Physical Therapy Student Handbook

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Introduction to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Student Handbook

Department of Physical Therapy
500 Building, Room 501
Old Westbury, NY 11568-8000

Revised July, 2021

Disclaimer: The Department of Physical Therapy Student handbook outlines policies pertaining to the Physical Therapy Major. The contents, information, policies, requirements of students herein this handbook may change related to additional accreditation criteria, added student requirements and or changes in Physical Therapy department policies and procedures. Such changes would be effective immediately upon student notice and would be required of all physical therapy students enrolled in the major. Students will be held accountable to meet current requirements regardless of date of admission to the Physical Therapy Program. Students are advised to visit the Physical Therapy website for current information regarding the Physical Therapy program.


The purpose of the student handbook is to inform students of program policies and procedures. The program updates the student handbook periodically. The university also publishes the Student Handbook: U.S. Edition that covers college-wide policies and procedures along with other resources.


The production of this document is the result of the considerable efforts of the faculty and staff of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program in cooperation with the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at the New York Institute of Technology (New York Tech). Reproduction of certain content throughout is acknowledged and appreciated by the DPT Program for the purpose of uniformity of certain policies and procedures.


The DPT program at New York Tech reserves the right to make changes to this document at any time. Changes are anticipated, and students will be notified of all updates through their email. A form will be distributed requiring students to sign off that they have read and understand the contents of the updated handbook at the beginning of each academic year and when changes have been made.

Any statement in this document that refers to face-to-face interactions will also apply to virtual interactions while COVID-19 guidance is in place.

Welcome From the Program Chairperson

Welcome to the New York Institute of Technology Program in Physical Therapy. Our program began as a Bachelor’s degree program in 1998, but in 2003, we graduated our first class of Doctors of Physical Therapy (DPT). Since the inception of the program, New York Tech has been providing contemporary education to its students, preparing them for a career in the dynamic, growing field of Physical Therapy.

Maintaining the emphasis of ethical clinical practice as put forth by the APTA, the principles of life-long learning through evidence-based practice and contemporary practice standards, the New York Tech DPT graduate is prepared to thrive in the modern and evolving health care environment. Integrating these principles and in keeping with the philosophy of New York Tech and the School of Health Professions, our mission statement is as follows:

"To offer suitably qualified applicants a physical therapy program that prepares skilled, knowledgeable, adaptable, culturally sensitive, and technologically innovative clinicians, scientists, and researchers."

Our experienced DPT faculty are recognized clinicians, educators, and researchers. They come to New York Tech from diverse clinical backgrounds, possessing a variety of clinical specialties and enthusiastic to share their knowledge and clinical expertise with our students. Our students participate in a variety of learning experiences. High impact practice activities with our off-site clinical faculty partners bring students into the clinical environment to gain valuable experiences with hands-on learning. Our core and adjunct faculty develop on-site opportunities in our state-of-the-art biomechanics lab, patient simulation lab, the Institute for Clinical Competence and the Center for Sports Medicine, as well as experiences in research and global health care delivery. These real-world experiences prepare our students to meet the challenges of the modern world, not only, here, at home, but in the global community as well.

Our curriculum is designed to provide students with necessary clinical and critical thinking skills to care for the "whole person." Through didactic study in examination, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment interventions, health promotion and injury prevention that complement 36-weeks of clinical education experiences, our graduates are well-positioned to take on the roles and responsibilities in their world.

Our student cohort is made up of 40 students from around the country and abroad, and because the cohorts remain together for the duration of their DPT education, life-long friendships are the rule rather than the exception.

When our graduates seek additional training and specialization, we offer a postgraduate Orthopedic Residency Program, which provides students with the opportunity to hone their skills in the area of orthopedic physical therapy. Following this intense one-year training program, the residency graduate is prepared to take the specialist examination to be recognized by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) in Orthopedics (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, OCS).

Please contact us if we can answer any questions or provide you with further assistance. We look forward to welcoming you to the New York Tech DPT family.

Cheryl Hall, PT, DHSc., M.B.A.
Associate Professor and Program Chair

Message from Faculty and Staff

Welcome to the New York Institute of Technology Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Over the next few years, you will be presented with the tools, skills, and knowledge needed to become a knowledgeable and competent health care professional.

Becoming a physical therapist is an exciting challenge. The experience will test your academic and personal abilities. You will learn about grit, determination and resilience, and you will see the value of your efforts, as you begin to experience real-life clinical practice. The feedback you receive from your patients will reinforce the benefits of your hard work and provide you with the focus needed to keep your goals in sight.

Learning, as we know, is a lifelong process. Not only will you learn the didactic and clinical skills you will need to succeed, but you will also learn so much about yourself, about your strengths and your challenges. And you will learn how those strengths and challenges will influence you, your professional development and your future in health care.

This student handbook is a supplement to the New York Tech Graduate Catalogue, the New York Tech Student Handbook, and the New York Tech Student Code of Conduct. It serves as an introduction to important information needed in order to succeed throughout this graduate program. It contains information about the faculty, the practice of physical therapy, the academic program and policies, professional development, professional associations, and student services. In short, it is a reference tool to be consulted during the course of your studies.

