Doctor of Physical Therapy students embark upon an amazing journey of both personal and professional growth when they begin their clinical education. These experiences are interspersed throughout the on-campus pathway and the hybrid pathway, and are key in applying the knowledge obtained in the classroom to real patients under the direct supervision and mentoring of a licensed physical therapist in a clinical setting. In collaboration with the Directors of Clinical Education, students are evaluated by their Clinical Instructor on their professional knowledge, skills, and behaviors. Students will learn and work with physical therapist clinical instructors and patients/clients in:
- major medical centers
- community hospitals
- rehabilitation hospitals and agencies
- home health
- school-based clinics
- private practices
The program includes a part-time clinical experience in the first year and 32 weeks of full-time clinical education. Arcadia has developed more than 400 clinical relationships with a wide variety of top-flight local, regional, national and international facilities. The majority of sites are in the mid-Atlantic region. Many students are offered their first jobs through the relationships they develop during these experiences.
Integrated Clinical Education Experience
Students observe and assist physical therapists half days for a total of 10 visits over the first year. The experience consists of alternating weeks in the clinic with weeks of small group discussions and reflections on campus. The primary purposes of the ICE experience are to introduce students to physical therapist practice in both inpatient and outpatient settings, to mentor students in professional behaviors, and to integrate classroom knowledge and clinical experience.
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.