Can Entry Level Physical Therapy Programs Meet CAPTE Standard 4A by 2020? A Population Study of Core Faculty Members
Purpose and Research Questions: The purpose of this standard evaluation is to provide a snapshot of core faculty member doctoral preparation. This will allow conjecture to be drawn if physical therapy programs will be able to meet the 2015 CAPTE Standard 4A stating 100% of core faculty members must have doctoral preparation by 2020.
To make this determination we first asked the research questions: What percentage of core faculty members do not currently have at least a doctor of physical therapy (DPT)?
Background: In early 2015, CAPTE updated standard 4A which previously stated that 50% of core faculty had to have doctoral preparation to stating that 100% of core faculty must have doctoral preparation by the year 2020. Doctoral training is defined by CAPTE as an entry level or clinical doctoral degree (Doctor of Physical Therapy) or a terminal or professional doctoral degree (EdD, PhD, DSc, etc). Thus, the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and all other terminal or professional doctoral degrees would meet the doctoral preparation standard.
Methods: CAPTE collects data from all accredited and developing entry level physical therapy programs in the United States for the Annual Accreditation Report (AAR) submitted. From this report, a data set was obtained with the parameters of total core faculty members with a doctoral degree and type of degree, and total number of core faculty members without a doctoral degree.
Results: The 12/1/2014 CAPTE AAR data shows 2,709 core faculty members in entry level physical therapy programs in the United States. Of these core faculty members, 2,456 have obtained a terminal degree, a professional doctoral degree or an entry level degree, while 253 core faculty members do not hold a doctoral degree. The totals for each category are found on the Core Faculty Data graph. Of the 253 core faculty members without doctoral degree, 133 are actively enrolled in a doctoral program.
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Shaping the Future of Physical Therapy Education
Discussion/Conclusion: As of the 2014 AAR, the percentage of core faculty members in entry level physical therapy programs without doctoral degrees is 9% (n=253). However, of this 9%, 4% (n=133) of core faculty members are actively enrolled in doctoral program. This data suggests that entry level physical therapy schools have the potential to meet the 2015 CAPTE Standard 4A for 100% doctoral preparation of core faculty members by 2020.
CAPTE. (2015a). Accreditation Handbook. Alexandria, VA: Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
CAPTE. (2015b). Standards and required elements for accreditation of physical therapist education programs Standard 4: The program faculty are qualified for their roles and effective in carrying out their responsibilities.: Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.