This handbook is designed to help you. As we proceed, information will be updated. As always, please feel free to discuss any issues or concerns you may have with any Physical Therapy faculty member or with your advisor.

We, as educators, mentors, leaders, and eventual colleagues, welcome the challenge to teach, mold, lead, and share with you. Your success is our highest priority.


The New York Tech Physical Therapy Faculty

New York Institute of Technology Physical Therapy Faculty

Cheryl Hall, PT, DHSc, MBA, PCS
Associate Professor and Program Chair
Department of Physical Therapy
Phone: 516.686.7670
Fax: 516.686.7699
  • B.A. in Liberal Arts, SUNY Stony Brook
  • B.S. in Physical Therapy, SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn
  • M.B.A., New York Institute of Technology
  • DHSc in Physical Therapy, Nova Southeastern

Clinical experience in pediatrics, certified clinical specialist, APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor.

Lori Hochman, PT, MS, PhD, NCS
Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education
Department of Physical Therapy
Phone: 516.686.7696
Fax: 516.686.7699
  • B.S., Psychology, Tulane University
  • B.S./M.S., PT, Long Island University
  • Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University

Clinical experiences in neurologic and orthopedic settings, LVST BIG ® certified, Neurologic Clinical Specialist (NCS), APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor.

Eric Greenberg, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS
Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of Clinical Education
Department of Physical Therapy
Phone: 516.686.7696
Fax: 516.686.7699
  • BS, Health Sciences, University of Florida
  • DPT, Stony Brook University

Clinical experiences in pediatric orthopedics ad sports injuries, running injuries, musculoskeletal injuries. Certified Sports Clinical Specialist (CSC), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

Rosemary Gallagher, PT, DPT, PhD
Associate Professor and Admissions Coordinator
Department of Physical Therapy
Phone: 516.686.7932
Fax: 516.686.7699
  • BS, Physical Education, Colorado State University
  • BS, Physical Therapy, SUNY Stony Brook
  • DPT, SUNY Stony Brook

Clinical experience in outpatient, acute, sub-acute and long-term care, APTA credentialed clinical instructor.

Mark Gugliotti, PT, DPT, OCS
Associate Professor
Department of Physical Therapy
Phone: 516.686.7689
Fax: 516.686.7699
  • B.S., Exercise Physiology, University of Connecticut
  • B.S., Physiotherapy, Hogeschol Enschede, The Netherlands
  • M.S., Orthopedic Physical Therapy, Touro College
  • DPT, Touro College

Clinical experience in outpatient orthopedics, administration, spinal therapy. Certified orthopedic manual therapist.

John Handrakis, PT, DPT, EdD, NCS
Associate Professor
Department of Physical Therapy
Phone: 516.686.7669
Fax: 516.686.7699
  • B.S., General Sciences, Fordham University
  • Certificate in PT, Columbia University
  • M.S., Exercise Physiology, LIU Brooklyn
  • EdD, Teacher's College, Columbia University

Clinical experience in home care, orthopedics, cardiopulmonary, rehabilitation. Neurologic Clinical Specialist (NCS)

Teresa Ingenito, PT, DPT
Assistant Professor
Department of Physical Therapy
Phone: 516.686.7692
Fax: 516.686.7699
  • B.S., in Rehab Counseling, Springfield College
  • B.S./M.S., Physical Therapy, Long Island University
  • DPT Arcadia University

Clinical experience in cardiopulmonary medicine, out-patient orthopedics, manual therapy, acute care, cardiac and pulmonary rehab.

William Werner, PT, EdD
Associate Professor
Department of Physical Therapy
Phone: 516.686.7634
Fax: 516.686.7699
  • B.S., in Physical Therapy, Quinnipiac College
  • M.A., in Motor Learning, Columbia University
  • Ed.M, in Motor Learning, Columbia University
  • EdD Columbia University

Clinical experience in acute care, rehab, nursing home, home care, and private practice. Director of long term and rehab facilities. Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist

Program Administrative Staff

Ms. Maria Severance
Senior Specialist
Department of Physical Therapy
Phone: 516.686.7696
Fax: 516.686.7699

Accreditation Status

The New York Institute of Technology Physical Therapy Program achieved the status of a developing program with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in May 1996. Candidacy for Accreditation was then granted in July 1998. New York Tech was granted full initial accreditation in November 2000, which was reaffirmed in April 2006 until June 2026.

