Clinical Education


Clinical Education

Overview of Alvernia’s Clinical Education Program

Alvernia’s DPT Clinical Education Program consists of:   

  • 39 weeks of full-and part-time clinical education experiences, which total 32 credits.

  • At Alvernia, the cornerstone of our program is our emphasis on clinical competence and skill that is facilitated through early and frequent immersion of the student into real-world clinical experiences.  Many programs begin clinical internships after the first year of classroom learning or incorporate clinical observation into the coursework.  At Alvernia, we believe that authentic learning transpires when students are able to connect classroom instruction with actual patient interaction. 

  • To accomplish our mission of developing clinical competence, students begin their clinical internship experiences within their first semester of the program.  These initial part-time clinical experiences will serve to develop professional behaviors, connect classroom instruction with actual patient scenarios, and prepare students for full-time clinical internship experiences. 

  • Throughout the curriculum, students will engage in 4 part-time and 4 full-time clinical education experiences totaling 39 weeks of clinical education.  Web-assisted resources will be utilized throughout each clinical internship to facilitate self-reflection and to connect clinical practice with previously-learned classroom knowledge.  Clinical sites offering innovative care by experienced and well-trained Physical Therapist clinical experts will be used to guide students toward entry-level clinical competence.  The ACCE will work closely to forge close relationships between clinical instructors and students by establishing clear expectations and communicating anticipated outcomes. 

  • The clinical education curriculum represents a hybrid model that includes full-time clinical experiences offered as unopposed focused-learning experiences during 2 summer semesters.

  • The final two 12-week full time experiences are considered post-didactic and resemble the traditional residency model that is often used in medical education.  In this way, the program ensures that each student demonstrates entry-level proficiency prior to graduation.  The majority of clinical sites will be located within 25 miles of Alvernia’s main campus.   

Graduation from a physical therapist program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states. Alvernia University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program submitted an Application for Candidacy on June 1, 2014, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage and underwent an on-site review on July 29-31, 2014. Submission of this document and on-site review does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation. All students accepted into the charter DPT class of 2018 will be accepted conditionally and graduation will be contingent upon full accreditation status as granted by CAPTE.

Clinical Education Manual

DPT Brochure
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downloadable manual. 

clinical education

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