The Accidentally Holistic Admissions Process: Lessons Learned From DPT’s Most Diverse Class

Purpose: Discussion and implementation of holistic and purposeful admissions processes aimed at recruiting applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds has recently increased. However, many of these processes continue to center around GPA and GRE scores. Additionally, admissions practices are often discussed in isolation of key outcome measures such as student retention and board exam pass rate. This session will focus on the experiences and outcomes of a new DPT program that organically attracted a diverse and non-traditional student population. This session focuses on a retro-active examination of traditional factors reviewed during the admissions process, such as GPA and GRE scores and their correlation to student success and board exam pass rates. The speakers will examine non-cognitive factors and outcome measures that may capture DPT graduate success and discuss methods used to support students during their academic careers. Outcome data will also be candidly discussed such as programmatic GPA, student retention, board exam pass rates and employment rates. The session will also include an open discussion forum allowing attendees to collaborate and build a community of professionals dedicated to expanding diversity within the physical therapy profession.Methods and/or Description of Project: Forty students were admitted for the charter class of a new DPT program, thirty-six of which progressed through the entirety of the program and took the board exam. The program was organically able to attract a very diverse charter class. Of the forty students initially enrolled there were seventeen men and twenty-three women, ages 23-32 years. By CAPTE reporting standards, six students were Hispanic/Latino of any race, one was American Indian/Alaskan Native, fourteen were Asian, four were Black or African-American, one was Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander, twelve were White and two identified as Two or More Races. A retro-active examination of admissions factors, both cognitive and non-cognitive, was performed. Traditional factors reviewed during the admissions process, such as GPA and GRE scores and their correlation to student program success and board exam pass rates were examined. Non-cognitive factors and outcome measures that may capture DPT graduate success and discuss methods used to support students during their academic careers were also reviewed. These factors included candidate background, number of schools attended, employment, and scores on the Health Science Reasoning Test. Alternative exploration of various GPA subsets were also reviewed.Results/Outcomes: As the charter class recently graduated and took the board exam, in depth data analysis is still being conducted. However, some initial early themes were apparent. The undergraduate grade point average of the thirty-six graduates ranged from 3.69-2.576 with a mean class GPA of 3.03. Half of students (18/36) had undergraduate GPAs that fell below the traditional 3.0 cut-off. The first time pass rate for the charter class was 83.3% while the national first time average on the January 2018 test was reported as 88.8%. Of those students whose undergraduate GPA was below a 3.0, only one was unsuccessful on their first attempt at the board exam. The student with highest incoming GPA (3.69) was unsuccessful on first attempt at the NPTE-PT exam while the student with the lowest undergraduate GPA (2.576) was successful on first attempt.Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Our Leadership Landscape: Perspectives from the Ground Level to 30,000 Feet: While this is only primary data at this point in time, the academic success combined with NPTE pass rates of the inaugural cohort demonstrate that non-traditional students can be successful in a rigorous DPT program and demonstrate that factors beyond GPA and GRE scores play a role in the success of students enrolled in entry-level DPT programs. The session will explore these factors and also include an open discussion forum allowing attendees to collaborate and build a community of professionals dedicated to expanding diversity within the physical therapy profession.References: 1) Bayliss, J., & Thomas, R. M. (2017). Pilot Study: What Measures Predict First Time Pass Rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination?. Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice, 15(4), 1-12. 2) Brenneman AE, Goldgar C, Hills KJ, Snyder JH, VanderMeulen SP, Lane S. Noncognitive Attributes in Physician Assistant Education. J Physician Assist Educ. 2018 Mar;29(1):25-34. 3) Coleman-Salgado, B., & Barakatt, E. (2018). Identifying Demographic and Preadmission Factors Predictive of Success on the National Physical Therapy Licensure Examination for Graduates of a Public Physical Therapist Education Program. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 32(1), 8-16. 4) Crawley, R., Greene, R., Brown-White, P., Simpson, S., & Karavatas, S. (2015). The Relationship between Study Preparation and First Attempt Pass Rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination. Journal of the National Society of Allied Health, 12(1), 45-52. 5) DiBaise M, Salisbury H, Hertelendy A, Muma RD. Strategies and perceived barriers to recruitment of underrepresented minority students in physician assistant programs. J Physician Assist Educ. 2015 Mar;26(1):19-27. 6) Huhn, K., & Parrott, J. S. (2017). Exploration of Relationships Among the Health Science Reasoning Test, the National Physical Therapy Licensing Examination, and Cognitive Admission Variables. Journal of Physical Therapy Education Vol, 31(1), 7-13. 7) Meiners, K. M., & Rush, D. K. (2017). Clinical Performance and Admission Variables as Predictors of Passage of the National Physical Therapy Examination. Journal of allied health, 46(3), 164-170. 8) Utzman, R. R., Riddle, D. L., & Jewell, D. V. (2007). Use of demographic and quantitative admissions data to predict performance on the national physical therapy examination. Physical therapy, 87(9), 1181-1193. 9) Wise, D., Dominguez, J., Kapasi, Z., Williams-York, B., Moerchen, V., Brooks, S., & Ross, L. J. (2017). Defining Underrepresented Minorities and Promoting Holistic Review Admission Strategies in Physical Therapist Education. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 31(4), 8-13. 10) Witzburg, R. A., & Sondheimer, H. M. (2013). Holistic review—shaping the medical profession one applicant at a time. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(17), 1565-1567.Course Objectives: 1. Analyze current physical therapy program admissions processes and outcomes. 2. Discuss barriers and facilitators of recruiting, admitting, and retaining physical therapy students from diverse and non-traditional backgrounds. 3. Value non-cognitive factors which may lead to success during a student's academic career and on the NPTE. 4. Collaboratively discuss opportunities to expand diversity within the profession through strategic admissions processes.Instructional Methods: Lecture, Panal Discussion.This session will engage in discussion current literature and admission practices, discuss specific case examples as well has larger themes from the class. Candid, open dialogue will be facilitated to collaboratively discuss opportunities to expand diversity within the profession through strategic admission processes.Tentative Outline/Schedule: Introduction (5 min) Review of current research and admissions practices (10 min) Background of the DPT Program and Admissions Practices (10 min) Student Data (10 min) Student Academic Outcomes and Supports for Student Success (10 minutes) NPTE Outcomes (10 min) Non-Cognitive Factors Leading to Success (15 minutes) Open Discussion (20 minutes)

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  • Control #: 2994121
  • Type: Educational Session - Research Type
  • Event/Year: ELC 2018
  • Authors: Dawn James
  • Keywords:

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