The purpose of this educational session is to develop the capacity for physical therapist educators to sit at the table with other stakeholders with well-informed strategies to mitigate the negative impact of the SARA, non-SARA state situation nationwide.
Methods and/or Description of Project
Has your program been impacted by the need for state authorization for out of state clinical placements or online courses? Most stakeholders see State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) as the solution to the issue of state authorization. However, the transition to having nationwide participation in SARA will take time. We may be in this situation for many years. In order to preserve the clinical education and distance learning components of our programs, we need to understand the state authorization process and State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA). Physical therapy education leaders need to be well-informed in order advocate for actions at the level of our university and state legislation that will mitigate the negative impact of these requirements. The panel of presenters will provide clear information about the state authorization process and SARA from multiple perspectives: Director of Clinical Education, Program Chair, a representative from the National Council on SARA or a regional agency of SARA, a physical therapist with experience lobbying for SARA legislation, and a representative from CAPTE or APTA (panel participants based on availability). Topics will include : the current status of state participation in SARA, the SARA membership process, costs of state authorization, costs and benefits of SARA, consequences of non-compliance with state authorization, implications for clinical education, implications for programs overall, current CAPTE requirements related to state authorization, the role of APTA in advocating for SARA, tools for advocating for SARA at the state level, tools for discussions about SARA and state authorizations at the university level.
Increased capacity for physical therapist educators to sit at the table with other stakeholders with well-informed strategies to mitigate the negative impact of the SARA, non-SARA state situation nationwide as demonstrated by participants achieving the course objectives.
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Pursuit of Excellence in Physical Therapy Education
This topic is related to the focus of this ELC because of its relevance to the sustainability of clinical education and distance components of physical therapy education. Discussions about SARA and state authorization will increase in the near future and we need to be sure we are ready to engage in the dialogue with well-informed information.
A survey of 74 Education Section member indicated a high level of interest in this topic, a need for information on this topic, and many perceived barriers to negotiating the processes associated with state authorization. Specifically, only 12% responded that they were well-informed about SARA. Most respondents (56%) were familiar, but had questions and 31% indicated a poor understanding of the issues surrounding SARA. In addition, 86% of the survey respondents indicated a high interest in the topic of state authorization and over 50% of the respondents need more information about how state authorizations relate to CAPTE requirements. Only 12% of the respondents are engaged in advocacy for SARA legislation, but 74% of the respondents are engaged in discussions with their university about state authorizations. The respondents noted the impact on their programs because of state authorizations including not being able to send students to certain states, a reduction in the number of out of state placements, the need to re-assign students from out of state placements, the burden of time and cost on their programs/university and difficulty meeting the demand for increasing enrollment because of a lack of clinical placement options.
The survey respondents requested information on the aspects of state authorization and SARA covered in this proposal. We need to develop the capacity for physical therapist educators to sit at the table with other stakeholders with well-informed strategies to mitigate the negative impact of the SARA, non-SARA state situation nationwide.
a. National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (2014). Bringing SARA from Design to Implementation: A guide for State Policymakers. Retrieved from www.nc-sara.org
b. National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (2013). Policies and Standards. Retrieved from www.nc-sara.org
c. State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO). (date). SHEEO State Authorization Survey. Retrieved from http://sheeo.org/sheeo_surveys
d. Cummings, J. (2016. State Authorization in a Post-Appeals Court World. EDUCAUSE blog. Retrieved from www.educause.edu
e. Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (2013) Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement. Retrieved from http://www.wiche.edu/sara/documentation
f. CAPTE and Accreditation Department of the American Physical Therapy Association (March 2016). State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. Presentation to APTA Task Force on SARA.
After attending this session, participants will be able to:
a.Identify the purpose and current status of state authorizations and SARA
b.Relate the process of SARA membership to their own state and institution
c.Understand the impact of state authorizations on clinical education and physical therapy programs
d.Develop well-informed tools to advocate for preservation of clinical placements and distance learning on the university as well as the state level
The presenters will present using a discussion format with structured opportunities for questions and answers. Information will be supported with posted handouts and power point slides.
a. 5 minutes: Introduction and session overview
b. 15 minutes: Objective 1: Purpose and current status of state authorizations and SARA
c. 10 minutes: Objective 2: Process of SARA membership
d. 25 minutes: Objective 3: Impact of state authorizations on physical therapy education
e. 20 minutes: Objective 4: Tools for well-informed advocacy for SARA
f. 20 minutes: Summary and Q&A panel