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Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Open House

84 Min Read

Please note, as of February 17, 2022, “Utica College” is now “Utica University.”

Louisa:                          00:00                Hello, everyone. Good evening. So today we are going to have our virtual open house for Utica College for our transitional doctorate in physical therapy. We’re very excited to discuss quite a few topics with you guys today. As far as what to expect today, so we’re going to speak with our program director so she can give us insight about her experience in the field, as well as an overview of our specific program and answer all of your questions. And we also get to hear a firsthand perspective from alumni, actually. And if you guys have any questions or concerns, certainly feel free to use the question and answer feature. It should be on the bottom of the page. If you’re having any trouble navigating that, just certainly please let us know. So with that being said, let’s get started, Denise.

Denise:                         00:49                Great. Thanks so much, Louisa. Hi, everybody. Welcome to our open house. We’re so happy to have you here at Utica College. A little bit of background about me, I’ve been at Utica College since 1996, so some of you probably weren’t even born back then. That’s okay. We started the program as a bachelor’s program with a BS degree. We got accredited. We moved to a master’s, accredited there. Then we moved to the DPT and in the middle of that time span, we started the tDPT program, so I’ll talk about that in just a second.

Denise:                         01:23                My background is in geriatrics. I’m a geriatric certified specialist emeritus, so I’ve been certified for 20 years. I’m from the Central New York region, from Syracuse, New York, actually, and moved to the Utica area about an hour east when I started working at Utica College. I do some volunteering at our local hospice and palliative care, which have nothing to do with physical therapy, but I actually just work cleaning and doing some of those kinds of things, because just felt like the right kind of volunteer activity for me to do.

Denise:                         01:58                And I do have a bachelor’s in sports medicine that I got from Marietta College in 1985 and in 1992, I got a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in physical therapy from D’Youville College, which is in Buffalo, New York. And then as a faculty member at Utica College, when we started the program in 2004, I was able to jump on that DPT program and so that really afforded me the opportunity to enhance my skills a little bit, which as we go through this webinar, we’ll talk a little bit about really why we feel that there is the importance for this program and these types of programs throughout the country. So again, I welcome you. I’m going to hand this off to Sibyl and have her give her little background as well. Whenever you’re ready, Sibyl. You’re on mute, Sibyl.

Sibyl:                            02:53                I did say to myself that I started badly but of course, you didn’t hear me, right?

Denise:                         02:57                That’s okay. Everything happens like that. We’re good.

Sibyl:                            03:00                I think I was too excited, maybe. Hi, everybody. I’m Sibyl and I am from the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. I was born in St. Lucia. I live in St. Lucia. I work in St. Lucia. I am super excited to be here. I am an alumni of Utica College, as you can see from my t-shirt. I don’t know if you can see. I got this at graduation in 2013. I completed my program in the fall of 2012 and I have been a lecturer at Utica College from 2013 as well. In St. Lucia, I am the head of the rehabilitation department at the main hospital, which it’s a complex, Millennium Heights Medical Complex. I’m also a physiotherapist working at the respiratory hospital. Of course, that’s part-time. I think my role here is to provide you the unique perspective of having been a student where I was before and a student in the Caribbean as well, thousands of miles away, and completing the program and now being a lecturer with the program. I hope I can give you some insight. I look forward to your questions. I look forward to interacting with you and I want to welcome you as well. Thanks, Denise. Thanks.

Denise:                         04:22                Sure. Sibyl, I want to ask you this as well as we’re going through. When did you get your bachelor’s degree and then when decide to get your doctoral degree?

Sibyl:                            04:31                Okay. You were talking about somebody wasn’t born yet, right? So, okay, 1990 I graduated from University of the West Indies in Jamaica in 1990. And it was a long road trying to figure out. I knew I wanted to have additional qualifications and additional. Of course, in between that there were short courses and continued education, but I knew I needed to go up the ladder to make myself more marketable and to be able to do what I’m doing here, consultation and education and academics and those types of stuff. So just quite by accident that I found out about Utica College, I must say. And it fitted like a glove on my hand, to be able to migrate from 1990 and going back into school. When students say to me, “Doctor, but I haven’t been in school for how many years,” and I say to them, “You are like me where I was in 2013, 2011, sorry, when I started and look at me now.” So, it’s always nice to have this perspective for a student because I graduated in 1990.  

Denise:                         05:57                I think that’s similar to my story as well. Although I was in academia at the time, it was 15 years after my last degree. And it was like, “I’m here. They’re starting the program here. Why don’t I take advantage of it?” And it was more, “Maybe I should get it because everybody else is getting,” but as I got into looking at the material and the different courses, I thought this is really going to be where I need to be and where I need to elevate my skill level. So I’m agreeing with you, that the time span was long. As you know, we have students who are anywhere from 22 years old to 72 years old and everywhere in between and from all over the world.

Sibyl:                            06:35                That’s right and the great thing about it is that at the time, it’s like it was the best kept secret because now most people are on the internet, especially now during COVID. So it’ll pop up on your screen or somewhere, but in my time it had to be word of mouth. Somebody mentioned it, so it was like the best kept secret, the unbelievable secret that there is this program that allows you to go to school years after you’ve graduated. Of course, there’s a process that we are going to get into. But years after you’ve graduated, and to be able to go back to school in your home with your family and all of that, we are going to discuss with you in a while, and be able to get this tangible education that you can utilize in various current pathways and skill sets. Thanks, Denise.

