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Center for Excellence

ACAPT Center for Excellence in Academic Physical Therapy HP

With a commitment to foster program excellence and collect and share related program data, ACAPT launched a Center for Excellence in Academic Physical Therapy in 2022 and formed the Center for Excellence Advisory Committee

The Center supports a culture of excellence and assessment through trustworthy and transparent data management and analysis for academic physical therapy.  The Center's work reinforces ACAPT’s mission and strategic goals.

How to use the survey report & Excellence Framework 

  • Innovation: We recognize that each institution has a unique mission, structure and approach. You can use the survey aggregate data and framework to consider different DPT program approaches. You may find that certain data will help you make a business case to your administration about changes you’d like to make.   

  • Inquiry:  As you review the Institutional Profile Survey results, you may question certain assumptions, gain new insights and consider different ways to approach teaching or serving your community.  See some additional DPT program staffing numbers.

    You can also use the Excellence Framework to continue discussions within your DPT program and motivate continuous improvement amongst all engaged in academic physical therapy.  (In addition, ACAPT worked with APTA and the APTA Academy of Education on A vision for excellence in physical therapy education.)
  • Collaboration:  We’re all in this together!  ACAPT is happy to share this initial report and framework; we look forward to continuing to work with the academic PT community to track and tackle solutions to critical issues.  Send us your questions and input to acapt@acapt.org.  

    Read more about ACAPT's promotion of a culture of data sharing

  • Confidentiality:  The report includes aggregate data and individual responses will be kept completely confidential and secure.  The Center is designed to inform and guide – not to compare and assess. 

Addressing your common challenges

ACAPT members have identified the following top shared challenges that nearly every DPT program faces and the Institutional Profile Survey collects data around these topics.  

  • Transforming clinical education
  • Building diversity
  • Controlling student debt
  • Increasing value of education for PT careers
  • Addressing shortage of qualified faculty

A Definition of Excellence

Excellence is an aspiration rather than a destination and is characterized by continual improvement. An excellent academic program demonstrates a culture of excellence by continually and intentionally striving to transform learners, advance knowledge, and improve societal health.

Excellence in transforming learners, advancing knowledge, and improving societal health is achieved when the academic culture supports the ongoing development and integration of three domains: Inquiry, inclusion, and innovation. Excellence is also a multi-faceted construct that respects and supports differences among academic programs while inspiring ongoing self-assessment and growth.

In August 2022, the ACAPT Board of Directors approved the following expanded major facets of excellence - adding DEI & scholarly inquiry -- per the recommendation of the Center for Excellence Advisory Committee.

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Criteria for Excellence summary & full report


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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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