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Full Story

ACAPT Clinical Education Commission Update

Jul 10, 2024


Greetings from the ACAPT Clinical Education (CE) Commission! It has been an exciting 2024 thus far, and as we further organize and hone our work, we want to offer an update and vision for where our efforts and spirit are headed. As the Chair of this dynamic group, I am thrilled to connect with you. Our mission is clear: to champion and elevate the essential work of clinical educators, celebrate the academic-clinical partnership, and empower every voice in clinical education.  While the path may get bumpy, these values don’t alter!

This year, we have met several notable milestones. Building on the foundation laid by the National Consortium of Clinical Educators (NCCE), we are committed to integrating clinical education into the broader landscape of Academic Physical Therapy and ACAPT. This includes hosting our first-ever listening sessions to gather insights and feedback from regional consortia, ensuring our actions are representative and responsive to our community's needs. We are particularly excited about our ongoing and upcoming initiatives, which include tackling critical areas in clinical education, streamlining our internal operations, and fostering better open communication.

Thank you for your unwavering support and dedication. Together, we will continue to shape the landscape of physical therapy education, ensuring our strategies are innovative as well as grounded in real-world experiences. Let us embrace the opportunities ahead with enthusiasm, collaboration, and a forward-thinking approach.

Key Milestones

Listening Sessions

We are excited to share the launch and progress of our Clinical Education (CE) Commission Listening Sessions. These quarterly sessions are focused on engaging the CE community, addressing key issues, and fostering continuous communication throughout the year.

Listening Sessions Overview:

To date, we have successfully conducted two Listening Sessions:

●        Initial Listening Session: Our first-ever session, held on February 7, 2024, that provided an open platform for members to express pressing concerns in clinical education. This session allowed us to gather insights directly from the community, ensuring our actions are aligned with the needs of our members.  The conversation identified 5 key pressure spots in clinical education: Program proliferation, Variations in the placement process,  New program development & use of the Regional Consortia,  Inpatient placements and  Meeting student needs through accommodations.  The conversations were robust and thought provoking.  To review the highlighted challenges and shared ideas/resources click here.

●        Regional Consortia Leadership Session: Following the success of our initial session, we hosted a dedicated session for regional consortia leadership. This focused gathering allowed for a closer, more intimate conversation tailored to the specific needs and best practices of regional consortia leaders.  Annually we will dedicate one Listening Session for Regional Consortia Leadership.  Our hope, with the addition of technology platform upgrades on the ACAPT site, will allow real-time networking and collegial discussions surrounding current tasks, operations and successes within the Consortia.  This can only help to further elevate best practices of these invaluable groups. 

These sessions are designed to keep the collaborative spirit of our annual ELC Regional Networking Sessions alive throughout the year. By reaching more voices and maintaining robust communication channels, we hope to ensure that the perspectives and feedback from our diverse community shape our initiatives and strategies.

Looking Ahead:

Future listening sessions are scheduled for July 24, 2024, and October 9, 2024. We encourage all members to stay tuned for updates and registration details through acapt.org, the newsletter, and direct communications from your local regional consortia.

July 24th: Still time to register!

October 9th: Register Now!

The Roadshow Continues!

We are excited to update you on the progress and impact of the Clinical Education (CE) Roadshow, an initiative designed to enhance engagement and support strategic planning within regional consortia. To date, we have conducted four successful Roadshow events, including two in 2024 and a third scheduled late in the year.

2024 Roadshow Highlights:

●        Mid-Atlantic and Georgia Consortia: The sessions held at Riverside College in Newport News, VA, and the University of North Georgia focused on similar key themes and challenges. Both events provided platforms for members to discuss unique regional challenges, effective communication pathways, and share foundational resources.  These discussions facilitated deep conversations, leading to a deeper understanding of regional differences and fostering collaborative solutions tailored to specific needs. Topics such as membership structures, geographic considerations, and strategies for improving communication pathways were thoroughly explored, providing valuable insights for regional consortia and takeaways to enhance the national conversation. 

Impact and Insights:

The Clinical Education Roadshow has been instrumental in identifying unique differences across consortia, including their structure, membership, and geographic needs. Through these events, we have facilitated meaningful discussions on improving communication pathways and shared foundational resources. We also provided comparison data for benchmarking, aiding regional consortia in their planning processes.

By bringing the spirit of the annual ELC Regional Networking Sessions to more voices throughout the year, we aim to maintain and enhance the level of communication within our community. The Roadshow events are designed to create a more interconnected and collaborative environment, extending the benefits of these interactions beyond the annual ELC conference.

Looking Forward:

We are seeking additional consortia interested in hosting the Clinical Education Roadshow in 2025 and beyond. This live event offers an excellent opportunity for regional consortia to engage in meaningful discussions, share their best practices, and enhance their strategic initiatives. For more information on hosting a Roadshow event, and engage in an exploratory zoom meeting, please reach out to the Clinical Education Commission at clinicaleducation@acapt.org.

