Physical Therapy Program Policies
Upon acceptance into the Physical Therapy Program, each student will be assigned a faculty member who will serve as his or her advisor. The advisor will offer counsel on issues related to requirements for program completion, the development of long-term plans of study and future professional direction, and academic standing in the program. Students are required to meet with their advisor once per academic year (at a minimum). If students are experiencing difficulties during the Program, they are strongly encouraged to contact their advisor, who can develop a plan of action to assist in resolving the problems.
Attendance and punctuality in all classes and clinical education assignments is required, unless the student is excused for extenuating and extraordinary life circumstances. If absence is due to illness, a note signed by an M.D. should be submitted. Missing one weekend day per semester is equivalent to missing three to four classes in a traditional program and may jeopardize a student’s standing in the program. Course instructors or clinical instructors must be notified in advance regarding absences. Failure to contact your course instructor and/or missing one full weekend of coursework (18 hours) will result in a review of the situation by the Faculty Review Committee. Possible results of absenteeism may include points taken off for absenteeism, documentation on the professional development form, a written warning and/or additional assignments. Missing a test or exam without previously contacting the instructor will result in a faculty review of the situation and can result in a grade of F for the test or exam.
Absence from any clinical education assignment must be made up or may result in a failing grade in the course.
Cheating and plagiarism are contrary to the purpose of any educational institution and must be dealt with severely if students’ work is to have any validity. The Physical Therapy Program following the College’s Academic Integrity Policy (located in the Academic Regulation and Procedures section in the Graduate Catalog). This policy covers cheating, plagiarism, obtaining unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents.
In order to participate in clinical education, a criminal background check may be required. The majority of clinical sites now require students to pass a background check prior to starting their affiliation. It is the student’s responsibility to perform this and supply the necessary documentation to the clinical facility well in advance of the start date of their affiliation. Policies regarding criminal background checks vary from facility to facility. Some facilities require students to have the background check performed on-site or be a specific company. Some facilities require fingerprinting and/or drug screening in addition. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Clinical Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE) to find out the specific procedure at that facility and to have it completed and submitted within the specific time frame for the facility. If a facility has no preference, the ACCE will provide the student with an acceptable company. Cost of the background check is the student’s responsibility. A student may be required to have more than one background check performed during the course of the program.
Clinical Education Grades
All clinical education courses are graded on a pass/fail basis. If a student fails any Clinical Education course, the decision to allow the course to be repeated will be determined by a Faculty Review Committee. If the student is allowed to repeat the affiliation and fails again, they will be dismissed from the program. If the student is not allowed to repeat the affiliation, matriculated status will be withdrawn. Failure of any further clinical education courses is grounds for dismissal.
A student can only withdraw from a clinical education assignment for extenuation circumstances approved by a Faculty Review Committee. A student cannot withdraw from a clinical education assignment more than once. A student will not be allowed to enter into Advanced Clinical Education if they are on probation. Students on probation who are scheduled to enter Basic Clinical Education will only be allowed to enter BasicClinical Education after a faculty review panel determines that it is appropriate.
Complaints That Fall Outside the Realm of Due Process
The Physical Therapy Program is committed to meeting its mission as it relates to serving our students, potential students, staff, faculty, adjunct faculty, clinical faculty and the public consumer of physical therapy. To that end, we are committed to ensuring that exceptional complaints for which there is no established College, School or program policy or procedure are considered and resolved in a timely, fair, consistent and equitable manner.
Procedure: Complaint to the Program: Complaints should be addressed to the Program Director through the online form located here .
If the program director is the subject of the complaint, the complaint should be addressed to the Dean, School of Health and Natural Science.
The program has an Essential Function Form that outlines the necessary behavioral/communicative, psychomotor, cognitive and self-care skills deemed essential for completion of the program and performance as a competent physical therapist. This form is signed by the student prior to starting the program stating they are or are not capable of performing the skills and abilities that are listed.
If a student cannot demonstrate the skills and abilities outlined in the Essential Function Form, it is the responsibility of the student to request an appropriate accommodation through the Office of Accessibility. The College will provide reasonable accommodation as long as it does not fundamentally alter the nature of the Program offered and does not impose an undue financial hardship or unduly disrupt the educational process.