Denise:                         07:30                Great. Oh, you’re welcome. Yes, and I think as we go through this, which we’ll get to the next slide in just a second, is that you’ll hear terms like synchronous versus asynchronous and those are the kinds of things that really bode well for you as a distance person, because you’re not coming to our campus. You’re not going to be sitting in front of us while we’re teaching you, so you really need to have that flexibility for yourselves. And as we go through this, you’ll see that as well.

Denise:                         07:57                So, let me advance. And so I’ll talk a little bit about why you’re in your tDPT. Are you going to make more money? I don’t know. Is it going to help you with your skill level? Absolutely. Each individual person who wants to take the tDPT program does it for different reasons.

Denise:                         08:15                You all know that our field of physical therapy, even going through COVID, went through some changes but was still right up there with all of the other nursing and OT and physicians in the fact that the projected growth for that is still way high. You know how respected you are in your facilities or that you should be in your facilities.

Denise:                         08:36                Why would you want to earn the tDPT? Most of impetus for some of the students to do this is because they want to take their entry level degree, their bachelor’s or their master’s entry level degree, and they want to elevate their skillset. My example, I have a bachelor’s and a master’s in physical therapy, but I did not learn pharmacology. I did not learn diagnostic imaging. Didn’t look at global health in any way.

Denise:                         09:05                Now, at that point, I would never have known that that existed. But now, while we’re preparing to get this curriculum together, it’s essential that you feel like you have those skills that bridge the gap from your degree that you got as an entry level clinician, to what our students are getting now. They’re looking at all sorts of different telehealth, imaging, pharmacology, and our students in the program are so thankful to those courses because they’ll come right back from their residency or their first course and say, “I used this information immediately. I don’t have to wait for the end of the course. I don’t have to wait for the end of the program. I used it right with my patients right away.” And that’s essentially why we did this. We did this so it could be tangible and usable for you, not just, “All right, let me check off the tDPT. I got it done.” It’s so that it really can make you feel like you’ve elevated your practice and you have that extra skill that perhaps you didn’t have when you graduated 10 years ago or even 5 years ago and didn’t have some of those skills that you would get in the transitional program. Sibyl, if you want to add anything at all to that?

Sibyl:                            10:23                Sure. You spoke about how we can utilize the skills. You feel empowered. You feel confident knowing that you have this extra qualification that gives you not only the knowledge, but also the skills to be able to practice in a wider setting. You feel like you are more empowered. You’re more confident in discussing. And when you go through the program, for example, pharmacology, you feel empowered that you understand drug reconciliation. If you go through prevention and wellness, you feel empowered that know your scope of practice and you know within which scope you can practice, so that is what it gives you. It doesn’t only give you the piece of paper. It empowers you to be able to utilize your skill as a physical therapist, in various practice setting. And by the end of this, you’ll realize that any of our alumni are in so many areas practicing. And teaching, for me, is just one of the things I find myself doing since I have graduated from Utica College, separating apart from always encouraging somebody to pursue the doctoral program, but I find I’m utilizing my skills in various settings. Thanks, Denise.

Denise:                         11:48                Sure. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say empower, because after the first course, students really are so thankful that foundation has really given them a jumping off place to move through the rest of the program. So thank you, Sibyl.

Denise:                         12:06                Find my down button here. Here we go. So Why choose Utica College tDPT? Utica has had an entry level program, either bachelor’s, masters, now DPT for 25 years. We also provide, although we are licensed in New York state to give CEUs, I’ve given CEU certificates to students from every single state in the union. And they work because it’s an institution-driven course, as opposed to a weekend course. You can finish this program in 16 months if you go right along. We’ll talk in a second about the number of courses that there are.

Denise:                         12:48                You get personal support and advising in many ways. Right from the beginning, from your admissions counselors, your program managers, to your support staff, we have a wonderful support staff that helps with advising for your schedule. Your faculty are your advisors. The classes are small. They’re the smallest classes at Utica College because we are the only doctoral program at Utica College, so we are allowed to have a class size that is smaller than most of the other online classes.

Denise:                         13:19                And one of the things is that you can focus on what you want to do and bring what you do in your clinic to the table, so we brought a program that was more generic in nature. We don’t have an orthopedic program or geriatric program, but what we have is a program that allows people who work in ergonomics, home care, ortho, neuro, geriatrics, whatever, to bring your clinical background to the table, to discuss with your peers and your instructors. And that just makes that so much more enriching because it’s what you want to talk about. We guide you through this, and we’ll talk a little bit about how we do that shortly, but what you bring to the table, what you want to talk about and how current activities like telehealth are affecting you, whether you live in St. Lucia, whether you live in Dominica, wherever you happen to live, Los Angeles, it really does allow you to bring that focus that you want to talk about right to the table when you’re talking with your peers in what we’ll call asynchronous discussions. We’ll talk about that in just a second.

Denise:                         14:24                Let me go on. Okay, so some quick facts. You may already know this, but we have eight courses in the program. Each course is eight weeks long. If you want to continue on through the program, straight through, which many students do, I’d probably say of each cohort that we bring in, I would say 75% or more decide to go straight through because they have the opportunity to do that, which means you go fall, spring, summer, or if you start in the spring, you go spring, summer, fall, and then spring. So you would get the program done in 16 months if you choose to. If you need to take a break, you have a family issue, you want to take some time.

PART 1 OF 4 ENDS [00:15:04]

Denise:                         15:01                … you have a family issue. You want to take some time off. It’s very, very flexible. Most of the courses are offered in at least eight of the 14th semester or 16th semester. Or weeks, I’m sorry. So we can adjust your plan of study as it fits you best.

