The university will begin training its first cohort of Doctorate in Physical Therapy students in June 2011, now that it has earned “candidacy approval” in the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education’s (CAPTE) multistep accreditation process.
“This is a major milestone in the development of our portfolio of advanced academic programs in the allied health sciences,” said President Kyle.
Physical therapists design and implement clinical services that restore function, regain movement, alleviate pain and prevent injury. The DPT program is expected to enroll 15 students during the first year and 25 students per year in subsequent years. At full enrollment, the program will serve 75 students, according to Ed Swanson, founding chair of the university’s physical therapy program.
Experts predict demand for physical therapists will grow substantially in the years ahead. The nation’s growing geriatric population will need increased professional care to alleviate aging-associated discomfort. Sports-related injuries, automobile accidents and military trauma are other factors behind the need for more and better-trained physical therapists.
In September 2010, Radford University, Carilion Clinic and the Jefferson College of Health Sciences (JCHS) announced that RU would base the DPT program in Roanoke to take advantage of the clinical and educational opportunities associated with JCHS, Carilion Clinic, the Virginia Tech Carilion Medical School and other entities in the growing regional health care center.