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WKU Physical Therapy program achieves Candidate for Accreditation status

The first class of 30 students in WKU’s Physical Therapy program will begin this June now that the program has achieved Candidate for Accreditation status.

The accomplishment was announced Friday (April 26) at the quarterly Board of Regents meeting.

Program Director Harvey Wallmann said the designation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is the latest step toward receiving initial accreditation of WKU’s doctoral program.

According to CAPTE, candidate status “indicates that the program may matriculate students in technical/professional courses and that the program is progressing toward accreditation.”

John Bonaguro, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, said designation from CAPTE came after the university submitted a self-study that was validated through a site visit.

“In 2015-2016 academic year, another self-study will be completed at the time of the first graduating class,” Dr. Bonaguro said. “CAPTE will assign a review team of three individual to read the self-study, validate that the CAPTE standards are met for accreditation, and follow the same process as the candidacy stage of accreditation to receive initial accreditation.”

A physical therapy education program must be accredited to allow graduates to sit for the licensure exam, which is required in all states.

Interest in the program is strong, Dr. Bonaguro said, with more than 200 applications received by the January deadline. Of those, 107 were interviewed and 30 selected for the first class.

“Now that the candidacy stage of accreditation is completed, the program will continue accepting students each academic year,” he said.

This fall, the PT program will join the School of Nursing in The Medical Center-WKU Health Sciences Complex. The 73,000-square-foot facility on the campus of The Medical Center at Bowling Green is on target for completion by the end of July, Dr. Bonaguro said, and ready for the start of the fall semester.

“It is an exciting time for programs in the College of Health and Human Services at WKU,” he said.

WKU Provost Gordon Emslie congratulated Dr. Wallmann and his team “on the development of this important program, which will serve our region with highly-trained graduates who will be educated by outstanding faculty in a state-of-the art facility. This program adds yet another dimension to the array of quality academic programs at WKU, and I look forward to its implementation this summer.”

In other business, Regents:

  • Approved an Advanced Worksite Health Promotion Graduate Certificate. The 15-hour program will provide training for students and professional who have an interest in developing worksite health promotion programs and meet some of the mandates in the 2010 Affordable Health Care Act.
  • Approved the appointment of Dr. Richard Bowker as emeritus professor.
  • Approved changing the name of the Institute for Rural Health Development and Research to the Institute for Rural Health and the Department of Communication Disorders to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
  • Affirmed Normal Street as the preferred site of the future Honors College and International Building and authorized the purchase of 1580 Normal St. for $240,000.
  • Authorized the University to procure property at 1590 Normal St. for the future Honors College and International Building, including the use of eminent domain if necessary.

Contact: Harvey Wallmann, (270) 745-4070.

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