Accreditation of an academic program with CAPTE is a long and rigorous process that occurs over several years. Listed below are the significant dates of the New York Tech PT program:

July 1995New York Tech Letter of Intent to CAPTE acknowledged
September 1996First class admitted (class of 2000)
December 1996Declaration of Intent sent to CAPTE
December 1997Declaration of Intent read and sent back to New York Tech
Spring 1998 Declaration of Intent revised and sent to CAPTE
May 1998On-site candidacy evaluation
July 1998Granted Candidate for Accreditation by CAPTE
September 1998 First class began professional phase
June 2000Self-Study sent to CAPTE
September 11-13, 2000 Full on-site accreditation visit
November 2000Initial accreditation granted for 5 years
December 2000First class graduated
September 2005 Onsite Accreditation visit
April 2006 Reaffirmed accreditation for 10 years
October 2015Onsite accreditation visit
June 2016Full accreditation until June 2027 (extended one year due to COVID-19 pandemic)

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education at the American Physical Therapy Association is located at 1111 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Physical Therapy Advisory Board

The New York Tech Physical Therapy Advisory Board was created to assist, advise, and support the ongoing development of the physical therapy program. It provides a means of communication between the academic and the clinical worlds. The Advisory Board serves as a vehicle for ideas and concerns within the ever-changing health care system. The Board consists of practicing physical therapists from all types of specializations and levels of patient care and administration, as well as professionals form other disciplines.

The Advisory Board meets once per academic year. Discussion provides feedback on the curriculum and the student program. The Board members are invited and serve without monetary compensation. Their recommendations and input are highly valued and appreciated.

2021–22 Advisory Board

Karen FrielAcademicianProgram Chair: Wingate University
Jill HorbacewiczAcademicianProgram Chair: Touro College
John PetrizzoAlumnusOutside faculty
Joel NormanAlumnusAssociated faculty
Andras FulopAlumnusResidency program consultant
Adam DiscepoloAlumnusCCCE
Jessica Tau AlumnusAssociated faculty
Kelly DoughertyAlumnusCI
Brian BeattyNYITCOM faculty
Lisa SparacinoNursing Chair New York Tech
Frank Acevedo PA Chair, New York Tech
Pamela KarpOT Interim Chair, New York Tech
Alexander LopezOT faculty New York Tech
Brian HaleyCI,CCCE
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Description of the Physical Therapy Program

The Mission of New York Institute of Technology is:

View our mission

The Mission of NYIT School of Health Professions is:

To offer suitably qualified students, access to career-oriented academic programs that produce skilled, technologically innovative scientists, researchers and professionals.

The Mission Statement of the Physical Therapist Professional Education prepared by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is as follows:

The mission of physical therapist professional education is to graduate knowledgeable, self-assured, adaptable, reflective, and service-oriented practitioners who, by virtue of critical thinking, lifelong learning and ethical values, render independent judgments concerning patient or client needs; promote the health of the client; enhance the professional, contextual, and collaborative foundations for practice. These practitioners contribute to society and the profession through practice, teaching, administration, and the application of new knowledge.

The Mission Statement of the Physical Therapy Program in combination with the above statement, from the APTA, and in keeping with the general Mission of New York Tech and the Mission of the School of Health Professions is as follows:

To offer suitably qualified applicants a Physical Therapy program that prepares skilled, knowledgeable, adaptable, culturally sensitive, technologically innovative clinicians, scientist and researchers.

Goals and Objectives of The Physical Therapy Program

  1. Recruit and support students of all cultures and backgrounds who wish to pursue a career in physical therapy and whose academic record and experiential hours indicate competency and a motivational commitment to learning.
    1. Expand the number, quality, and diversity of the applicant pool through: (i) our website, (ii) dissemination of information on scholarship opportunities, (iii) faculty involvement in community and professional organizations, and (iv) publicizing the reputation of our graduates
    2. Provide advisement to prospective students
    3. Establish and maintain admissions criteria at a level to optimize success in graduate education
  2. Create an academic environment that will prepare graduates to meet program outcomes.
    1. Provide a curriculum that reflects current evidence-based physical therapy practice, research and accreditation standards to optimize passing of the licensing exam and employment post-graduation.
    2. Maintain a curriculum that will ensure all graduates are meeting the defined student learning outcomes
    3. Maintain policies and procedures that promote success and are applied equally to all students and faculty.
    4. Provide adequate resources to meet student, faculty, programmatic and research needs
    5. Provide clinical education experiences that expose the students to the breadth and depth of contemporary physical therapy practice
    6. Provide experiences (case studies, assignments, simulated patient care, field encounters) that facilitate the development of critical thought processes.
  3. Develop a cadre of clinically and academically diverse core faculty who can meet the criteria of high quality teaching, significant scholarly output and valuable service to the college and professional community. Maintain a cadre of adjuncts with excellent clinical experience and proven teaching effectiveness.
    1. Stay abreast of changes in physical therapy practice and education through faculty attendance at professional presentations, lectures and conferences.
    2. Monitor pedagogical innovations through the professional literature
    3. Incorporate educational innovations through the department's curriculum review committee, including implementing technology-based methods in the delivery of the curriculum
    4. Facilitate research through collaboration and mentorship using the expertise of the institution and scientific community
    5. Provide professional resources and mentorship to core and adjunct faculty for academic and professional growth
  4. Recognize the importance of our clinical partners and professional community in the delivery of the curriculum. Maintain our strong connection to the professional community through professional development activities
    1. Provide educational opportunities for the greater physical therapy community.
    2. Conduct continuing professional education courses.
    3. Offer an annual seminar for Clinical Education Faculty.
    4. Provide graduate credit allowance for clinical education faculty.

