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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.
  • The consortium will be meeting at the Educational Leadership Conference (ELC) on Friday, October 22 from 5:15 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. ET in Dunwoody room.
  • On Sunday, October 23 at 10:15 a.m. ET, we'll discuss the results of our recent ACAPT Early Assurance Doctor of Physical Therapy programs survey (EA; also commonly referred to as "Direct-Entry").  
  • If you haven't already, please complete the survey by Wednesday, September 29.  If you have need your unique survey link again or have any other questions, please contact acapt@acapt.org.

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.

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.

Early Assurance BS-DPT Consortium Meeting Minutes:

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