Doctor of Physical Therapy

Proposed Hybrid DPT Delivery Model Information

Proposed Hybrid DPT Delivery Model Information

Franklin Pierce University’s Arizona DPT faculty are redesigning the current curriculum into an accelerated, hybrid, two-year program with intensive labs interspersed among online learning sessions. This change will be reviewed by the PT accrediting agency and will begin, pending approval, in the spring of 2021.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do you attend classes/are on campus?
We will be holding intensive lab sessions after a period of online learning. At the beginning of the program, there will be a three to day session every month. The intensive lab times will be reduced throughout the program, but will occur no less than twice per term. Franklin Pierce’s DPT program operates on the quarter system of 12-week terms. All other times will be held online with a mix of synchronous (via Zoom) and asynchronous times for didactic material.

What is a typical schedule? Day to day AND week by week?
Online portions: You will be completing online reading, assignments and individual projects during the three to six weeks of the online sections on your own time (asynchronous activities) and also there will be synchronous sessions (attendance online required). You will know about these times before the beginning of each term for your scheduling purposes. During these synchronous times, the faculty will be leading discussions and monitoring group and individual learning activities.

Intensive Lab portions: These will be three or five day sessions on-site in our labs in Goodyear, Arizona. These are mandatory sessions and serve as the key learning and assessment of clinical competence and preparation for clinical experiences. These sessions will include long days including evenings and will be run over a long weekend. You are expected to come to these labs with significant learning from the online portion, so that lab can focus on practicing clinical skills and performing evaluations/treatments. We are committed to having live patients for you to work with at our clinic at specific times during these sessions.

Can I work during this program?
This is a full-time intensive graduate program. Full-time work is strongly discouraged and may not be conducive to program success. Part-time flexible work may be possible, but you will need to be sure you can be available for the synchronous times and the labs. Because of the intensity of the labs, missing just one portion of a day may be detrimental to success in the program.

If I learn best in person, how can I assure I am getting the most hands-on help?
You will learn in a combination format of online and in person sessions. We believe that this will prepare you best for lifelong learning as you work to advance your professional knowledge following licensure. Faculty will be available to assist with difficult areas of understanding. In addition, you will have graduate assistants from the class prior to you to assist you through the understanding of the material. Faculty will also have virtual office hours for you to attend at your own convenience.

Network Mentoring system: We are initiating a mentoring program for students to have a practicing physical therapist as a mentor in their local community to assist with the learning and understanding of the physical therapy skills. The student my chose their local mentor or the faculty will work with the student to find an alumni or clinical partner in the student’s area to serve in this capacity. We are beginning this networking now in preparation for this system.

Can I do my clinical rotations in my home area? How do they work?
All clinical sites must be vetted by our clinical education team, and we will begin that process early in your program if you have sites in your area that are not already approved. We have clinical sites all over the country, so we may already have sites near you. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to stay at your home location for all clinical experiences. You will benefit from a variety of settings during your three clinical experiences, and these may be outside of a commutable distance from your home.

What makes your program unique among the hybrid programs?
Franklin Pierce is in negotiation with a vendor to provide you with an electronic device (iPad) which will be loaded with many of your needed tools to successfully complete this program. We are committed to having all electronic books available to you through this device. You may still purchase hard copy books, but you will be able to travel lightly with the material available through cloud internet storage. A fee will be charged throughout your term for this device and you will be able to keep the device following graduation. This will significantly reduce the amount needed for books and materials.

In addition, it is two year full-time program. This allows you to complete the program in less time and begin your career more rapidly. Our goal is to reduce the cost of education for you.

Because this is a fully accredited program and not a new start up, once the program is approved by CAPTE, it will be fully accredited, meaning you will be in an accredited program once you start. The current curriculum is being maintained with slight changes to allow a shortening of the program. The faculty have carefully reviewed and found several areas to reduce the length of the program. These include reduction of clinical weeks from 38 to 30 which is still above the CAPTE requirement, use of evidence based practice as the core of research rather than a full research project, and integration of the elective objectives into the required requirements. We believe that we have designed a curriculum that will continue excellent education.

How are we accepting students?
In addition to our current cohort of 36 being replaced by this new model, we are requesting a secondary cohort of 24, totalling 60 students, keeping the cohort small to provide for more interactive learning. We believe that this small class size will allow our faculty to provide more direct individualized attention to each student as they progress through the program.

For this first year (2021), we will accept students into the August cohort as we have done in the past. These students will be notified that they are accepted into our accredited program and it will either be in the traditional 2.5-year onsite program or, if approved by CAPTE the program will be the hybrid 2-year program. These students will have the option of starting in August if approved.

In addition, we will accept a group of students, who would otherwise have been on our waiting list with the understanding that we are awaiting approval for the additional students from CAPTE. If we do not receive approval for this start the students will be notified immediately, no later than May 31, and will have the option of entering the next year cohort with a deferred application or moving to a different program. Students on the wait list will be offered start in the fall cohort that has available seats after the May 31 notification.

How much are we charging for seat deposit?
Our current deposit to hold a seat is non-refundable $500. We will refund the deposit if not approved or apply this deposit to the following year according to your decisions.