Program-Level Learning Objectives

By the completion of the Physical Therapy Program, including the academic and clinical phases, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Determine the physical therapy needs of a patient or client through examination and evaluation
    • Recognize normal structure and function of the health organization from conception to death
    • Select appropriate methods to assess the function, dysfunction or abnormality
    • Perform (modify if necessary) and record the results of necessary examination procedures to assess the function of appropriate systems including: neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, pulmonary and integumentary
    • Interpret the results of examination procedures
    • Determine initially and on a continuing basis the nature and extent of the patient's need for intervention and the potential of the patient to respond to specific forms of intervention
  2. Develop and implement a plan of care to meet the individual's physical therapy needs
    • Utilize critical thinking and discriminating judgments to integrate scientific theory with the results of patient evaluation to establish realistic long and short term goals, which correlate to each other, and to consider economic and social influences (within the community, family, and patient) that may affect the outcome of the plan. Select the most appropriate procedures available in terms of clinical outcomes, cost effectiveness, and potential for achieving long- and short-term goals
    • Reassess the plan of action in relation to the patient's response and modify as necessary
  3. Demonstrate integration of the foundational sciences as they relate to physical therapy practice.
    • Determine the time, type and intensity of the procedure to be used
    • Recognize areas in which structure and function are abnormal
    • Effectively perform treatment procedures in a manner appropriate to the patient's status
    • Apply the basic foundational knowledge to address the needs of increasingly complex patient scenarios
  4. Communicate appropriately and effectively with patients and families, colleagues, and the public
    • Consistently use effective written, oral and nonverbal communication skills
    • Provide psychosocial support for patients and their families
    • Function as an effective member of the healthcare team or other working group
    • Recognize and respect individual, cultural, socioeconomic, and religious differences in people
    • Recognize and understand one's own personal reaction to illness and disability
  5. Adhere to safe, ethical, and legal practice
    • Recognize and understand the priority of safety in dealing with another individual's physical and mental well-being
    • Accept responsibility for one's own action and their consequences
    • Make decisions within the scope of practice as a physical therapist
    • Practice physical therapy in a variety of settings with the goal being to promote optimal health and to maximize the highest level of function
  6. Apply sound administrative principles to the management of physical therapy practice
    • Recognize the impact of external agencies or departments on the management of physical therapy service and respond to those agencies or departments with appropriate actions
    • Plan a physical therapy service in any setting
    • Appreciate the importance of good management practice to the daily operation of a physical therapy service
  7. Apply basic educational strategies of teaching within the scope of physical therapy
    • Develop clear, concise and appropriate learning objectives for patient education, in-service, and continuing education activities
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of learning experiences
    • Engage in teaching and mentoring in clinical, community and classroom settings
  8. Implement and integrate research methods adherent to the standards of evidence-based practice
    • Critically analyze new concepts and findings provided by others
    • Use the scientific method to resolve simple problems related to the practice of physical therapy
    • Accept the value of research in physical therapy
    • Create, analyze, carry out, and disseminate an IRB-approved or exempt research study
  9. Participate in health and wellness community-based initiatives across the lifespan
    • Effectively participate in the community in a manner that reflects an acceptance of the role of the physical therapist in the healthcare system
    • Demonstrate a sense of responsibility in regards to contemporary health issues as they impact physical therapy services
    • Create a community-based health initiative
  10. Accept that being a professional is a continuing process and assume responsibility for professional and personal growth and development
    • Assume the responsibility for one's own learning and continued professional growth and development
    • Perform in a manner which reflects an acceptance of the value of professional behavior
    • Appreciate the importance of various professional organizations
DPT Courses Satisfied Outcome(s)
PHTH 601 Introduction to PT10
PHTH 602 EBP8,10
PHTH 603 Gross Anatomy3
PHTH 605 Kinesiology1
PHTH 607 Neuroscience3
PHTH 610 Biomechanics3
PHTH 615 Modalities2
PHTH 620 Massage2
PHTH 626 PT Practice I1, 2
PHTH 630 Motor Learning8
PHTH 635 Rehabilitation/ADL1,2
PHTH 640 Admin/Delivery of HC5,6
PHTH 645 Seminar in PT I4,5,7,10
PHTH 650 PT Practice II1,2
PHTH 655 Prosthetics and Orthotics2
PHTH 660 Exercise Physiology2,9
PHTH 665 Pathophysiology3
PHTH 674 Clinical EducationI 1,2,4,5,10
PHTH 675 PT Practice III1,2
PHTH 680 Medicine for PT3
PHTH 685 Evaluation/Diagnosis1
PHTH 690 Research in PT I8,10
PHTH 695 Manual Therapy I2
PHTH 701 PT Practice IV1,2
PHTH 710 Research in PT II8,10
PHTH 715 Pharmacology for PT3
PHTH 720 Cardiopulmonary PT2
PHTH 730 Manual Therapy II2
PHTH 745 Seminar in PT II4,5,6,7,10
PHTH 750 Clinical Education II1,2,4,5,10
PHTH 770 PT Practice V1,2,9
PHTH 780 Manual Therapy III2
PHTH 785 Clinical Education III1,2,4,5,6,10
PHTH 790 Research in PT III8
PHTH 835 Advanced Medicine for PT1
PHTH 855 Seminar in PT III4,5,7,10
PHTH 875 Advanced Physical Therapy2
PHTH 895 Clinical Education IV1,2,4,5,6,10

Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation to the New York Institute of Technology Physical Therapy Program


The New York Institute of Technology Physical Therapy Department is committed to the admission and matriculation of all qualified students and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or any other legally protected status. Regarding disabled individuals, the College will not discriminate against such individuals who are otherwise qualified, but the College will expect that minimal technical standards be met by all applicants and students as set forth herein. These standards reflect what we have determined are reasonable expectations from physical therapy students in performing common and important functions, keeping in mind the safety and welfare of the patients for whom our graduates will care. These standards do not reflect what may be required for employment of the graduate physical therapist.

Technical Standards

A physical therapist must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical settings and to render a wide spectrum of therapeutic interventions. In order to perform the activities required of a professional, a physical therapy student must be able to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data quickly, accurately and consistently. This is the process of critical thinking.

All physical therapy students must have sufficient vision to be able to observe classroom lab demonstrations and exercises. In the clinical setting, they must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and nearby. It is essential to have adequate visual capabilities to assess the change or abnormalities of the musculoskeletal or integumentary systems.

All Physical Therapy students should have the ability to clearly speak, hear, and observe in order to elicit and gather information, describe the findings and understand any nonverbal behavior. They must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with fellow students, faculty, patients, and other healthcare providers. This includes the ability to read and communicate, both verbally and in writing, in English, using appropriate grammar and vocabulary.

All Physical Therapy students need enhanced tactile abilities and must have sufficient motor function and muscular strength to execute those movements required in the evaluation and treatment of patients. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Able to safely handle and lift patients, guard patients during ambulation, and perform therapeutic procedures such as joint mobilization.
  • Able to adjust and position equipment and patients, which involves stooping to floor level and reaching overhead
  • Able to assist and/or resist patients, or to provide emergency care, which may involve prolong sitting, standing, kneeling, or walking
  • Able to manipulate gauges, dials, small nuts/bolts, and or tools located on equipment or within the Physical Therapy department
  • Able to palpate, auscultate, percuss or perform other evaluatory skills in order to obtain information

Behavioral And Social Attributes
Physical Therapy students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with others, especially with patients. This is also includes the ability to apply knowledge of principles, indications and contraindications for Physical Therapy treatment interventions. Physical Therapy education requires the ability to adapt to change, including treating people of diverse cultures, economic status, age or those with emotional difficulties. This requires flexibility, and a spirit of cooperation as well as being well motivated.

Physical Therapy students utilize touch during the evaluation and treatment procedures and must be able to touch others in a sensitive professional manner, as well as tolerate being touched as part of the learning process.

Professional behavior is expected as well as attributes such as integrity, honesty, compassion, and strong interpersonal skills.

Clinical Education

All Physical Therapy students will participate in a total of thirty-six weeks of clinical education located in a variety of settings. This requires eight to twelve hour days not including transportation time, for eight to twelve weeks at a time. This is a full-time commitment. Student must make themselves available during the hours determined by the coordinator of clinical education. These hours will not be adjusted for the schedule of the student. Students are discouraged from working elsewhere as the clinical experience is demanding in time in the clinic setting and independent learning outside of the clinic. There will be specific clinical education objectives that must be met with each completed experience. Students are not permitted to affiliate at a location where they have worked as a volunteer, an aide, or an assistant. All final clinical placement decisions are made by the ACCE, in conjunction with the Chair.

See the Clinical Education Manual for further information.

Physical Therapy Advisory Board

The Physical Therapy Advisory Board was created to assist, advise, and support the ongoing development of the physical therapy program. It provides a means of communication between the academic and the clinical worlds. The Advisory Board serves as a vehicle for ideas and concerns within the ever-changing healthcare system. The Board consists of practicing physical therapists from all types of specializations and levels of patient care and administration, as well as professionals from other disciplines.

The Advisory Board meets once per academic year. Discussion provides feedback on the curriculum and the student program. The Board members are invited and serve without monetary compensation. Their recommendations and input are highly valued and appreciated.

