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Who We Are

Our Vision
Our Mission
Core Values

Who We Are

The American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) is formed by members from physical therapy educational programs from academic institutions in the United States.  Academic Physical Therapy includes all the activities and priorities of the faculty, clinical partners, and students of these programs.  In addition to the education of physical therapist students as they prepare to become doctors of physical therapy, academic physical therapy is also home to the vast majority of research and scholarship, professional leadership, and community service in the physical therapy profession.  ACAPT provides a structure to develop and share standards for excellence and best practices in academic physical therapy.  

What We Do

ACAPT supports excellence in research and scholarship, professional and community service, and academic and professional leadership.  What are appropriate and effective administrative structures for academic physical therapy?  How can academic programs support faculty excellence in research and scholarship, including basic, clinical, and educational research?  What are the needs in leadership training for academic physical therapy, both for our future professionals and for our faculty?  What community needs are best met in partnership with academic physical therapy programs?  How can academic programs provide leadership and advocacy to benefit societal problems such as lack of accessibility to physical therapy services, health disparities, and affordability in healthcare?  Is academic physical therapy appropriately structured to meet the workforce needs for physical therapy now and in the future?  Do we have the capacity to train sufficient numbers of faculty for the future of academic physical therapy?  Are we preserving and appropriately communicating the value of an education for new physical therapists in the face of increasing student loan debt combined with pressures in the job market?  ACAPT facilitates innovation and sharing of expertise to help academic physical therapy address issues like these.

As the external environment for health care and professional education and practice changes and evolves over time, ACAPT is committed to developing evidence-based recommendations for best practices in academic physical therapy now and for the future.  We invite you to engage with ACAPT to define and deliver excellence and innovation in academic physical therapy.

What We Believe

ACAPT is the principal voice representing academic physical therapy.  The first priority for ACAPT is to provide resources and guidance for academic institutions to deliver a high quality education in the professional preparation of future physical therapists.  We believe that physical therapists should be the preferred healthcare provider for people with movement disorders.  How can academic physical therapy support this goal?  What should or should not be included in a doctorate of physical therapy curriculum?  What is the best structure for clinical education?  How should students be selected for admission?  What is the standard for competency prior to graduation, and how should that be measured?  For these and many more questions, the shared expertise of leaders across the nation available through ACAPT is an invaluable resource for academic physical therapy.

Our History is Rich and Purposeful

ACAPT was formed to provide a new, unified voice for academic physical therapy.  Previously, academic institutions were represented through a special interest group, called the academic administrators special interest group, within the Education Section (Now called the Academy of Physical Therapy Education, (APTE)) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Our early efforts were largely devoted to establishing bylaws, developing policies and procedures, building a website, etc.  These efforts have paid off. We are on solid financial ground, our leadership transitions have been successful, and our vision is now mostly outward.

The means by which various parties come together for common purposes in ACAPT is called a consortium.  A total of eight consortia under the auspices of ACAPT have formed to address a variety of important issues.  Where necessary for ongoing tasks, we have formed standing committees, and when large short-term undertakings are required, we have formed task forces.

Read more about our history

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