Institutional and Program Factors Predict Physical Therapist Program Graduation Rate and Licensure Examination Pass Rate

Purpose/Hypothesis : The move to a clinical doctorate in physical therapy (PT) education required programs to make changes in program length/format and increased expectations for faculty scholarship. Little is known about the relationship between institutional and program characteristics and successful graduate outcomes in DPT education. The purposes of this study were to: (a) identify institutional and program factors related to graduation rate and licensure pass rate in PT programs and (b) determine whether institutional and program factors were predictive of successful graduate outcomes.Number of Subjects : De-identified data from 200 PT programs in the US that had graduates in 2012 was utilized. This study was part of a larger investigation that included PTA programs.Materials/Methods : Spearman rank correlations were calculated to examine relationships among variables. Prediction models were developed using multiple regression analyses.Results : The regression model for 2010 graduation rate accounted for 10% of the variance (R2adj = .100, F(3,192) = 8.242, p < .001) with three predictors: # of peer-reviewed articles per core faculty FTE, faculty turnover, and full-time clinical education weeks as a percentage of total program weeks. The regression model for ultimate pass rate (2009-11) accounted for 6% of the variance (R2adj = .060, F(3, 192) = 5.168, p = .002) with three predictors: clinical education weeks as % of total weeks, faculty turnover, and Carnegie classification (Research: Very High Activity). The model for 2012 first-time pass rate accounted for 9.9% of the variance (R2adj = .099, F(3,192) = 8.186, p < .001) and included three predictors: clinical education weeks as % of total weeks, institutional status (Private vs. Public) and Carnegie: Research Very High. Alternate regression models for licensure pass rates were developed to replace Carnegie Classification with modifiable program factors (articles per core FTE, research space per core FTE, and # of grants per core FTE) with comparable results.Conclusions : A higher percentage of program weeks consisting of full-time clinical experiences predicted graduation rate and pass rate. Optimal length of clinical education has not been investigated and warrants further study. Faculty turnover was a negative predictor of graduation rate and ultimate pass rate. This finding is consistent with literature in other health care disciplines and merits further investigation in PT education. The results of this study indicated that scholarly productivity measures predicted graduation rate and pass rate. This finding supports CAPTEƕs decision to require faculty scholarship as a component of accreditation. The prediction models accounted for a small percentage of variance in outcomes, with the larger percentage of variance likely attributable to a combination of student, faculty, curriculum and program factors not included in this investigation.Clinical Relevance : The results of this study can inform stakeholders in PT education, including program faculty, administrators, students, CAPTE, and the public.

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  • Control #: 2025170
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Barbara B. Gresham, Mary Thompson, Kathleen Luedtke-Hoffmann, Mari F. Tietze
  • Keywords: PT Education |NPTE|Graduation Rates

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