2018–2019 Advisory Board

  • John Petrizzo, Alumnus, Outside faculty
  • Jill Horbacewicz, Academician
  • Marc Campolo, Academician
  • Joel Norman, Alumnus, Associate Faculty
  • Andras Fulop, Alumnus, Residency Program Consultant
  • Adam Discepolo, Alumnus, CCCE
  • Shou-An Liu, Alumnus
  • Bennett Futterman, NYITCOM Faculty
  • Maureen Cardoza, Interim Nursing Chair New York Tech
  • Zehra Ahmed, PA Chair New York Tech
  • Razan Hamed, OT Chair New York Tech
  • Brian Haley, CI, CCNE
  • Kyle Hewson, Academician
  • Jay DeLuca, CI, Alumni

Accreditation Status

The New York Institute of Technology Physical Therapy Program achieved the status of a developing program with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in May 1996. Candidacy for Accreditation was then granted in July 1998. New York Tech was granted full initial accreditation in November 2000 which was reaffirmed in April 2006 until June 2026.

Accreditation of an academic program with CAPTE is a long and rigorous process that occurs over several years. Listed below are the significant dates of the Physical Therapy program:

Jul. 1995New York Tech Letter of Intent to CAPTE acknowledged
Sep. 1996First class admitted (class of 2000)
Dec. 1996Declaration of Intent sent to CAPTE
Dec. 1997Declaration of Intent read and sent back to New York Tech
Spring 1998Declaration of Intent revised and sent to CAPTE
May 1998On-site candidacy evaluation
Jul. 1998Granted Candidate for Accreditation by CAPTE
Sep. 1998First class began professional phase
Jun. 2000Self-Study sent to CAPTE
Sep. 11–13, 2000Full on-site accreditation visit
Nov. 2000Initial accreditation granted for 5 years
Dec. 2000First class graduated
Winter 2001Graduates took National Physical Therapy Licensing Examination
Sep. 2005On-site accreditation visit
Apr. 2006Reaffirmed accreditation for 10 years
Oct. 2015On-site accreditation visit
Jun. 2016Full accreditation until June 2026

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education at the American Physical Therapy Association is located at 1111 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

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Academic Criteria/Standards

I. Academic Criteria

The following criteria must be maintained throughout the NYIT Physical Therapy Program:

  1. Maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average each semester including the summer session.
  2. Have no grade lower than a C in any course. If this occurs, it is up to the discretion of the Physical Therapy Chair and Faculty to decide what steps to take next. Your professional behaviors and your other semester grades will be considered in the decision-making process. If at any time you fail two courses, you will be dismissed from the PT program without the possibility for re-entry. The NYIT Physical Therapy Academic Review Committee will assist in situations as needed.
  3. Complete each clinical education component of the PT program with a grade of "pass". If you fail a clinical education experience, you will meet with the PT Faculty and/or the PT Academic Review Committee. A decision will be made if you should continue in the PT program, and if so, what type of clinical education, length of the clinical education, and specific goals that must be met during the repeated clinical education. If there is an available time period and PT clinical facility, you will redo the clinical education as planned. If there is no clinical facility available or classes will be starting, it is up to the discretion of the Physical Therapy Chair and Faculty to allow you to start the next year of graduate coursework. You are responsible to pay tuition for the additional clinical education.

II. Academic Grading System

The Physical Therapy Program will follow the standard graduate grading formula used at NYIT.

III. Comprehensive Exam

A comprehensive examination will be given at the start of each academic year on material covered to date in the professional phase of the program. This exam is designed to keep your knowledge current and aid retention as you near graduation. Students will not be permitted to continue with their cohort if the exam is not passed. Item response theory will be used to calculate all grades. The exams are a critical component of both Seminar II and Seminar III courses and the grade received for those courses will reflect whether the comprehensive exam was passed. You will receive information during the summer months of the exact date of administration of the exam in September.

IV. Exams/Assignments

As a doctoral-level program, all assignments must be completed on time and need to demonstrate a seriousness of purpose as evidenced by careful preparation and professional presentation. All required papers or assignments must be typed using 12-point font, unless specified otherwise. If any other font is used without permission from your professor, your work will be returned to you and you may then lose points if the paper is considered late. All papers must be free of typographical, spelling, and/or grammatical errors. You are advised to make an extra copy of all written assignments for your own protection and records. If a required assignment, such as an oral presentation or a written paper, is completed after the assigned deadline, you will have a certain percentage deducted from your grade. NYIT participates in a program called "TurnItIn", which scans papers for plagiarism. All submitted work is subject to review through this system. If papers are found to be plagiarized in any manner, a grade of zero will be assigned for that project, the student must appear before the Academic Review Committee and may be subject to dismissal from the program without the possibility for re-entry. All instances of plagiarism will be reported to the Office of Student Affairs. Ignorance is not an excuse.

Examinations provide a benchmark for yourself and your professor in terms of measuring progress toward educational goals. This will help you prepare for the National Physical Therapy Licensing Examination. Faculty members reserve the privilege of keeping all exams or returning them to students for review only. You may be placed in an assigned seat during an examination as per the discretion of the proctor or the professor. You are expected to do your own work at all times and to follow standards for documentation and citation of the work of others. Please refer to NYIT's Academic Integrity policies for a full description.

