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New Doctor of Physical Therapy program welcomes first class

William Carey University recently welcomed the first class of students enrolled in the new Doctor of Physical Therapy program. The 30 students received their white coats in a ceremony on August 27. The program is part of Carey’s continuing efforts to fulfill medical needs in Mississippi and the Gulf Coast region. 

 

The program is currently approved to enroll 30 students and received 100 qualified applications. Students are required to earn a bachelor’s degree prior to admission to the program and can complete the DPT in three years. The students accepted to the program represent the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana. One of the students from Louisiana lost all her belongings in the flooding just days before classes started in August, but with help from the Carey community and others, she was able to begin classes.

 

“We are thrilled with the quality of our inaugural class. They meet or exceed the national standards for physical therapists accepted to DPT programs,” said Dr. Cynthia Scott, DPT professor and program director. “In addition, they’re a great group of people, displaying the seven core values of the physical therapy profession regularly.”

 

The seven core values are: accountability, altruism, compassion/caring, excellence, integrity, professional duty, and social responsibility.

 

The Thomas Building, which formerly housed the School of Business, has been renovated to house the physical therapy program. The building includes one traditional classroom, two active learning classrooms, two physical therapy laboratory classrooms, faculty research space, and a student lounge.

 

In addition to classroom work, students must complete 33 weeks of full-time clinical experiences and at least 10 weeks of part-time integrated experiences. Clinical education provides exposure to a variety of practice settings in which students participate in patient care that enhances wellness, minimizes disability, and supports the participation of clients in activities that positively impact their quality of life. 

 

Graduates from the program will be prepared to work in many settings including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings and nursing homes.

The mission of the WCU physical therapy program is to prepare students “to become autonomous and competent entry-level physical therapy practitioners who value lifelong learning, responsible leadership, service in diverse low-resource settings, and engagement in local and global health and wellness issues.”

 

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education has granted the program “Candidate for Accreditation” status. This means the program is progressing toward accreditation. Once all the accreditation criteria have been met, the program may be accredited when the first class graduates in 2019. 

 

Class members are: Alexandra Arledge of Laurel, Kristyn Atkins of Columbus, Lauren Aycock of Pearl, Kyiona Boulton of Mobile, Alabama, Kalyn Burnsed of Lucedale, Ethan Chancellor of Ellisville, Reyn Clark of Laurel, Cody Crawford of Toomsuba, Alyssa Fuller of Gautier, Connor Galloway of Clinton, Chandler Hamilton of Laurel, Christine Herrington of Hattiesburg, Sean Hodges of Hattiesburg, Ashlee Knopp of Hattiesburg, Madison Kuykendall of Oxford, Sarah Lacoste of Pass Christian, Heidi Ladner of Poplarville, Meghan Maddox of Waveland, Kaci Morris of Lumberton, Dallas Murphy of Raleigh, Erica Regl of Columbus, Lauren Russell of Denham Springs, Louisiana, Ashton Smith of Mendenhall, Shaniece Turner of Chatom, Alabama, Lauren Ulrich of Memphis, Tennessee, Brittany Ware of Hattiesburg, Kelsi Weaver of Saucier, Maggi White of Brookhaven, Codi Williams of West Point, Thomas Woodruff of Columbus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caption: 
The students of the inaugural class of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program received their white coats in a ceremony on August 27. Pictured are (front row, from left) Kelsi Weaver, Kalyn Burnsed, Alyssa Fuller, Lauren Aycock, Heidi Ladner; (second row) Brittany Ware, Ashton Smith, Kyiona Boulton, Chrissy Herrington, Lauren Ulrich, Sarah Lacoste, Shaniece Turner; (third row) Dallas Murphy, Lauren Russell, Maggi White, Erica Regl, Codi Williams, Alex Arledge; (fourth row) Meghan Maddox, Kaci Morris, A. Alexandra Knopp, Kristyn Atkins, Ethan Chancellor; (fifth row) Sean Hodges, Reyn Clark, Cody Crawford, Madison Kuykendall, Chandler Hamilton, Thomas Woodruff, Connor Galloway.