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Email: dpt@wju.edu
Phone: 304-243-7201


Professional Education Program


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The professional curriculum uses Problem-Based Learning rather than the traditional lecture method of teaching. Students are assigned to small study groups of eight and are guided by a faculty tutor toward independent study. Supervised laboratory sessions and assignment to physical therapy clinics are used for the practice of clinical skills. Because of the unique curriculum design, transfer of professional course work is not recommended. The program offers the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT). Graduates of the program are prepared to take the physical therapy licensure examination, and have consistently attained a higher pass rate than the national average.

Professional study is a full-time endeavor for eight academic terms that span two and one-half calendar years. Enrollment in additional course work is not possible and employment is not recommended. Clinical education assignments often require travel and housing outside the Wheeling area.

WJU Graduate Curriculum

Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring Summer Fall
Term I Term II Term III Term IV Term V Term VI Term VII Term VIII

Courses &
Labs

Courses &
Labs

Courses &
Labs

Courses &
Labs

Courses &
Labs

Courses &
Labs

Courses &
Labs

Courses &
Labs

6 weeks 16 weeks 17 weeks 5 weeks 16 weeks 9 weeks 10 weeks 8 Weeks
Basic Science I
DPT 601-80 (online)
2 credits
Basic Science II
DPT 611
5 credits
5 hours/week
Basic Science III
DPT 621
5 credits
5 hours/week
Research Training Seminar I
DPT 636-80 (online)
1 credit
Basic Science IV
DPT 631
5 credits
5 hours/week
Basic Science V
DPT 641
1.5 credits
2.5 hours/week
Basic Science VI
DPT 651
1.5 credits
2.5 hours/week
Pediatric Elective
DPT 669-80 (online)
3 credits
8 weeks
or

Clinical Science I
DPT 602-80
(online)
1 credit
Clinical Science II
DPT 612

5 credits
5 hours/week
Clinical Science III
DPT 622
5 credits
5 hours/week
Regional Service Learning III
DPT 637 (Elective)
1 credit
Clinical Science IV
DPT 632
5 credits
5 hours/week
Clinical Science V DPT 642
3 credits
5 hours/week
Clinical Science VI DPT 652
3 credits
5 hours/week
Orthopedic Elective
DPT 670-80 (online)
3 credits
8 weeks
or

Physical Therapy Science I
DPT 603-80
(online)
2 credits

Physical Therapy Science II
DPT 613
5 credits
5 hours/week

Physical Therapy Science III
DPT 623

5 credits
5 hours/week
  Physical Therapy Science IV
DPT 633
5 credits
5 hours/week
Physical Therapy Science V
DPT 643

3 credits
5 hours/week
Physical Therapy Science VI
DPT 653
3 credits
5 hours/week
Orthopedic Elective
DPT 671-80 (online)
3 credits
8 weeks
or

Profession Issues I
DPT 604-80

(online)
1 credit
Professional Issues II
DPT 614
2 credits
2.5 hours/week
Professional Issues III
DPT 624
2.5 credits
2.5 hours/week
  Professional Issues IV
DPT 634-80
2.5 credits
2.5 hours/week
Professional Issues V
DPT 644

3 credits
5 hours/week
Professional Issues VI
DPT 654
3 credits
5 hours/week
Neurology Elective
DPT 672-80 (online)
3 credits
8 weeks

  Integrated Seminar I
DPT 615
1 credit 
1 hour/week
Integrated Seminar II
DPT 625
1 credit
1 hour/week
  Integrated Seminar III
DPT 635
1 credit
1 hour/week
Integrated Seminar IV
DPT 645
1 credit
1 hour/week
Integrated Seminar V
DPT 655
1 credit
1 hour/week

 
  Service Learning I
DPT 617
1 credit
3 hours/week
Service Learning II
DPT 627
1 credit
3 hours/week
  Clinical Education Stream III
DPT 639
1 credit
1 hour/week
Clinical Education Stream IV
DPT 649
1 credit
1 hour/week
Research Training Seminar IV
DPT 655
1 credit
1 hour/week

 
  Clinical Education Stream I
DPT 619
1 credit
1 hour/week
Clinical Education Stream II
DPT 629
1 credit
1 hour/week
  Research Training Seminar II
DPT 646
1 credit
1 hour/week
Research Training Seminar III
DPT 656
1 credit
1 hour/week
International Service Learning IV
DPT 657-02/03 (Elective)
2 credits