V. Practical Exams

If your class contains a laboratory component, a practical examination will be administered. An 80% or above is considered passing for each practical exam. If there are two or more parts of the exam, and if you receive below 80% on any one of the parts, it is up to the discretion of the professor to decide what you must retake. The course instructor will schedule the retake. You will be allowed up to two retakes.

When performing a retake, you are required to take the failed question over again, which would involve the same body part or modality. This is to let the professor know that you are proficient in the previously failed area. You then would randomly choose a new question. Your retake will be a pass/fail and if you pass, you will receive a 75% grade. If you need a second retake and pass it, a grade of 70% will be factored in for that portion of the practical. If you do not pass the second retake, a failure will be given for the course. Even if the rest of your grades for that particular course are at least a "C", you will not pass the course without passing the practical component. If you do a dangerous maneuver that will endanger your fellow classmate, you will receive an automatic failure for that practical exam.

VI. Readiness to Attend Clinic

To obtain faculty opinion and approval on readiness to attend clinical education experiences, all students are filtered through the "Light" system.

Students receive a "green" light if faculty feel confident that the student is ready for the rigors of a clinical setting. Typically, these students have not failed an exam or practical and have had no behavioral or professional issues.

Students that received a "yellow" light have experienced some situation where the faculty feel they should be monitored more closely. The criteria for a "yellow" light include but are not limited to the following:

  • A previous ARC
  • Professional behaviors issues expressed by any of the faculty
  • Repeat practical exam the year prior to the clinical
  • Being placed on academic probation
  • Poor performance on the comprehensive examination
  • Difficulty in a prior clinical education experience

Any student falling into the "yellow" light category will be required to check in with the DCE each week through SKYPE or phone call while in clinic.

Students receiving a "red" light would not be eligible to attend clinic. This serious designation is reserved for those students who have not passed a course in the year prior to the clinical or have been evaluated as failing a recent background check or drug screening or some other very serious situation. At that point, the Dean would be informed with appropriate action to follow.

VII. Grade Appeal

Students may appeal an assigned grade by following the process outlined on the NYIT SHP website. Please be aware that the criteria required to file an appeal is quite specific, and that the timeline for filing is quite short.

VIII. Physical Therapy Academic Review Committee

The Physical Therapy Academic Review Committee provides assistance to the Physical Therapy program in dealing with student, academic, clinical, and disciplinary problems, makes recommendations, and provides guidance to the PT Chair and faculty regarding these matters. This committee may consist of physical therapy clinicians, NYIT faculty and staff, and the Physical Therapy faculty. The decision of the ARC is final.

IX. Academic Probation

A student will be placed on academic probation if any one of the following circumstances occurs:

  1. Grade point average for any one semester falls below 3.0
  2. Cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0

X. Academic Dismissal/Failure

A student may be dismissed from the Physical Therapy Program if any of the following occur:

  1. A cumulative GPA falls below 2.3 at the end of the first semester (i.e. Anatomy and Kinesiology)**
  2. A cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 at the end of the third (spring) semester of the first year.
  3. After the first year, a cumulative GPA that falls below a 3.0 for two consecutive semesters.
  4. A grade of F is earned in a course. If this occurs at any time during or after the first fall semester, students may be given the option to repeat the course the following year, provided they were not already on probation. If the student was already on probation, they may not return to the program the following year. Other factors will be considered in the decision as to whether a student may return.
  5. A second F is earned at any time throughout the curriculum.

** If a student is dismissed because of failure to meet the minimum standards in the Anatomy and Kinesiology courses, the student will need to formally reapply through PTCAS for entry into the program the following year.

XI. Non-Academic Dismissal/Failure

Students may be dismissed from the program for the following non-academic reasons:

  • Academic dishonesty/plagiarism
  • Behavior endangering others safety or well being
  • Disrespectful behavior towards faculty, staff, students, and others
  • Unprofessional conduct as defined by the professional behaviors
  • Unexcused absences/lateness

XII. Withdrawal

Application for voluntary withdrawal from the Physical Therapy program must be submitted to the Physical Therapy Chairperson in writing, with a copy to the Dean of Health Professions. Withdrawals are permitted only for students who have no academic or disciplinary proceedings, or financial obligations to NYIT. Letters of "Good Standing" will be written only for students who meet the above criteria.

XIII. Leave of Absence

A student requesting a leave of absence must do so in writing, addressed to the Physical Therapy Chairperson, with a copy to the Dean of the School of Health Professions. In the case of a medical leave of absence, a letter from a licensed clinician must accompany the request describing the nature of the medical condition for which the leave is requested and the estimated length of time needed for recovery. The Physical Therapy Chairperson, upon consultation with the Dean, will recommend whether or not the leave is to be granted and conditions under which the student may return to school.

Before a student may be reinstated, a written request for reinstatement must be submitted to the Physical Therapy Chairperson. If a medical leave of absence was granted, a letter from a licensed clinician stating that the student is cleared to return must accompany the reinstatement request.

