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ACAPT’s commitment to data collection & a new center for excellence

Oct 27, 2021

ACAPT-Center for Excellence in Academic Physical Therapy

As PT educators, you may struggle with questions like the following:

  • “I’m a program chair at a private institution and university leadership wants to cut our budget by 25%.  We can’t raise fees to cover expenses.  To make my case, I need to know how much control my peer program directors have.  Where can I get that info?”

  • “I am a DCE and my workload has increased exponentially with greater numbers of students and education to increase cultural awareness on everyone’s part.  How much administrative support do other programs have for clinical education?”

  • “I’m investigating whether we should adjust our DPT program length.  What’s the average duration of the professional portion of a DPT program, including clinical ed?  Do longer programs have more core faculty?” 

ACAPT understands that doctor of physical therapy (DPT) programs need more data to inform their decisions, so the ACAPT board of directors has committed to the development of a new Center for Excellence in Academic Physical Therapy.   

As part of every program’s ongoing journey towards excellence, ACAPT is building a culture of continuous improvement.  This requires the collection, analysis and timely reporting of comprehensive data to promote the growth and advancement of PT curricula towards learning excellence. 

ACAPT intends to model peer organization (e.g. AAMC, AACP and AACN) data practices that have and will continue to inform ACAPT's work.  Towards this end, we’ve piloted a PT program Institutional Profile Survey and are planning to roll out that survey to all member institutions in early 2022.

Addressing your common challenges

ACAPT members have identified the following top shared challenges that nearly every DPT program faces.  

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

If every member program director participates in the January 2022 Institutional Profile Surveywe'll collect and share valuable data to quantify and begin to address these common issues across all programs.

We'll provide timely, aggregate data so that members can use information for data-driven decision-making. 

Other resources

You can see ACAPT's Excellence Framework for PT Education and stay tuned for details as this work is vetted and finalized.

Also review more guidelines for successful DPT programs.

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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