Denise:                         15:20                Not everybody is going to be able to go through that right all along, because they need that time off. They’re going on a cruise and they think they want to take a course while they’re on the cruise. Please don’t do that. Enjoy your cruise. You want to be able to enjoy life while doing this program, which is why, as Sibyl said, it’s a gift to have a program that you can do wherever it fits you best, whether you’re at work and you can steal some time to do a little bit of reading, or whatever it happens to be.

Denise:                         15:48                You have a total of 18 or 19 total credits. That 19 depends on your capstone focus, which we’ll talk about in just a second. Up until the pandemic, we had a required in-person residency, so you came to campus for three days, except if you lived internationally, you didn’t have to do that. We went through all of the things that you go through to start an online program.

Denise:                         16:14                We assume that most, if not all students, have never taken a fully online program, which probably isn’t even the case, but we want to make sure we back up to allow the students who really haven’t taken an online program, don’t know what we’re talking about when we say asynchronous or voice read or uploading this or doing that, we want to make sure that we reach everybody in that regard. So we have an in-person residency.

Denise:                         16:40                Because of COVID, the faculty and I felt very important that we still have a residency, but we needed to make it virtual. We found that because the virtual residency can speak to everybody who lives anywhere in the world, it’s become a really a great residency. It’s two days long. It’s over a weekend. We give you time within that time to practice certain activities, we come back to the table together, we let you go off for some breaks. It is required because really to start this program without it, it would be a lesson in futility. It would be very challenging.

Denise:                         17:22                So I’m not sure. Let me just check them next slide to see if… So Sibyl, do you have anything on this slide at all to say?

Sibyl:                            17:29                Okay. If I may step even further back to your last slide. When you speak about experience… I’ll come back, yes. Thanks.

Sibyl:                            17:39                Oftentimes students say that they are not currently working or they have not worked… Although it’s always better, we discussed that, it’s always better to have some amount of experience under your belt. But if you do not have experience or you’re not currently working, there is always a way to input your experience, because generally speaking, it’s always nice, especially in some of the courses, to explain and to add experience and look at the physical therapy perspective in some of the courses.

Sibyl:                            18:11                So it’s always nice to have some experience, but if you’re not currently working, you can always tap into your past working experiences. So don’t make it feel like if you’re not currently working, so how do I share experiences? That is possible.

Sibyl:                            18:23                Going forward to the slide that you had, I don’t think I can move. In my time when I did the program, we got files and folders of how to do this and how to do that. I had some computer background. We catch up very easily. What seemed to happen is that if students are busy and they get the folders and they don’t get time to get to it and they jump right into the class, then they have to step back.

Sibyl:                            18:59                This virtual residency, I have sat on it. I have participated. I’ve interacted with the students, so I see the students before the class starts. I know what their fears are. I explain to them how the program and as a lecturer and how we don’t carry you. We don’t put you in a stroller and stroll with you. We guide you, we hold your hands. There’s always somebody available to help with your questions and queries. If I can’t answer, even if I don’t come back and say, “I’m escalating it,” I would say, “Give me a few moments. Let me just research and I will get back to you.”

Sibyl:                            19:41                I escalate it to Denise, and Denise can escalate to Rose, and then by the end of… I will possibly say, “Well, it’s weekend. Let’s just wait.” I blind copy Denise. By the end of the day, the students have received the response as to what exactly they… So we don’t hold your hands and carry you, but we always guide. There’s always somebody. You have your advisor to help you. So you are not left swimming or floating with no… I always like the Caribbean. You’re not in the middle of the sea with just a float on, with no radar, nothing. We are there to guide you.

Sibyl:                            20:17                So it’s not 16 months of, “Here’s your course, we throw you out.” So it starts with the virtual residency and it goes right through as well. Thanks, Denise.

Denise:                         20:27                Thank you. Let me move forward here.

Denise:                         20:31                So as we talked about in the previous slide, there are 18 to 19 credit hours. There are eight courses. We always start with the foundations. That gives everybody the… where profession is now, where are we with autonomous practice, where are we with direct access? All of those kinds of things. This type of information changes from 20 years… Not 20 years ago. 13, 14 years ago when we started, it was very different than it is now.

Denise:                         21:01                So these courses evolve at least three times a year, if they’re taught three times a year, because we need the most current information. So what we call is we refresh them to make sure that the literature is on point and is current to make sure that the topics are as well, and then to make sure, “Geez, is this something the students are really going to need to know for their practice?” If not, maybe it’s a nice to know and we file it away and do something different.

Denise:                         21:27                So it shows you the evolution of the courses. They’re not exactly in the order that we teach them because our numbers are a little off, but we usually start with the foundations, go right to prevention and wellness. Then we go into pharmacology and pathophysiology, and then we go to imaging, because that seems to be a little bit of a heavier course in the sense that by that time, you’ve had a good amount of online access, online work, and you’re more comfortable, so accessing all the images and looking at the different YouTube videos where we’re looking at all the images, at that point, it’s a really good time to do that course.

Denise:                         22:06                Then we round out the program, the last two courses, a global healthcare course, which is an awesome course. But I know that Sibyl is one of the ones who reviewed the text, the brand new text that came out, so we’re happy to have her. Then we finish out the practicum, which is a one or two credit course, depending on what option you choose. Education teaching has you work during the eight weeks for four or five weeks as a TA in one of the other courses in the program. Community health programs has you preparing a program for either your community, such as backpack education for children or something, a fall prevention or something for your community.