A leave may not be granted for more than a total of 12 months. Extension of a leave is NOT automatic. The student must request such an extension in writing. At the discretion of the Physical Therapy Chairperson, a physical examination may be required before a student is allowed to return from an extended leave.

XIV. Reapplying to the Physical Therapy Program

Students who have withdrawn, failed to return from a leave of absence at the designated time, or need to repeat a course with a grade that is lower than a C may be considered for readmission provided:

  1. They left in good standing, (financially as per Bursar).
  2. They were not already on academic probation
  3. Space is available in the professional courses of the requested year.
  4. Submitted their request to return in writing to the Chair by Feb 1st of the academic year prior to the desired restart date for a summer/fall semester start and by September 15 for a spring semester restart date. Students wishing to apply for readmission must include:
    • A letter requesting consideration for readmission and outlining remediation activities performed since leaving the DPT program
    • A minimum of two letters of recommendation which must address why the student should be allowed to reenter the program.

XV. Graduation Requirements

Students are recommended for graduation upon satisfactory completion of all academic and clinical education requirements. The student is responsible to make sure all credits from other colleges have been transferred in and placed in the NYIT computer system. The following is required:

  1. Achieve a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average
  2. File a completed application for graduation with the Student Enrollment Center
  3. Obtain Bursar account clearance
  4. PEP, the Professional Enhancement Program, is designed to promote professionalism, community outreach, and professional development and socialization of our students. To graduate, each student is required to perform six PEP activities, at least three of which must be in the area of professional development, e.g. attending NYPTA district meetings, attending student SIG meetings, attending lectures outside of SHP, etc. No more than three of the required six PEP activities can be in the form of community outreach, e.g. fundraising walks, etc.

Department Policies

I. Safety Issues

Throughout your academic and clinical education, you will be oriented to the issue of safety, not only regarding the patients, but also for yourself as you practice and eventually work as a Physical Therapist. The following will be addressed:

  • Patients' Bill of Rights
  • Safe and proper handling, lifting, and transferring techniques of patients
  • Safety issues involved in treatment techniques, including indications and contraindications, especially regarding electrical modalities
  • Confidentiality of patient information, medical records, statements made during work
  • OSHA and handling of blood borne pathogens
  • Proper use of body mechanics
  • Safety concerns during a practical examination or during a clinical affiliation experience may be grounds for failure.

II. Dress Code

Students need to understand that professionalism begins at the first impression. It is expected that all students will dress professionally. Points will be deducted for unprofessional attire, hygiene or behavior, and a student may be called in for an ARC. Excessive piercings and visible body art are not considered professional or acceptable.

The following are NOT allowed when in a lecture class:

  • Ripped jeans
  • Hats or hoodies
  • Ripped clothing
  • Pajama clothing
  • Slippers
  • Flannel pants
  • Inappropriate graphic tee-shirts
  • Low cut blouses
  • Sweat pants
  • Sweat shirts
  • Athletic shorts

Stomach and torso should be appropriately covered. The PT faculty reserve the right to deem an article of clothing not included on this list as inappropriate, and bar the student from class.

Students must dress appropriately for all lab sessions with access to the appropriate body part(s) being covered in that lab.

III. Recording of Lectures

Recording of lectures or class presentations is solely authorized for the purposes of individual or group study with other students enrolled in the same class. Permission of the instructor must be obtained prior to the start of each class session. Permission to allow the recording does not constitute transfer of any copyrights in the recording. The recording may not be reproduced or uploaded to publicly accessible web environments, without the WRITTEN permission of the instructor.

Recordings, course materials, and lecture notes may not be exchanged or distributed for commercial purposes, for compensation, or for any other reason than study by students enrolled in the class. Public distribution of such materials may constitute copyright infringement in violation of federal or state law. Violation of these laws may subject a student to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.

Exceptions to this rule: It is not a violation of this policy for a student deemed by the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) to be entitled to educational accommodations to exercise any rights protected under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, including needed recording or adaptations of classroom lectures or materials for personal research and study. If you have a condition or a disability which necessitates recordings of a class, please contact the OAS for further help and assistance. The restrictions on third party web and commercial distribution listed above still apply.

IV. Attendance/Lateness

You are expected to attend all classes while you are in the professional phase of school.

THERE ARE NO ABSENCES PERMITTED. Attendance for all class sessions is 100% mandatory unless otherwise stated in the syllabus. If there is an emergency, it is your responsibility to contact your professor or advisor via email or telephone PRIOR TO THE START OF THE CLASS. You are then required to show your professor and/or advisor proof of your absence, (a physician's note.) Athletic or work conflicts are NOT a valid excuse for missing class. This subject is not to be taken lightly. If you are absent from an examination, it is at the discretion of the professor, if and when, the make-up is given. You are also expected to be in class on time. Lateness or absenteeism will result in a percentage taken off of your final grade and can lead to grounds for dismissal. Tardiness or leaving class early will be reflected on your professional development form and a plan of action will be written.

V. