University of Scranton Physical Therapy Program Earns CAPTE Accreditation


University of Scranton Physical Therapy Program Earns CAPTE Accreditation

     Months of meticulous preparation paid off as The University of Scranton’s Department of Physical Therapy recently received reaffirmation of accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), the national accreditation body for entry-level physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs.

     While the accreditation status is reviewed on a yearly basis, the department doesn’t have another on-site visit scheduled until June of 2018. 

     Although the department has been accredited since the early 1980s, the reaccreditation process can be “stringent” and “intense,” explained John P. Sanko, Ed.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.

     So what does accreditation mean for Scranton’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, a leading post-baccalaureate doctoral degree curriculum for students seeking to become physical therapists? Well, Dr. Sanko explained it’s vital.

     “This tells the world that our curriculum is really up to date and state of the art, and the DPT curriculum is right where it should be,” said Dr. Sanko, who explained that if a program isn’t accredited it could not survive because students wouldn’t be allowed to take the national board examination.

     While the entire Department of Physical Therapy deserves recognition for the accreditation, Dr. Sanko highlighted the work of Debra Miller, DPT, assistant director of clinical education and coordinator of assessment and accreditation, who organized the process.

      Dr. Sanko and his department also acknowledged The University of Scranton for its encouragement, especially Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., president, and Harold W. Baillie, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs.

     “The accreditation team met with them and was really impressed to have such great administrative support,” Dr. Sanko explained.

      Since celebrating its first bachelor’s degree class in 1984, then a master’s degree program in the mid-1990s and currently a doctoral program, the University’s Physical Therapy program has been evolving, moving toward the future.

     “Having a Doctor of Physical Therapy program is now the industry standard,” Dr. Sanko said.

     As the program has developed and changed, the expectations for their incoming students have as well, he added.

     Besides the academic requirements and clinical competencies required of DPT students, an effort has been made to make the mission of the DPT program completely complementary with the mission of The University of Scranton. Sr. Sanko explains that we want our students to be, “men and women for others” as they help individuals with various health issues and injuries live the highest quality of life possible.

     “The program is really growing,” Dr. Sanko said. “The applicant pool continues to grow and we are continuing to raise the bar by raising the quality of the students we accept into the program and expecting great things from them.”

     Added Dr. Miller, “We’re covering material so that our students are graduating entry-level prepared, ready to hit the ground running — which is exactly what the clinicians need.” 

Back to Top