WKU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program receives accreditation

Inaugural class started in June 2013

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (May 19, 2016) — Western Kentucky University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program has received initial five-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

After receiving legislative approval in 2011, WKU’s third practice-based doctoral degree was approved by the Board of Regents in January 2012 and by the Council on Postsecondary Education in April 2012. The program received Candidate for Accreditation status from the CAPTE in April 2013 and started the inaugural class in June 2013. Physical therapy programs are not eligible for initial accreditation until the final semester of the program has been completed prior to graduation. CAPTE meets twice a year (spring and fall) to review programs.

“Obtaining accreditation is a momentous event in the development of the DPT program,” said Dr. Neale Chumbler, dean of WKU’s College of Health and Human Services. “This accreditation underscores the rigor of the curriculum and the stellar credentials of the DPT faculty. This further provides nationwide credibility and will extend our reach of applicants for future cohorts around the United States.”

A physical therapy education program must be accredited to allow graduates to sit for the licensure exam, which is required in all states.

“We are absolutely delighted for our first class and for all 90 students who put their trust in a program that was not yet accredited and put their faith in WKU that this would be a positive result,” said Tom Pennington, a local businessman and physical therapist who led the efforts to develop the program at WKU. “We are happy for the students and for their families.”

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