Recommendation and Feedback on Task Forces

We have received and provided recommendations and feedback on two clinical education-centric task forces: the Task Force on Clinical Education Placement Capacity and Process Innovation and the Task Force on Clinician Engagement. Their diligent work has greatly served the clinical education community, and we thank them for their hard work. The findings and feedback from these task forces are currently under review and will influence and guide much of our ongoing work within the CE Commission. We look forward to sharing more details soon!

Current Initiatives

Updates on Ongoing Projects and Initiatives:

●        Regional Networking Session: Save the date!  This year’s Regional Networking Session will be Thursday October 17th 1-5pm at ELC in Oakland.  Stay tuned for registration details.  We will be tackling Best Practices in clinical education, in partnerships, and in Regional Consortia.  Our plan is to break the 4-hour session into two parts, one smaller with specific resource leaders, and the second half with a HUGE inclusive group to share these resources widely with the full clinical education community.

●        Excellence Framework Workgroup: This group is evaluating the use, usability, and applicability of the ACAPT Excellence Framework for clinical education programs. Currently in the information-gathering phase, the group aims to survey clinical education stakeholders to assess the framework and then develop a pathway to enhance the tool. The goal is to help clinical educators, programs, and partnerships align with the standards of excellence.  Keep your eye out for a survey tool specific to the Excellence Framework.  We’d love your voice and perspective!

New Ventures and Initiatives

We are excited to share new projects, programs, and initiatives in the works, aimed at furthering our mission and engaging our community.

●        Reactor Panel (CE Advisory group): We are developing a proactive standing committee of clinical educators in diverse roles to provide real-time insights and respond swiftly and effectively to emerging issues in clinical education. This group will aim to offer a comprehensive "pulse" on current trends and challenges, ensuring timely and informed responses.

Our vision is to regularly survey this diverse panel, composed of stakeholders from each of our 23 regional consortia—including Directors of Clinical Education (DCE), Site Coordinators for Clinical Education (SCCE), and Clinical Instructors (CI). By leveraging the geographic diversity of its members, the panel aims to capture regional variations and trends, providing a richer and more nuanced understanding of the national landscape. In line with our Listening Sessions, we strive to share this information broadly to foster collaboration, drive innovation, and support clinical partnerships.  We will be making a call for members soon, stay tuned!

●        Hosting Regional Consortia on the ACAPT Platform: The CE Commission is investigating the needs of regional consortia and exploring options for a centralized platform for consortia-related content within ACAPT.  We intent to work with ACAPT staff to understand the technology capabilities of a new platform that could aide with: collaboration, hosting information, education resources, networking and the like.

●       Showcasing Clinical Education Awards and Achievements: We'd like to highlight the outstanding work of clinical educators and programs at local, regional, and national levels. If you, your program, or your partnership has presented clinical education-related awards, we'd love to hear about them! Our hope is to share and celebrate these accomplishments more broadly by spotlighting these amazing individuals and initiatives on our national platform, to recognize excellence and inspire others in the field.  Have something?. . . send it our way clinicaleducation@acapt.org

●        A deeper dive: Exploring Clinical Instructor Incentives: We are devising a plan to examine clinical instructor incentives more broadly and comprehensively; as this topic has been mentioned countless times in meetings, task force reports, and findings. Our goal is to understand what clinical instructors desire and identify which parts of the partnership can make these desires a reality. Is it work within the partnership or the individual organizations? We have several key questions to answer before determining the best pathway. By thoroughly exploring these aspects, we aim to develop a well-informed strategy that effectively supports and motivates our clinical instructors.


Final Note

As we reflect on the progress made and look ahead to future initiatives, we are reminded of the innovative and resourceful nature of our clinical education community. Your unwavering support and contributions have been instrumental in shaping the landscape of physical therapy education. Together, we have tackled significant challenges, celebrated notable achievements, and set the stage for projects that will drive our mission forward. As the CE Commission, we are excited to continue this journey with you, fostering collaboration, driving excellence, and ensuring that every voice in clinical education is heard and empowered. Let us embrace the opportunities ahead with enthusiasm and a shared commitment to advancing clinical education. Thank you for being an integral part of this vibrant community!


Matt Calendrillo

CE Commission Chair on behalf of this incredible team ->


ACAPT Clinical Education Commission

Katie Myers - DCE Duke University Vice Chair (Internal)

Janette Scardillo - DCE University of Scranton Vice Chair (External)

Arvie Vitente - Program Director - Lewis University Secretary

Kelly Meyers - SCCE - Upstate University Hospital

Paul D. Smith - SCCE - Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno

Carla Huggins - DCE - Georgia State University

Tara Paradie - DCE - University of New England

Jennifer Logan - member of the CE team - University of Colorado



●        CE Commission webpage

●        ACAPT Clinical Education Resources

●        Are you receiving ACAPT updates & the Newsletter?  Consider signing up for the ACAPT database, its free for those associated with member institutions! Create your ACAPT profile & e-news subscription

●        Want to ask a clinical education question or stay up to date with any clinical education related discussions? Subscribe to the ACAPT Open Forum on Clinical Education

●        Want to contact the CE Commission: Please email us at clinicaleducation@acapt.org

●        Follow ACAPT on social media: Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube

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