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Early Assurance BS/DPT Program

The Early Assurance BS/DPT Consortium (EAC):

  • Serves as a resource, a discussion forum and an advocacy platform for Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs that identify as providing an early assurance route of admission in the CAPTE directory of programs.
  • Seeks to support ACAPT's mission of achieving excellence in physical therapy education in early assurance programs. 

Early assurance programs have unique issues and needs in the areas of:

  • admissions,
  • student outcomes,
  • curriculum design,
  • faculty workload and
  • assessment.

The consortium meets a minimum of one time each year, around the time of the fall Educational Leadership Conference (ELC). To learn more about the EAC, scroll down.
EAC's objectives are:
  • To serve as a discussion forum for matters specifically related to EA programs.
  • To create a centralized location for resources and support specifically related to EA programs.
  • To give voice to, and advocate for, specific needs of EA programs, faculty and students.

Early assurance (EA) programs are varied in their structure, but generally offer combined undergraduate and graduate degrees with criteria on progression or advancement to subsequent years of study.

The term EA is preferred over "freshman-admit/entry," as the latter implies that students may be able to progress to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program without progression criteria.

There are many EA models that were described in the position paper by Chevan, J., Reinking, M. and Iverson, M. in 2017.  The EAC is conducting another assessment of EA models to characterize entry-routes.

See the Leadership tab for more information about candidate nominations and elections.

The Early Assurance BS/DPT Program Consortium is seeking the following positions.  See the position descriptions below.

  • Secretary: Three-year term, 2021-2024
  • Nominating Committee member: Three-year term, 2021-2024

The consortium holds elections in the spring-summer during the ACAPT election cycle.  If you are an Early Assurance member, you are registered to vote. If you have not yet joined the consortium, do so now by clicking on the "Request to Join" button above. As with any organization, formation of a leadership team is representative of its members who vote.

Persons elected to a leadership position are expected to attend the annual ACAPT Educational Leadership Conference (ELC), where the Early Assurance annual business meeting will be held.

  • February 15, 2021:  Deadline for all candidates to submit their consent-to-serve form and candidate statements and bios. Submit information to Mary Palaima at palaimam@franklinpierce.edu and acapt@acapt.org.  Position descriptions are below.
  • April 5, 2021: Polls open on the first Monday of the month.  
  • May 3, 2021:  Polls close on the first Monday of the month. 
  • June 2021: Candidates informed of election results. 

Current leadership

EAC Chair: Kim Ferreria, PT, PhD (2020-2023 term)
Chair, School of Rehabilitation Sciences
DPT Program Director
Andrews University

Vice Chair: Lora Packel, PT, PhD (2019-2022 term)
Chair & Professor
University of the Sciences

Secretary: Open position

Nominating Committee members:

Michael L. Fink, PT, DSc (2020-2022 term)
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
Certified Manual Physical Therapist
Chair & Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
Lebanon Valley College

Allison Hyngstrom, PT, PhD (2020-2023 term)
Chair & Professor
Marquette University 

Mary Palaima, MS, PT, MBA, EdD (2018-2021 term)
Program Director & Associate Professor
Franklin Pierce University

Leadership position descriptions

Chair (three-year term) shall:

  • Preside at and facilitate all meetings of the Consortium.
  • S/he shall be the designated liaison to the ACAPT Board of Directors unless otherwise determined by the Consortium officers;
  • Be an ex-officio member of all Consortium committees except the Nominating Committee.
  • The Chairperson will assure currency of essential information on the ACAPT Consortium Website.
  • Prepare and submit written reports of the activities of the EAC to ACAPT.
  • Prepare and submit an annual written report of the activities of the Consortium to its members.
  • Attends the ACAPT Annual Meeting.

Vice-Chair (three-year term) shall:

  • Assume the duties of the Chairperson at the request of the Chairperson or in the absence or incapacitation of the Chairperson and oversee EAC ad hoc committees as a voting committee member.  
  • Serve as the Parliamentarian during the Annual and Special meetings. 
  • Represent the EAC related to any Program Planning responsibilities for ELC.
  • Attends the ACAPT Annual Meeting.

Secretary (two-year term) shall:

  • Be responsible for keeping the minutes of all EAC Consortium and Board meetings
  • Notify EAC Consortium members of the date, time, and place of EAC Consortium meetings
  • Maintain the EAC Consortium’s archives and correspondence
  • Make EAC Consortium’s minutes and rules and regulations available to the membership and to ACAPT’s executive office. 