 
          International Service Learning IV
DPT 657-01 (Elective)
2 credits

   
    Clinical Experience    Clinical Experience Clinical Experience Clinical Experience
8 weeks  8 weeks 10 weeks 10 weeks
      Clinical Education I
DPT 638
6 credits
40 hours/week 
  Clinical Education II
DPT 658
6 credits
40 hours/week
Clinical Education III
DPT 668a
8 credits
10 weeks
40 hours/week

Clinical Education IV
DPT 668b
8 credits
10 weeks
40 hours/week




The Knowledge You Need To Be A Successful Physical Therapist

Each term consists of the following academic courses:

1. Basic Science (BS) - During the Basic Science course, which meets for either 2.5 or 5 hours per week depending on the term, faculty guide the students to refine their learning in the fundamental sciences of Anatomy, Neuroanatomy, Kinesiology, Pathology, Histology, Embryology, and Pharmacology.

2. Clinical Science (CS) - BS, CS, and PTS courses are centered on the clinical case/problem, which is introduced in Clinical Science. This is a group tutorial session and meets for 2.5 hours two times per week. With the facilitation of the faculty tutor, the group determines what needs to be known to diagnose and treat a clinical case.

3. Physical Therapy Science (PTS) - (Terms II-VI) - This information is processed in the Physical Therapy Skills Lab with hands-on, practical experiences guided by the faculty. The course meets two times per week for 2.5 hours. The Physical Therapy Science aspect is the laboratory equivalent in traditional learning.

4. Professional Issues (PI) - In the Professional Issues course, students investigate their roles as professionals. Each term emphasizes a different aspect of professional behavior, including research.

5. Integrated Seminar (IS) - During these courses specific topics, which are related to the case, are addressed in a lecture-based format. These include topics of medical diagnostic techniques, medical and Pharmacological treatments, and physical
therapy theories. Topics assist the student in understanding complex material.

6. Research Training Seminars (RTS) -
Students work on the research process during Professional Issues courses in Term II and III. During Terms IV, V, and VI students begin to collect data and are responsible for presentations about their progress. Students are expected to submit their projects for a conference by the end of their two years in Term VII. Although students are encouraged to work on a faculty project, students may choose to complete an individual project.

7. Clinical Education Stream (CES) -
This interactive course will provide an orientation to Clinical Education experiences and assist to enhance the performance of the student physical therapist in the clinical realm. The didactic information will be applied utilizing clinical scenarios, role playing,
and interprofessional education to bridge the gap between the classroom and the clinic. It will emphasize the roles and the responsibilities of a student physical therapist.

8. Clinical Education (CE) - The purpose of the clinical education component of the curriculum is to provide the student with structured interactions with persons of varying degrees of health status and disability. The Clinical Education experiences bridge the knowledge and psychomotor skills learned in the academic setting to the real life clinical setting. The clinical education program, comprised of four phases of supervised clinical experiences, is progressive in the type and range of clinical responsibilities expected of each student, and corresponds to the complexity of the didactic portion of the curriculum. Students are supervised by licensed physical therapists, Clinical Instructors (CI's) in various clinical settings with progressively decreasing supervision in order to complete the students' emergence as competent entry-level practitioners.

9. Service Learning (SL) - The service learning courses provide physical therapy students the opportunity to evaluate and serve the needs of the local community utilizing basic exam and treatment skills under faculty supervision. The students will evaluate their roles as health care professionals and as citizens to promote positive change within their communities during SL I and II. In addition to local service, each student will be required to select either a regional of international experience (SL III or IV). Proposed dates for these experiences are on the program schedule.

As the terms progress, more complex and advanced material is added. Different clinical cases assist the students in learning the depth and breadth of information needed to be a competent entry-level physical therapy professional.

The Skills To Be A Master Problem-Solver

The Problem-Based Learning approach encourages students to view all material as part of the solution to a patient's problem. Adult learning theories have indicated that learning in the context of a problem increases retrieval of information in a similar situation. During the tutorials, students discuss different ways to solve the problem with the information learned. Therefore, in the clinical setting the student can recall the different options. Service Learning experiences during Terms II and III allow students to develop communication and patient interaction skills during the didactic portion. Two of the terms (Term IV and Term VI) are shortened so that the students can be placed in a clinical environment and can apply their acquired knowledge and practice their new skills. There are four clinical education experiences, a total of 36 weeks of clinical experience: DPT 638 and 658 (8 weeks each), 668aand 668b (10 weeks each). During this time, the student is supervised by a licensed physical therapist and works directly with clients. Supervision is gradually reduced so that by the end of the last clinical experience, the student can function independently as an entry-level clinician.