Denise:                         22:52                Professional in-services, where you actually work with your peers or your medical colleagues. So say you needed to show CNAs how to transfer or do something that you needed to do in a nursing home, that would be a professional in-service. Then we also have a one credit option that’s preparation for clinical specialty. This option came out of a student request that students wanted to look at sitting for their specialty exam, so one of our full-time faculty came up with a course, an eight-week course, that guides you as to how to prepare for that.

Denise:                         23:27                So it’s a really great way if you want to prepare for that, you go step by step, and then if you do sit for the exam, that’s up to you. But if you don’t, at least you have the tools to get you to there. So that’s a nice course that a lot of students choose.

Denise:                         23:43                Okay. Louisa, you want me to go back?

Louisa:                          23:48                Yes. So question from a student, Sibyl, could you tell us about your practicum experience? What did you choose to do?

Sibyl:                            24:01                Okay. The two, if you look at the practicum education teaching, and that is where I am, landed me where I am today. I actually did not have a capstone in mind when I started the program, but I had a teaching assistant in my class. I interacted with her and the positive interaction got me to question, “Maybe that is what I want to do.” So when registration was open for the practicum and I was told it was maybe 8:00?

Louisa:                          24:49                No, midnight. 12:01.

Sibyl:                            24:51                Midnight, okay.

Louisa:                          24:51                12:01.

Sibyl:                            24:53                Right. So Lucy and myself were up at that time because there is always a lot of students who want to do this practicum. So we woke up at the dawn and we registered for this practicum. I have not regretted. It was wonderful. Sam was brilliant at her teaching at that time. It gives you a wealth of knowledge. A physical therapist is always a teacher. You teach students, you teach patients, you teach caregivers, so you’re always teaching. I found myself loving the interaction with students at Utica college, I must tell you.

Sibyl:                            25:37                So the short answer is I did education teaching, and I am enjoying it. it is a career path that if you are interested in full terming into teaching, this is where to go if you were to register to attend Utica college. Thanks.

Denise:                         25:58                Louisa, you want to ask another question?

Louisa:                          26:02                Yes. So we have another question. How long is the practicum?

Denise:                         26:06                The practicum itself is eight weeks. It’s considered a course. What you’re doing in the practicum, in three of the four, actually in all four, you are preparing a practicum, a final product, a PowerPoint, a reflective paper. You’re doing some sort of a project by the end that we hope for the education, the community health, and the professional in-service that you’ll be presenting that to your peers or to your facility.

Denise:                         26:36                But sometimes that doesn’t correspond with your facility or your time span, so you present that to your peers within the course itself, and that’s how that project comes together. Then if you choose to use it in the future, you have it already completed, which is nice. Not sure if that answered the question, but we can…

Sibyl:                            26:57                The education teaching though, you shadow a class, right?

Denise:                         27:02                Shadow a class, right. Then you do a reflective piece, a reflective piece [crosstalk 00:27:09]. Yeah.

Sibyl:                            27:08                That’s right. Right. So you are in your class while you’re shadowing a class, so I think this practicum has more credits, right, because-

Denise:                         27:16                Yes. The only one that is two credits, right, is the education teaching.

Sibyl:                            27:19                That’s right.

Denise:                         27:19                The other three are one credit, because the education teaching has you in your course and taking four to five weeks as a TA at the same time, so more work should get credits.

Sibyl:                            27:30                It’s a lot of work. That’s right.

Denise:                         27:31                It is a lot of work, but as you said-

Sibyl:                            27:34                It is a lot of work. [crosstalk 00:27:34].

Denise:                         27:34                Yeah, exactly.

Sibyl:                            27:35                Yeah.

Denise:                         27:35                Exactly. Is that helpful, Louisa?

Louisa:                          27:39                Yes. I think that answered the question.

Denise:                         27:41                Okay. If not, we can always revisit anything as we move along. So actually, let me go back because Louisa, you’re going to talk about this stuff?

Louisa:                          27:53                Yes.

Denise:                         27:53                So let me go back for a second. We’ve talked a little bit about asynchronous and synchronous. For those of you who don’t know, the program is online including the virtual residency, but what that means is you’re not online at the same time with everybody else, except for the residency. We do not expect if you live in LA to be up at 4:00 AM just so that you can talk to your people in New York. That’s just not the way it is. So that’s called asynchronous, meaning you are going to get the information from us all at the same time, whenever you happen to open the information, and you’re going to work on either the discussions, which are written, or the small papers or the projects. You’re going to be doing all those in a written format or what we also call VoiceThread.

Denise:                         28:42                So we have a great interactive tool that you use that you put up a video, and then everybody comments on that video. So it’s asynchronous. Synchronous would be if we were all online at the same time. I want to make sure that you understand that that is not the expectation of this program at all, and hasn’t been since we started the program in 2005. So that was one thing I really wanted to make sure that I had shared with you.

Denise:                         29:09                I’ll go to the next slide, Louisa.

Louisa:                          29:12                Yeah, sure. Well, first and foremost, I just want to say thank you guys so much for sharing. I think that guys really answered a lot of great questions.

Louisa:                          29:20                Oh, I see another question here, actually in the chat, before I even get started. So the question is are the students going to be receiving a handout for this meeting? All the things that we’re talking about, are they going to receive some type of a deliverable after this meeting?

Denise:                         29:38                So in what way do you mean, Louisa? For after this webinar?

Louisa:                          29:43                Yeah. I’m thinking that the student probably means are they going to get maybe a copy of the slideshow or some handout or something?