Nominating committee (three-year term with last year as Chair) shall:

  • Consist of three (3) members. The senior member of the committee shall serve as Committee Chair for the last year of his/her term. Each member shall serve for three (3) years. One new member shall be elected each year. The Nominating Committee Chair shall oversee the functions of the Nominating Committee.
  • Prepare a ballot for offices and coordinate the nomination process; all attempts will be made to include a minimum of two candidates per office, when possible.
  • Determine eligibility of prospective candidates.
  • Contact prospective candidates to obtain consent to serve.
  • Request short biography from each candidate to be sent with consent to serve form.
  • Prepare a slate of one (1) or more names for each office to be filled. The slate (i.e. list of candidates), shall be published in communications to Consortium members and distributed to the membership at least 30 days prior to the election.
  • Conduct elections by electronic and mail ballot in conjunction with the Executive Office.
  • Notify winners of election results and welcome them.
  • Notify individuals not elected and maintain a record of their consent to service for future considerations and needs that may support the work of the Consortium.

Curricula development resources

Minimum duration of professional DPT education programs - Motion AC-1-20

Chevan, J., Reinking, M., Iverson, M. (2017). The early assurance program model for physical therapy educationJournal of Physical Therapy Education 31(3), 15-23.

Jette, D. (2017). Commentary on the early assurance program model for physical therapy educationJournal of Physical Therapy Education 31(3), 24-25.

Chevan, J., Reinking, M., Iversen, M. (2017). Commentary Response. Journal of Physical Therapy Education 31(3), p.26.

Early Assurance BS-DPT Consortium Meeting Minutes:

Andrews University

Kim Coleman-Ferreira, PT, PhD

Bellarmine University

Joseph Brosky, PT, DHSc, SCS

Bellarmine University

Megan Danzl, PT, DPT, PhD, NCS

Bellarmine University

Beth Ennis, PT, EdD, PCS

Bellarmine University

Jordan Wiehebrink, PhD

Belmont University

Gary Austin, PT, PhD, OCS, FAFS, FAAOMPT

Boston University

Diane Heislein, PT, DPT, OCS

Carroll University

Sara Deprey, PT, tDPT, MS

Emory and Henry College

Jean Irion, PT, EdD, SCS, ATC

Husson University

Karen Huhn, PT PhD

Indiana University

Marisha Bridgewater , Cna

Lebanon Valley College

Michael Fink, PT, DSc, SCS, OCS, CMPT

Marquette University

Allison Hyngstrom, PT, PhD

Marshall University

Scott Davis, PT, MS, EdD

Maryville University of Saint Louis

Michelle Jenkins-Unterberg, PT, DHS

Maryville University of Saint Louis

Joni Goldwasser, DPT NCS

Maryville University of Saint Louis

Jill Heitzman, PT, DPT, PhD, GCS, NCS, CWS, CEEAA

Nazareth College of Rochester

JJ Mowder-Tinney, PT, PhD, NCS

Nazareth College of Rochester

Mary Ellen Vore, PT

New York Institute of Technology

Cheryl Hall, PT, DHSc, PCS, MBA

New York Institute of Technology

Rosemary Gallagher, PT, DPT, PhD

Northeastern University

Kristin Greenwood, PT, DPT, MS, GCS

Northern Illinois University

Christina Odeh, PT, DHS

Quinnipiac University

Katherine Harris, PHD

Quinnipiac University

Tracy Wall, PhD, PT

Radford University

Shala Cunningham, PT, DPT, PhD

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Karin Tokatlioglu, High school

Saint Francis University

Ivan Mulligan, PT, DSc, SCS, ATC

Saint Louis University

Randy Richter, PT, PhD

Seton Hall University

Doreen Stiskal, PT, PhD

Shenandoah University

Karen Abraham, PT, PhD

Shenandoah University

Sheri Hale, PT, ATC, PhD

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Susan Barker, PT, PhD

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Chris Carcia, PT, PhD, SCS, OCS

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Barbara Kellar, PT

Springfield College

Julia Chevan, PT, DPT, PhD

Springfield College

Kathy Pappas, PT, DPT

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Cara Bullard, DPT

The University of Findlay

Harvey Wallmann, PT, DSc, SCS Emeritus, ATC, CSCS

The University of Findlay

Joyce Lammers, PT, PhD

The University of Findlay

Brandon Koehler, PT, MPT, MBA, OCS

Thomas Jefferson University

Susan Wainwright, PT, PhD

Trine University

Tricia Widenhoefer, PT, MSPT

University of Hartford

Barbara Crane, PT, PHD

University of Jamestown

Brittany Anderson, PT, DPT

University of Missouri

Tricia Austin, PT, PhD, ATC

University of Scranton

Janette Scardillo, PT, DPT, DCE

University of the Sciences

Lora Packel, PT, PhD

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