The mission of the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program at The College of St. Scholastica is the education of front-line physical therapy providers who are prepared to meet the diverse health care needs of society, including rural communities and underserved populations, through practice, education, and administration. Program graduates are committed to interprofessional collaboration and are recognized as leaders in the provision of evidence based practice that is compassionate, ethical, and legal. Program graduates adapt to and implement change that benefits their community and the profession.
The Physical Therapy Program at The College of St. Scholastica is a 4+3 model of education. (Refer to the Graduate Studies section of the catalog for a description of graduate coursework.) Prerequisite years contain coursework necessary for admission to the program and completion of general education requirements. Once admitted into the program, students take all courses at the graduate level. During the first year, students gain knowledge of the profession and begin fundamental skill acquisition. During the second and third years, students continue to acquire application skills along with proficiency in critical inquiry necessary for knowledge advancement in physical therapy.
As an integral part of the health care team, the physical therapist is concerned with the prevention and treatment of movement dysfunction. Evaluation and development of appropriate therapy programs make up a large part of the therapist's daily schedule of administering direct patient care. In addition, PT professionals are involved in teaching families proper procedures for patient home care, teaching and supervising supportive personnel and consulting with other health care professionals and facilities.
Physical therapists are employed in a variety of settings including: general and specialized hospitals, public school systems, private practices, skilled nursing facilities, retirement centers, community and government health agencies, home health agencies, medical research centers, industrial settings and the armed forces. The education field is also wide open to physical therapists, whether it means teaching classes in a professional program in physical therapy, in a clinical setting or getting involved in sports medicine and athletic training programs.