Denise:                         29:54                Okay. Is that something that you… You guys are recording this, so would that be something that they can download?

Louisa:                          30:00                Yeah, [crosstalk 00:30:00] so. Yeah, I believe so.

Denise:                         30:02                Okay. Okay.

PART 2 OF 4 ENDS [00:30:04]

Louisa:                          30:01                Yeah, I believe so.

Denise:                         30:02                Okay.

Louisa:                          30:03                Okay. So, there’ll be some kind of a deliverable for the students to answer the question.

Denise:                         30:07                Okay. And again, and I keep jumping, right as you’re talking. I’m so sorry.

Louisa:                          30:13                That’s okay.

Denise:                         30:13                I just love what I do, so I just talk, talk, talk, talk. You can ask anybody. One of the things too, is that this program, and I know that Sibyl will agree with this, is very, very devoted to the students. We work closely with you as faculty, your success coach that you meet within the first week of entering the program, you meet her right away. You still have a connection with your admissions folks, so there’s always that thread, and we are with you from the beginning to the end and beyond. We hope to be your mentors during the program, and then work with you after, should you be working on research or something or going to a combined sections meeting.

Denise:                         31:00                We like to meet you there, and it’s very, very, as Sibyl said, we hold your hand, but we don’t push you in a stroller. We want to give you the tools so that you’re successful in the program, and by doing that, you bring that to your facility, to your hospital, your home healthcare patients, but whatever facility or country you work in, you bring back the information to your patients, to your peers. And that’s really what makes it valuable to you. We want this to be a value added experience, and we don’t do anything for busy work. We don’t have you do 10 papers in one course because we want to see how you can write. Some of you, English may not be your first language. We take all of that into consideration.

Denise:                         31:41                We have different ways that we grade you and we show you everything up front, and Sibyl can definitely tell you that. We show you the rubric or the grading guide right away. You know exactly how you’re going to be graded. We don’t pull any punches. We don’t hide anything from you, and we are very approachable and very much, we respond to your emails very quickly and sometimes too quickly we’re told, but we think it’s important that you know that you are valued in this program and that we want to help you be successful. We want every single person to graduate from this program and have had the opportunity to use the tools we’ve given you to be more successful in the clinic. So, that was a long way of saying that. Sorry, Louisa.

Louisa:                          32:28                Oh, it’s no problem. No problem at all. I think that the students probably really appreciate that. Just hearing your passion. It makes me excited about the program.

Denise:                         32:37                We got to send you back to PT school.

Louisa:                          32:40                Yes.

Sibyl:                            32:41                If I may jump in.

Louisa:                          32:42                Go ahead.

Sibyl:                            32:44                Okay. Thanks. In speaking about the eight weeks and every week there’s a change in modules, right? And every module and every assignment you are giving sufficient feedback, and that was in my time as a student, and I’ve carried it over into teaching, and it is with every lecture. You have sufficient feedback as to if you are going in the right direction, or if you should add a little bit of this and a sufficient feedback to build on to your next module. That is with assignments. And I’ve often told students, please check feedback of your last assignment. This is part of my feedback going into the next assignment. So, in speaking about the eight weeks program, every week you are graded and every week you get feedback as to how you are doing, and the feedback goes to Denise as well, because midway through the program, Denise will reach out and say, “Is there anybody who you want to, whatever.”

Sibyl:                            33:49                So, we can escalate again. If you are having numerous problems and that we feel that you need a nudge in a different direction, not from your immediate lecturer, your success coach. So I copy your success coach. And I copy Denise, so somebody can then pull you in, rope you in. What is it you need? Do you need to meet with your lecturer one on one? Do you need a few more weeks or, not weeks, days, because the cost runs concurrently. So, if you need a few days to finish up and to catch up and then to move on, or if you need an incomplete for the end of the course and give you a few days, because there are family issues or something happening. So yes, there’s an eight week module change and stuff, but there is time for you to regroup and come back for your next course. Thanks, Denise. I hope that makes sense.

Denise:                         34:41                No, that’s a good point, and that really speaks to the support that runs through every department in the college, financial aid, admissions, the registrar. It just speaks to the fact that students are supported and we follow you closely right from the beginning of the course, so that if there are issues that you’re having, that we can jump on them right away and we don’t have to have you drop the course or withdraw from the course. We don’t want you to have to do that unless you absolutely have to, so that support is there right from the beginning. Thanks, Sibyl. Okay, Louisa, now maybe you can get in a word.

Louisa:                          35:15                Yes. We have another question, actually, for you guys, before we get into the admissions requirement. So, a student said, “One year of experience is needed to be admitted as a US licensed physical therapist. Does PTLA experience count if I am only a newly licensed physical therapist?”

Denise:                         35:37                So, this student is newly licensed, in the US, are you saying, or…

Louisa:                          35:46                Mm-hmm.

Denise:                         35:47                Okay, so we’ve talked about that actually, recently. What it depends upon is what kind of experiences the student has had. Like Sibyl alluded to earlier, we have students who have been out of practice for 20 years. What kind of experience can they bring other than what they did 20 years ago? So, while it’s ideal to have at least one year of experience as a physical therapist, we kind of take things as a case by case basis to see what kind of experiences a student had as a student. Were they working as a PT assistant or a different type of medical professional before that, because we want them to be able to come to the table with something to discuss, to bring some experiences, because it is a post professional transitional degree, as opposed to an entry level.

Denise:                         36:43                So, as long as they have that information, we take them right from there to admissions, and we take a look at that and we discuss it with the executive director of admissions and any of the other program managers, and we kind of talk about it to make sure that the student is set up to fail because they don’t have anything to bring to the table. We don’t want that to happen either.

