not limited to:
- major medical centers
- community hospitals
- rehabilitation hospitals and agencies
- home health
- school-based clinics
- private practices
The clinical education curriculum includes two part-time clinical experiences throughout the first year and three full-time clinical education experiences during the second year that total 32 weeks. Arcadia has developed more than 550 clinical relationships nationwide with a wide variety of high quality clinical sites.
Integrated Clinical Education Experience
Students are immersed into the field of physical therapy during these first year part-time experiences. These experiences are designed to integrate with the program’s coursework and provide students a breadth of experience across different practice settings. Integrated clinical education consists of clinic visits paired with guided small group discussions and reflections with peers. The primary purposes of the part-time experiences are to introduce students to physical therapy practice in both inpatient and outpatient settings, to mentor students in professional behaviors, and to integrate classroom knowledge into clinical practice.
Full-time Clinical Experiences
Full-time clinical education begins in the fall of Year 2, with an 8-week clinical education experience. Students are responsible for the additional costs of travel and housing associated with their clinical experiences. Through these weeks, students develop into professionals and can begin to deliver effective physical therapy services. Clinical placements are made in consultation with the Directors of Clinical Education and clinical facilities for a match that is ideally suited to the strengths and interests of the student.
Upon completion of the didactic coursework in the spring of Year 2, students will begin their terminal clinical education experience. This final experience, which lasts for 24 weeks, is a hybrid between traditional clinical education and the residency model of clinical training that is rich in mentoring and structured learning experiences to facilitate accelerated learning. Our program maintains strong relationships with affiliated clinical sites to ensure quality experiences that match our patient-centered curriculum.
Clinical Education Abroad
Second-year D.P.T. students can take advantage of the opportunity to spend the first eight weeks of the terminal clinical education experience in London. The application process begins in the preceding summer for this opportunity, which is in a rehabilitation setting for individuals following amputation. Expenses above and beyond the normal semester tuition exist. Interested students need to contact a Director of Clinical Education well in advance to initiate the process, as these spots are not always available. This experience is coordinated between the Physical Therapy Department and Arcadia’s The College of Global Studies.
View more information about the hybrid DPT pathway.