Each candidate for a degree or certificate must have completed all coursework and program requirements. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses applicable to the degree is required for both good academic standing and degree conferral. The coursework includes the completion of research and clinical education requirements. The words “With Distinction” will appear on the diploma and transcript of any student who completes their degree with a GPA of at least 3.75. Once the degree is conferred, the academic record is finalized and cannot be changed.
Requirements of the DPT in Physical Therapy must be completed within five years from the date of the matriculation into the professional program. All clinical education must be completed within 24 months of completion of didactic course work. Exceptions may be made by the director of the program if the candidate demonstrates circumstances beyond the student’s control that temporarily interfere with the ability to complete the program on time.
To request an incomplete grade, students must develop a written contract with the course instructor regarding the completion of coursework within a specified time not to exceed the start of the next semester. Incomplete grades will be granted only under extraordinary circumstances such as a severe illness, death of a family member, etc. Students may not register for any further Physical Therapy courses without permission of a Faculty Review Committee. Failure to complete the work in accord with the contract-specified time will automatically result in failure for the course.
Leave of Absence
A leave of absence will only be granted for extraordinary life circumstances after a full review by the Faculty Review Committee. The student must submit a written request including supporting documentation that will be reviewed by the Faculty Review Committee. If the leave of absence is granted, the student must maintain matriculation in the program by registering for Maintenance of Matriculation. The student must pass a yearly competency exam for clinically related coursework before attending a clinical affiliation. If the student fails the competency exam, they must remediate the previous coursework through independent study and/or auditing courses until they are able to pass the competency test. The maximum time a student can be on a leave of absence is one year. If the student requires more than one year, their matriculation status will be dropped and in order to return, they need to apply for readmission.
Maintenance of Matriculation
It is expected that students will fulfill the requirements for their graduate degree by registering for all successive sessions. For cohort programs, registration is required during summer session(s). For non-cohort programs, summer registration is not required. Registration is accomplished by either enrolling in classes or maintaining matriculation. The Maintenance of Matriculation fee is $100 per session and is processed as a registration.
Students who have not maintained matriculation and wish to return to their program within one year after their last course will be charged the Maintenance of Matriculation fee of $100 for each missed session. Maintenance of matriculation without attending classes is limited to one year. Activated U.S. Military Reservists are not required to pay the Maintenance of Matriculation fee.
It is expected that Capstone students shall make satisfactory progress with their program’s culminating activity, which is the Research Externship and Professional Preparation Capstone course requirement in the Physical Therapy Program. Students are required to achieve a minimal score of a 73 on a Comprehensive Cumulative Exam in PHTR 730 to complete the program. A Comprehensive Cumulative Examination is utilized to ensure students have the ability to retain and integrate foundational and clinical science information. The examination will also test the students’ ability to apply this information to clinical practice.
The National Physical Therapy Licensure Examination (NPTE) is the external standard that all students need to meet to become a practicing therapist. Students who do not complete their Research project by the end of the 10the term must register for PHTR 711 - Research Externship Continuation . Research Externship Continuation has a Capstone Continuation fee (equal to the cost of one graduate credit) which will be charged for each additional term required to complete the project. Students can only register for Capstone Continuation for two terms. A student’s degree will not be released until all Maintenance of Matriculation and Capstone Continuation registration and fees are recorded appropriately on a student’s record.
Maintenance of Good Academic Standing
A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses applicable to the degree is required for both good academic standing and degree conferral. A student admitted as a Special Matriculant is required to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 after completion of six credits. Please note, certain graduate programs may have more stringent program policies. Please check the specific program regulations. Grades are subject to review by the faculty advisor and program director at the end of each term. If the academic average falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation.
