Purpose: Clinical education plays a vital role in the overall education of physical therapy students. Within clinical education, clinical instructors (CIs) serve as role models and informational resources for physical therapy students in relation to competence in clinical practice. The CIs must also organize and directly supervise the physical therapy studentsÕ clinical learning experience, while treating patients. To better prepare CIs to be effective teachers, the APTA established the Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program (CCIP). The CCIP is a 12-hour program and 3 hour assessment that addresses planning and preparing for clinical education experiences, supporting learning through questioning and effective feedback, developing skills for performance evaluation, identifying and managing students with exceptional situations, and understanding legal issues. Ê Though numerous studies have focused on clinical instruction in physical therapy as well as other disciplines, little research has been published about the effectiveness of the CCIP program in relation to studentsÕ assessments of CIs. Thus, this research proposes to investigate the difference in physical therapy studentsÕ assessments of APTA credentialed CIs versus non-credentialed CIs. ÊMethods/Description: Using the Physical Therapist Student Evaluation: Clinical Experience and Clinical Instruction (PTSE), physical therapy students assessed their CIs at both midterm and cessation of each of five clinical rotations. Scores of the midterm and final student evaluations were compared with WilcoxinÕs tests and scores of credentialed CIs were compared to non-credentialed CIs using Mann Whitney U analyses. ÊResults/Outcomes: The average final student assessment scores were statistically higher than the average midterm scores for both credentialed and non-credentialed CIs. There were statistically significant differences in the average student assessment scores of credentialed clinical instructors versus non-credentialed clinical instructors at midterm (p=.01) and final (p=.02) with credentialed CIs scoring higher at both time points.Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Shaping the Future of Physical Therapy Education: StudentsÕ PTSE ratings of CIs increased throughout a clinical experience and students rated credentialed CIs higher on the PTSE than non-credentialed CIs.Ê Further research studies are needed using longitudinal designs with larger and more diverse samples to further test the effectiveness of CCIP. Successful completion of the APTAÕs CCIP may improve studentsÕ PTSE ratings of CIs.Ê Given this possibility, academic programs who want to foster improved clinical instruction and education may want to consider advocating that their non-credentialed CIs become credentialed through the APTAÕs CCIP. ÊReferences: Giles S, Wetherbee E, Johnson S. Qualifications and credentials of clinical ÊÊÊÊÊÊinstructors supervising physical therapist students.Ê J Phys Ther Educ. 2003;17(2);50-55. Gandy J. Preparation for teaching in clinical settings.Ê In: Shepard KF, Jensen GM. Handbook of Teaching for Physical Therapists. Boston, MA: Butterwork-Heinemann;1997:119-167. Housel N, Gandy J. Clinical instructor credentialing and its effect on student clinical performance outcomes. J Phys Ther Educ. 2008;22(3):43-51. Gandy S, Sanders B. Costs and benefits of clinical education. J Phys Ther Educ. 1990;4(2);70-75. Housel N, Gandy J, Edmondson D. Clinical instructor credentialing and student assessment of clinical instructor effectiveness. J Phys Ther Educ. 2010:24(2);26-34. Emery MJ. Effectiveness of the clinical instructor. Physical Therapy. 1984;64:1079-1083 Sellheim DO. Educational factors influencing physical therapist studentsÕ approaches to learning. J Phys Ther Educ. 2003;17(2);11-21 Deusinger S, Cornbleet S, Stith J. Using assessment centers to promote clinical faculty development. J Phys Ther Educ.1991;5(1);14-17. Neher JO, Gordon KC, Meyer B, Stevens N. A five-step ÒmicroskillsÓ model of clinical teaching. Clinical Teaching. 1992;5:419-424. Wojciechowski M. Clinical instructor education and credentialing program: a decade later. PT Magazine. 2007:70-72. Wilson M. Clinical educators: convinced about credentialing. PT Mag. 2002:10:42-46. Buccieri KM, Schultze K, Dungey J. Self-reported characteristics of physical therapy clinical instructors: a comparison to the American Physical Therapy AssociationÕs Guidelines and Self-Assessments for Clinical Education. J Phys Ther Educ. 2006;20:47-55. Physical Therapist Student Evaluation: Clinical Experience and Clinical Instruction. APTA. 2003. Morren KK, Gordon SP, Sawyer BA. The relationship between clinical instructor characteristics and student perceptions of clinical instructor effectiveness. J Phys Ther Educ. 2008;22(3):52-63.