Defining the Role of the Center Coordinator of Clinical Education: Identifying responsibilities, supports and challenges.


This survey was designed to gather information from Center Coordinators of Clinical Education (CCCE) to identify their role in current practice, responsibilities as well as supports and challenges they face.


The Clinical Performance Instrument was utilized to reach out to CCCE's across the nation via an on-line anonymous survey. The CPI identified approximately 9,000 CCCE’s and 1,109 responded with representation from every state.


Physical therapists made up 91.2% of CCCE’s, PTA’s 3.7%, OT’s 3.3% and other disciplines combined were 1.8%. On average respondents served as a Clinical Instructor for 6.57 +/- 5.73 years prior to becoming the CCCE and have been the CCCE a their facility for 8.98 +/- 6.46 years. Fifty-two percent are members of the APTA, 5.5% are Education Section members, and 17% of CCCE’s are involved in a clinical education consortium. Seventy-seven percent noted that their role was not acknowledged on their facilities career ladder and 77% have not been mentored.
More than half of CCCE’s (53%) felt that there was not adequate time within their workday for clinical education related activities which fell within three categories: work prior to a students arrival, while the student was at the facility, and working with clinical instructors when a student was not there. Majority of CCCE’s requested support in providing crisis management when the student is not meeting expectations, developing a student handbook, as well as mentoring novice and experienced CI’s. CCCE’s prefer to receive this support via self-paced online modules, followed by printed material and workshops at academic programs.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Shaping the Future of Physical Therapy Education

The CCCE should have expertise in effective clinical teaching and understand the expected student clinical performance outcomes for each Clinical Education Experience. A majority (77%) of CCCE’s have not been mentored in their role and more than half of the CCCE’s indicated there was not adequate time in their workday to complete clinical education related tasks.
The ability of the CCCE to perform in a manner consistent with professional expectations is, to a large extent, contingent upon the cultural and structural characteristics of the practice environment. It is evident from the findings of this survey that recognition by facilities of this role as well as supports are limited and have increased the challenge for CCCE's to provide the most ideal learning environment for PT students. While the APTA as well as clinical education consortia provide resources to assist in this role it is evident from the results of this survey that the majority of respondents are not members of the APTA/Education Section or a clinical consortium. CCCE’s then may not be aware of such resources.
The future strength of our profession is dependent on quality clinical education. Outcomes from the National Clinical Education Summit in the fall of 2014 stressed the need to strengthen the role of the CCCE and our findings can serve as the baseline to springboard these efforts.


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5. Ohman A, Hagg K, Dahlgren L. A stimulating, practice-based job facing increased stress-Clinical supervisors’ perceptions of professional role, physiotherapy education and the status of the profession. Adv Physiother.2005;7:114–122.
6. Mooney S, Smythe L, Jones M. The tensions of the modern-day clinical educator in physical therapy: a scholarly review through a critical theory lens. New Zealand J Physiother.2008;36:59–65.

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  • Control #: 2284489
  • Type: Posters
  • Event/Year: ELC2015
  • Authors: Dr. Jean Timmerberg, Jill Dungey, Angela Stolfi, Mary Ellen Dougherty
  • Keywords:

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