Purpose: To describe the challenges of a start-up DPT program and its potential impact on NPTE pass rates. An analysis of both preadmissions and program related variables and licensure preparation examinations ability to predict success on the NPTE will be provided along with comparison to previously published literature.Methods/Description: Preadmission variables (GREv, GREq, GREw, GPAcum, GPAsci, GPA45, 1st generation, type institution, and traditional vs nontraditional student), program related variables (GPAcum, GPA sci, academic difficulty), and licensure preparation tools (Scorebuiders, PEAT) were collated into a spreadsheet for the first two graduating cohorts (N=75). Correlation analyses were performed first to determine which variables might fit into a linear regression model for preadmission and program related variables (includes licensure preparation products). An alpha level of <0.01 was set for correlation analyses to determine which factors would be included in forward logic linear regression models. Linear regressions were conducted for preadmission and program related variables using the NPTE score as the dependent variable.Results/Outcomes: Correlation analysis demonstrated the following factors with p<0.01 for preadmission data: 1) GRE-Q with undergraduate science GPA (r=0.48) and NPTE pass rate (r=0.38). In program correlation data demonstrated the following factors with p<0.01: 1) Peat 1 with NPTE score (r=0.698), 2) PTsci GPA with NPTE score (r=0.61), 3) PTcum (r=0.72) and PTsci GPA (r=0.77) correlates to PEAT 1. Linear regression for preadmissions variables demonstrated the GREq as predictive of NPTE success with p=<0.01 and R2=0.21. Linear regression for program variables demonstrated the PEAT and Scorebuilder 1 exams as p<0.01 with R2=0.48.Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Our Leadership Landscape: Perspectives from the Ground Level to 30,000 Feet: Preadmissions variables effect on outcomes trend with previously published literature for GREq predicting NPTE success however GPA variables did not. Our rural focus and recruitment of students from these locations has resulted in a high return rate to underserved areas. Students tend to have lower GPA and GRE scores, however, it did not have a negative effect on outcomes (94% NPTE success, 100% ultimate). Licensure preparation examinations had the most predictive value. The challenge is timing late in the program. While PTsci GPA did not make the model, it trended well with PEAT 1. As a result, the program monitored student performance across program year 1 resulting in identifying at-risk students for alternative study plans or more frequent advising and mentorship. Academic standards for program completion increased as a result. While a better incoming student has been shown to have greater success of 1st time pass NPTE, this may not serve the diversity of programs and missions. Other items need consideration in admissions along with creating greater clarity on defining success for programs rather than pass rates.References: 1. Riddle DL, Utzman RR, Jewell DV, Pearson S, Kong X. Academic difficulty and program-level variables predict performance on the National Physical Therapy Examination for licensure: a population-based cohort study. Phys Ther. 2009;89(11):1182-1191. 2. Taylor K. Predictors of success to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam: Is there a correlation between GRE/GPA scores andsuccess rates, East Tennessee State University; 2012. 3. Cahn PS. 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