Louisa:                          37:02                Okay. So we have another student posing a question. If they only have 11 months of experience in home care only, would that suffice?

Sibyl:                            37:11                I was just coming to see something about that as well. But go ahead, Denise. [crosstalk 00:37:17]

Denise:                         37:17                I think as long as there’s experience. There’s a lot of students in the program who have home care experience. So bringing that to the table, then you’re going to get the experience from everybody else who say they have 20 years working in women’s health or 30 years working as a geriatric physical therapist. So, the whole combination of all of the students together makes for very rich discussions, so I don’t want to deter somebody with less than a year who’s only working in home care, to not apply because I think that it could be really an enriching situation for them, so hopefully that helps. Sibyl might have something to say too.

Sibyl:                            37:59                I was just thinking back, for example, no student has a hundred percent experience in everything. So you’d be experienced in something and not. So take for instance, our pharmacology courses, where we encourage students as part of the grading to share experiences. What I have found, if you don’t ask a specific experience, let’s say a drug group, for example. Some people in home care don’t do medication at all. What I have found that some students and it has worked, they would say, I don’t have experience in that particular area, but the research shows that this happens when this happens. So you can always work around experiences that does not exist in a specific area by doing the research as to what happens. But we would love for you to have some experience on something that you can share with each other and learn from each other as well. I hope that helps. Thanks.

Denise:                         39:04                That’s a great point, especially when it comes to home care, because we do have so many students from the home care arena. Okay.

Louisa:                          39:13                That’s good. Well, I’m glad that these questions are starting to get answered and it looks like we’re starting to get questions about admissions, so this is a perfect segue. In order to apply for the program, the first step is actually completing the online application. It usually only takes, I would say, about 10 minutes for students to complete. At that point, you would need to submit a couple of documents, and these are things that an enrollment counselor will be able to assist you with. Once you’ve applied, the enrollment counselor team reaches out to you based off of the information that you’ve provided on the application itself, and we facilitate you getting through the admissions process.

Louisa:                          39:51                So the first step is the application. They will also need transcripts. Now, if they are domestic transcripts, so if you got your degree from the US, then you can fill out a transcript request form and we can go ahead and order those transcripts on your behalf. However, if you got your education in another country outside of the US, then you would want to get your foreign credentialing done through FCCPT. So, that’s how you get transcripts evaluated. I don’t know if Denise wants to speak to the transcript evaluation process or any particular… Oh, it looks like there’s a question, actually. So, it looks like they’re asking, does the FCCPT have to be current?

Denise:                         40:36                Not that I’m aware of. Now, I’d have to speak to the director of admissions, but if the FCCPT was for the program that the student, say they got a bachelor’s in physical therapy in Saudi Arabia and the FCCPT states that it’s at least equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, then that would be sufficient.

Louisa:                          41:01                Okay. Gotcha. [crosstalk 00:41:03]

Denise:                         41:03                Again, that’s something that would be helpful to tell the counselor, and the counselor reaches out to the director of admissions and myself so that we can talk about it immediately, because we don’t want them to go any further if, for some reason, it’s not appropriate.

Louisa:                          41:16                Right. Yes, absolutely. So, in addition to your FCCPT or your normal transcripts and the application itself, we will need to see a copy of your resume as well, as well as a personal statement from you with a writing prompt that we give you, and two letters of recommendation. And, the final component would be your current US professional licensure, or proof of eligibility to sit for licensure as well. Now, while we’re on this slide, Denise, do you have anything to add, any tips that could maybe help them boost their application?

Denise:                         41:54                Okay. I actually do. One of the things that I find when I’m looking, because I work with the director of admissions on this, is the letters of recommendations should really come from a professional. It should come from a professional, not a patient, and it should come from somebody that either was a teacher or a mentor. Somebody you work with. Could be an OT, could be a speech therapist, a dietician. Somebody who can speak to your level of education in the clinic itself, or home care. For example, somebody who’s had 11 months of work, that person’s direct supervisor can say whether or not they could take the rigors of doing a program again.

Denise:                         42:36                All online, but it’s helpful as opposed to having somebody like a PT aid or an OTA or somebody who doesn’t necessarily understand critical thinking and the kinds of things that a physical therapist does. So, keep that in mind when you’re thinking of your letter of recommendation. It doesn’t have to be from the PhD who was the director of the program at all. It just has to be from someone who can really speak to your level of ability to start a program like this, a doctoral program online. I think that’s pretty much it that I can see looking at this list, Louisa. Yeah. I think that’s pretty much.

Louisa:                          43:17                Okay, good. Thank you. I appreciate that. I’m sure the students probably appreciate that too.

Denise:                         43:22                Sure. Of course.

Louisa:                          43:22                It’s good to get tips from the director herself.

Denise:                         43:25                I know, right? I know we don’t want to tell them how I have myself set up here. They would laugh at me if they knew what my desk looked like.

Louisa:                          43:32                Oh no, no, it’s perfectly fine. Thank you for sharing.

Denise:                         43:37                Sure. [crosstalk 00:43:38]

Denise:                         43:38                Yeah, let’s go ahead NS advance. So, as far as the online student experience goes, I’m not sure if I even introduced myself correctly, but I’m an enrollment counselor. So, it’s our role to really assist you from the time that you initially are interested in the program, all the way up until your first week of class. So, once you have been accepted into the program, once we’ve gotten all of your admissions documents, then you are transitioned to a success coach and your success coach is going to be, probably, your best friend. Your success coach is going to help you with your plan of study.