Program Guide

Class of 2019
May 15, 2017 - December 6, 2019*

2017
 
Term I May 15 - June 23,2017 Didactic Coursework - 6 weeks (on-line)
(6 weeks)
BREAK NO CLASSES (June 25 - August 20, 2017)
Term II Aug. 21 - Dec. 8, 2017 Didactic Coursework - 16 weeks
(16 weeks) SL I - August 28 - December 1, 2017
Fall Break - Oct. 2 & 3 Thanksgiving Break Nov. 22-24
 
BREAK NO CLASSES (December 9, 2017 - January 7, 2018)
 
2018
 
Term III Jan. 8 - May 4, 2018 Didactic Coursework - 16 weeks
(17 weeks) SL II - January 15 - April 27, 2018
Spring Break - Feb. 26 - March 2, 2018 (no classes)
Easter Break - April 5-9, 2018 (no classes)
 
BREAK NO CLASSES (May 5 - May 13, 2018)
 
Term IV May 14 - August 10, 2018 CEI - May 14 - July 6, 2018 (8 weeks)
(13 weeks) SL III - July 8-20, 2018
RT - July 23 - August 10, 2018
 
BREAK NO CLASSES (August 11 - 19, 2018)
 
Term V August 20 - December 7, 2018 Didactic Coursework - 16 weeks
(16 weeks) Fall Break - Oct. 1 & 2 Thanksgiving Break Nov. 21-23
   
 BREAK NO CLASSES (December 8, 2018 - January 6, 2019)
 
2019
 
Term VI Jan. 7 - May 3, 2019 SL IV - January 2 - 13, 2019 or May 7-12, 2019
(17 weeks) CEII - January 14 - March 8, 2019 (8weeks)
Didactic Coursework - 8 weeks (March 11 - May 3, 2019)
Easter Break - April 18-22, 2019
 
BREAK NO CLASSES (May 4-12, 2019)
 
Term VII May 13 - July 19, 2019 Didactic Coursework - 8 weeks (May 13 - July 5, 2019)
(10 weeks) Capstone Week - July 8-12, 2019
CE III - July 22 - September 27, 2019 (10 weeks)
 
Term VIII August 19 - December 6, 2019 CE IV - September 30 - December 6, 2019 (10 weeks)
(20 weeks)
Online Elective Requirement Sept. 30 - Nov. 22, 2019
 
* DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

Completion of program: December 6, 2019.

Term I: There are four courses in this totally on-line, six-week term which serves as an introduction to the DPT program (see yellow handout "Professional Education Program" for course names). This term will concentrate on medical terminology, anatomy, professionalism, and the Problem Based Learning (PBL) model.

Service Learning (SL): The service learning courses provide physical therapy students the opportunity to evaluate and serve the needs of the local community utilizing basic exam and treatment skills under faculty supervision. The students will evaluate their roles as health care professionals and as citizens to promote positive change within their communities during SL I and II. In addition to local service, each student will be required to select either a regional of international experience (SL III or IV). Proposed dates for these experiences are on the program schedule.

Clinical Education (CE): The purpose of the clinical education component of the curriculum is to provide the student with structured interactions with persons of varying degrees of health status and disability. The Clinical Education experiences bridge the knowledge and psychomotor skills learned in the academic setting to the real life clinical setting. The clinical education program, comprised of four phases of supervised clinical experiences, is progressive in the type and range of clinical responsibilities expected of each student, and corresponds to the complexity of the didactic portion of the curriculum. Students are supervised by licensed physical therapists, Clinical Instructors (CI's) in various clinical settings with progressively decreasing supervision in order to complete the students' emergence as competent entry-level practitioners.

Financial Aid: You can begin the discussion about the financial aid process with our Financial Aid Department at (304) 243-2304. Ask for Molly Daniels, Financial Aid Assistant.

  • Hospital/Clinical Tuition Assistance: Some rehabilitation companies and hospitals are willing to sponsor students during their physical therapy training with a commitment to return to that facility to practice. This is especially true in the rural settings. You can check with either your local facilities or choose the area in which you wish to practice and investigate this potential source of assistance.
  • See the green handout, "Financing Graduate Education." Please note that these are only suggestions. There may be other opportunities that are not listed on this sheet.




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