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Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

Approved December 9, 2021

Core Purpose

To lead physical therapy in the pursuit of academic excellence


As a respected leader in academic physical therapy, ACAPT will create a shared  culture of excellence to improve societal health.


ACAPT member institutions are champions of innovation, inclusion and inquiry in academic physical therapy.


1) Academic Innovation

Institutions and partners will recognize ACAPT as the premier resource to utilize for ongoing reflection and continuous improvement in academic physical therapy.


  • Achieve broad understanding of the depth and breadth of academic physical therapy.
  • Establish framework needed to transform clinical education in PT.
  • Adopt & maintain an innovative model for physical therapy education curricula.
  • Increase the use of data by stakeholders to foster the shared pursuit of excellence.


  • Create the Center for Excellence in Academic Physical Therapy 
  • Demonstrate the value of the Center 
  • Develop guidelines for excellence in academic physical therapy 
  • Provide a mechanism for institutions to confidently share lessons learned as a result of using the Center 
  • Launch an excellence recognition model 
  • Bring together an engaged community of researchers to inform best practices and to offer professional support for education stakeholders through training, career resources, grantwriting support, mentorship, and more. 

2) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

ACAPT will equip institutions with resources to facilitate growth in diversity, equity and inclusion in the academic physical therapy workforce and student population.


  • Increase diversity in faculty, students, program directors, and clinical educators.  
  • Increase equitable and inclusive practices in academic physical therapy.
  • Increase the number of programs with a visible presence of faculty representing URM.
  • Increase the number of students from URM (underrepresented minorities) in DPT programs.
  • Increase resources and support for programs to improve in DEI for faculty hiring, student enrollment and retention, and curricular outcomes.
  • Decrease barriers that limit active engagement of URM in ACAPT leadership.


  • Conduct the National Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Summit 
  • Create anti-racist and anti-bias policies and programming that will stimulate academic programs to strive for equity, diversity, and inclusion and support them in that effort 
  • Offer educational programming that responds to opportunities and challenges identified by data trends 
  • Share research and data analytics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion to inform best practices. 
  • Support clinicians, students, and programs participation in career pathway development, by focusing on underserved, underrepresented, and marginalized populations. 
  • Develop resources that help educators understand the benefits of cultural humility and a diverse team, as well as of the barriers created by overt and implicit bias. 
  • Provide career resources and advising that support an understanding of the full cost and benefits of education. 

3) Influence

ACAPT will be the leading influential voice for excellence in academic physical therapy 

  • Raise programmatic expectations toward levels that promote excellence in academic physical therapy
  • Increase efficiencies in governance (structure, policy, process) of ACAPT to create a unified voice for academic physical therapy. 
  • Increase the quantity and quality of academic/clinical partnerships that promote excellence in academic physical therapy.
  • Expand ACAPT’s voice, reach and brand recognition through institution and external collaboration with organizations representing health professional education.
  • Build a culture of continuous improvement to in order to lead the pursuit of excellence for academic physical therapy.


  • Promote a healthy balance and sustainability in the supply and demand in DPT graduates to meet the workforce needs of the future. 
  • Advocate for continued high quality and sustainability in academic physical therapy.  
  • Influence and optimize future standards and required elements through CAPTE. 
  • Actively engage in the collection of and access to comprehensive data in order to establish trends that promote excellence. 
  • Develop and promote sharing of best practices for teaching and learning 
  • Promote clinical and academic partnerships that support the provision of learning and delivery of person- centered care. 
  • Play an active and effective role in influencing outcomes that contribute to the achievement of academic excellence for all physical therapist education programs and their clinical partners.  
  • Promote the transition of all educational units to a department, school or college of physical therapy by 2030.  

Check out the Center for Excellence in Academic Physical Therapy


ACAPT welcomes ideas & solutions to help meet the needs of DPT programs. Submit your suggestions for continuing education, professional development, guidelines, tools, best practices and more.

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