Denise:                         44:14                They’re going to get you through your new student orientation, and they’re going to actually do a webinar that explains, step by step, what to even do on your first day of class, and they stay with you all the way throughout the program, so that’s just an additional support system. So to speak to a Denise and Sibyl’s point about having a support system, there’s always someone that you can talk to. There’s always someone helping. There’s also a 24/7 technology and support line as well. So if you’re having any technical difficulties, especially from an international standpoint, you could certainly use that at any point. But other than that, are there any other resources that you can think of, Denise?

Denise:                         44:55                I think you hit the nail on the head when you talked about the success coaching, to put all those bullet points under there. Our success coach is magnificent. She’s very…

PART 3 OF 4 ENDS [00:45:04]

Denise:                         45:00                … little points under there. Our success coach is magnificent. She’s very on top of things. We work very closely with her. Not only do I work closely with her, but the full-time faculty do, as does civil and the other adjunct faculty. She is the first person in line, if we have a student who’s having an issue and we want to kind of trigger the academic alert to make sure that we keep you on task. She’s the first person that gets that alert. And she sends out all the information she makes sure to find out, “Okay, what do we need to do to get you back on track?”

Denise:                         45:34                So think of the success coach model, as the person who kind of guides you through the mind field of being an online student at Utica College. And your actual academic advisor is one of the three full-time faculty members that kind of talks to you about, “Well, geez, what do you think you want to focus your practicum on?” Or, “Maybe you need to take some time off because we need to do this or that.” Or, “We need to maybe schedule your course this way.”, or whatever happens to be. But you kind of have that dual role of the success coach kind of guiding you through the format and the academic advisor kind of guiding you through the content of the program itself. So, it’s a great symbiotic relationship between all of us. We really work so well together.

Louisa:                          46:19                I agree, a hundred percent. It really is. I can speak from experience too. It feels like a family. It does. It feels like everybody is very sync with each other and shares that passion for education, and shares that ability to be resourceful, if we don’t have the answers.

Denise:                         46:37                Absolutely. We don’t always have the answers, but somebody on the team does. It’s a matter of trying to figure out which team members got the right answer. So, we figure it out eventually.

Louisa:                          46:47                Yes.

Denise:                         46:51                Want me to go on?

Louisa:                          46:52                Yes.

Denise:                         46:53                I keep forgetting, I’ve got the page forward button.

Louisa:                          46:56                Oh no, it’s no problem. So, this is just going to kind of give you a brief flow chart of what your admissions process will look like. So the first step, is supplying online. And then typically after that, is when you’d like to go ahead and send that resume over to us. We’ll also need those two letters of recommendation and the personal statement. Your letters of recommendation, I do see some questions in the chat about letters of recommendation.

Denise:                         47:21                Okay.

Louisa:                          47:22                So, just so that we’re clear, the letter of recommendation does need to be current. And as your letters of recommendation are submitted, there’s also an accompanying form to fill out as well. So essentially, you don’t necessarily have to reach out to your recommenders. We just need you to give us their first and last name and their email address. And then the enrollment counselor will reach out to that recommender for you and make sure that the letter of recommendation is good to go and approved. If it’s not pre-approved by us, then we can certainly give guidance to the recommender or to you about the best way to facilitate getting a new letter recommendation or making any edits as needed. So, we definitely want to make sure that we’re setting you up for success.

Louisa:                          48:03                And then another component of the admissions process is, sending in your transcripts. And if they are not domestic, you would need FCCPT, and your physical therapy license as well. As far as the application process goes, we’re only accepting applications for the spring and the fall term. So the spring semester always begins in January, and the fall term always begins in August. However, when you are in the program, your courses do run through the summer as well. You just can’t begin the program in the summer. But once you’re in the program, you will go through at least one summer term.

Denise:                         48:41                Correct. And that’s, again, if you choose to take time off, which we can work with you in any way, understand that there may be certain semesters where certain courses aren’t offered. But we would talk to you about that, if and when that time… that happens.

Louisa:                          48:57                Yeah, absolutely. But once we’ve collected all of your admissions materials, we always let you know, within about two to three weeks, if you’ve been accepted into the program.

Louisa:                          49:08                Now, our upcoming spring semester begins on January 17th. If you plan to apply for this program, then your deadline is, I believe it’s December 13th, and this would be to receive all of your documentation. So, certainly feel free to give us a call and we’ll make sure that your contact information is shared with you. And I know that, that’s in one of the later slides. But certainly feel free to reach out to an enrollment counselor as soon as possible, to get answers about what your next steps are and how to get started, and when is the earliest term you can on start.

Denise:                         49:43                And again, so just to let everybody know, I’m grabbing my calendar because residency, although the courses start on January, I’m in the wrong year, January 17th, residency is January 8th and 9th. So Saturday and Sunday, January 8th and 9th. Just a little ahead of time information.

Louisa:                          50:03                Thank you. I’m sure they probably do need that.

Denise:                         50:05                Yep.

Louisa:                          50:06                At this point, I’m going to go ahead and review the questions.

Denise:                         50:09                Okay. Sure.

Louisa:                          50:10                Yeah. So it looks like there’s another question here. It says, “Does it count if I got my credentialing done through IERF or another credentialing agency that is not accredited to use the FCCPT coursework tool? Hmm. [crosstalk 00:50:27]

Denise:                         50:27                It has to be FCCPT.