If a student receives a grade of C in any required course in the DPT curriculum, the course must be repeated before permission to continue the curriculum sequence is granted. A student can only repeat a course one time if he/she has received a grade of C. A student must achieve a grade of a B or higher on the repeated course or the student will be dismissed from the program. The student must also pass a competency exam for clinically related coursework previously taken before attending a clinical affiliation. A student is only allowed to repeat one course in the DPT curriculum. A grade less than a C in any course required in the DPT curriculum will result in dismissal from the Physical Therapy Program. Students may appeal the dismissal; however, if the dismissal is upheld by the School of Health and Natural Sciences Program Dismissal Review Committee, a student may not reapply to the DPT program.
Students will be rated by faculty on their professional development (generic abilities) each semester during the program. If a student does not achieve the expected level of development, a plan of action will be developed by the student and faculty advisor. If a student has not achieved the stated expected level of development prior to beginning clinical education, a plan of action will be developed by the program Academic and Professional Standing Committee and reviewed with the student. The clinical education assignment will not begin until the student demonstrates an ability to achieve the expected level of development. See the Program Student Manual for additional details.
A rating of “unacceptable” in any area of professional development/generic ability will be reviewed by the program Academic and Professional Standing Committee. If improvement is not made following a plan of action, the student may be dismissed from the program.
In addition to maintaining acceptable academic and professional status in the program, students are expected to provide service to the community. There is a mandatory service requirement in the program which is outlined further in the Program Student Manual
The Physical Therapy Program is responsible for ensuring that all students are competent and safe to enter the clinical education portion of the Program. To do so, students must demonstrate competencies by passing designated lab practical or examinations. Students must receive a grade of 73 or above on all specified examinations and a grade of 80 or above on all specified lab practical of a class. The designated lab practical examinations and/or examination will be on the course syllabus.
If a student receives a grade lower than 73 on an exam or an 80 on a lab practical, they must retake the examination/practical. The grade of the retaken examination must be 73/80 respectively or greater to continue in the Program. If the grade for the retaken written or lab practical examination is lower than the required score, the student will receive a maximum grade of a C in the class and the course must be repeated before permission to continue with the curriculum sequence is granted. The original grade on the examination is the grade utilized in the course grade. If the final course grade is a C, the course must be repeated before permission to continue in the curriculum sequence is granted. If the final course grade is an F, the student will be dismissed from the Program. Dates for reexaminations will be determined by the individual course instructor.
Any student whose cumulative program or term GPA falls below 3.0 (without rounding) after any given trimester will be placed on academic probation. While on academic probation the student is required to achieve a term GPA of 3.0 or higher in the next term of enrollment. If the student is not able to achieve a cumulative program GPA of 3.0 within two terms, the student will be dismissed from the program. A student must have a cumulative program GPA of 3.0 or higher by the end of term 5 to be able to register for Basic Clinical Education. A student must have a cumulative program GPA of 3.0 or higher by the end of term 8 to be able to register for Advanced Clinical Education. If a student receives a grade of C in any undergraduate or graduate required course in the DPT curriculum, the course must be repeated before permission to continue the curriculum sequence is granted. A student can only repeat a course one time if he/she has received a grade of C. A student must achieve a grade of a B or higher on the repeated course, or the student will be dismissed from the program. A student is only allowed to repeat one course in the DPT curriculum. The student must also pass a competency exam for clinically related coursework previously taken before attending a clinical affiliation. Any student who fails the competency exam must remediate the previous coursework through independent study and/or auditing courses until he is able to pass the competency test. A grade lower than a C in any course required in the DPT curriculum will result in dismissal from the Physical Therapy Program and may result in dismissal from the College. Once a student is dismissed from the Program he/she may not re-apply to the DPT Program.
Program Dismissal Review
In cases in which a student has been dismissed from the Physical Therapy Program, the student may request a dismissal review when he/she believes that extenuating circumstances affected his/her academic performance in the program. The student must follow the SHNS Program Dismissal Review Policy detailed at the beginning of the School of Health and Natural Sciences section of this catalog.
The Physical Therapy Program at Mercy College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. Telephone: 703-706-3245 Email: email@example.com
Website: http://www.capteonline.org. Students are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination, administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. If you need to contact the Physical Therapy Program/Mercy College directly, please call (914) 674-7828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.