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Physical therapy program gains accreditation

Oklahoma City University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program recently received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

The accreditation process has been a work in progress since 2017, when OCU hired Dr. Maria Jones as the founding program director. The program was granted candidacy status from CAPTE in 2019, allowing matriculation of its first cohort of students into the program the following year. The inaugural cohort is set to graduate Dec. 16.

“Achieving accreditation is a culmination of the hard work and resiliency demonstrated by our dedicated faculty, staff and students,” Jones said. “It also recognizes the quality of our program. I feel fortunate to work alongside a great team who accepted all challenges as we matriculated our inaugural cohort of students in June 2020 during the pandemic. Seeing them graduate and enter the workforce will be the icing on the cake. I am confident in their preparedness and know they are ready to work with patients to deliver quality physical therapy services in a variety of health care settings.”

CAPTE is the only agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit entry-level physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs. It has been recognized as an independent agency since 1977 and has been the only recognized agency to accredit physical therapy programs since 1983.

OCU’s eight-semester professional curriculum combines full-time didactic and clinical education coursework. The clinical portion of the curriculum includes service learning, integrated clinical experiences and full-time clinical experiences.

Physical therapy is one of the most in-demand occupations in the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the trade has a much faster than average projected job outlook with an expected growth rate of 21% through 2030.

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