Louisa:                          50:28                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Denise:                         50:29                And we figured… We actually, before the webinar, spoke to the executive director of admissions, and it has to be FCCPT because of the new immigration… the USCIS, U.S. Center for Integration, Immigration. I’m sorry, is requesting for CAPTE, which is the commission, that it be FCCPT.

Louisa:                          50:48                Okay. Thank you.

Denise:                         50:48                Mm-hmm (affirmative). So I guess-

Louisa:                          50:54                And that-

Denise:                         50:58                Yeah, so there is [crosstalk 00:50:59].

Louisa:                          50:59                And it can sometimes take time too, so if that’s something student’s interested in applying, that’s probably the first thing I would do, is make sure that you get that information well underway now, because there’s still time to do it now.

Louisa:                          51:14                So another question is, “Is Utica CAPTE certified?”

Denise:                         51:20                So, the entry level program is CAPTE certified.

Louisa:                          51:22                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Denise:                         51:23                There are no programs in the U.S. That are transitional programs that are CAPTE accredited. And the reason is, the CAPTE does not accredit transitional programs. They allow transitional programs to be registered by their state boards of education. So, we’re registered by the New York State Board of Education. And we are regionally accredited by Middle States. So understand, that any transitional program that you may apply to will not be CAPTE accredited. They just don’t want to take that on because they have way too much to do with the entry level programs.

Denise:                         51:58                But we do have an entry level, as you know, we’ve talked about it, an entry level PT program for 25 years. So based on that, is the reason why, I believe, we were approved at the New York state level to have this program, because we have an entry level accredited CAPTE program. That’s a very common question.

Louisa:                          52:19                Thank you.

Denise:                         52:20                Yep.

Louisa:                          52:20                Another question, “Will the degree say, ‘tDPT’? Or will it say, ‘DPT’ when the student is completed with the program?”

Denise:                         52:29                So, the program is the post-professional transitional DPT program. The degree is Doctor Physical Therapy. It will be no different degree than the entry level students coming out. It will say, “Doctor of Physical Therapy.” And it will in nowhere say, “From the transitional program.” The diploma says what it says.

Louisa:                          52:48                Okay. So, another question. They want a bit of clarification about your verbiage when you said, “entry level”, could you expand on that a bit?

Denise:                         52:58                Sure. Entry level degree, all of you that are applying, I’m making the assumption that you are all physical therapists. So you already have an entry level, meaning, you graduated with a certificate, a bachelor’s, or master’s. And went through your clinical education and all of that, and you have an entry level degree. So, that’s really what I mean by, entry level.

Denise:                         53:20                You are now considered post-professional or post licensure students. So you would come into our program, which is a post licensure or post professional, not entry level. You’ve already gotten your license, you’ve already been working from either 11 months to 40 years. So, you’re already licensed clinicians. You’re coming back to kind of bridge the gap between the stuff you learned from your first degree, to what you want to learn to bridge the gap between what students are learning now. So, that’s kind of the difference between entry level and non-entry level.

Louisa:                          53:53                Okay. And I think that concludes the questions. Oh, it looks like there’s one more.

Denise:                         53:58                Yep.

Louisa:                          53:59                “Have you worked with the military, trying to get into tDPT? Can you share experience?”

Denise:                         54:06                I believe we have had multiple students that, in fact, even recently, that work in the military. But I don’t know, because I’m not involved in that part of their admissions process, I don’t exactly know what they would need to do or what the student would need to do, as far as any kind of discount or any kind of activity. But we do have students that are active military and some are in the reserves. So, Louisa, I’m wondering if that’s a question for maybe the admissions folks-

Louisa:                          54:42                Yeah.

Denise:                         54:43                … that they-

Louisa:                          54:44                [crosstalk 00:54:44].

Denise:                         54:44                … may be able to answer that much better. I don’t want to guess.

Louisa:                          54:47                Yeah, absolutely. So, that concludes the question and answer segment of this virtual open in house. I do want to say, thank you to everyone for participating. Any further questions, certainly direct that to the enrollment counselor team. In the next slide here, we’ll have our contact information posted, so certainly feel free to give us a call. You can send us an email and we also have all of our information available online, as well. So, definitely write down all of your questions and then feel free to give us a call. We operate Monday through Friday. And we take calls Monday through Thursday, at least, from eight o’clock in the morning, all the way until 8:00 PM Eastern time. So we definitely have quite a bit of availability. So, thank you guys so much. Thank you [crosstalk 00:55:36].

Denise:                         55:35                Can I say one more thing?

Louisa:                          55:37                Yep. Sure. [crosstalk 00:55:38].

Denise:                         55:38                But you’re not going to get away with it. The one thing, as Louisa’s saying, give those questions to your enrollment counselor. And if they are unable to answer it, they always shoot me an email and say, “Listen, this question came up, we have no idea how to answer that question.” And we get right back to them right away. And then your question is answered, whatever it happens to be, whether it’s a personal question about, how you could possibly do the program in 16 months, or maybe not. Or military question, which somebody asks, those kinds of things, we’ll do our best to answer that. And then we’ll send that back to the enrollment coordinator.

Louisa:                          56:14                Absolutely. We certainly look forward to talking with you guys soon.

PART 4 OF 4 ENDS [00:56:17]

Watch this virtual open house to hear our program director share the benefits of the online Transitional DPT program, including how you can finish in only 16 months. Plus, a tDPT alumnus walks you through their experience, discussing the curriculum and support so that you know what to expect when the program begins.

Request more information about our faculty and programs or call 315.732.2640 or toll-free 866.295.3106. Have a great day.

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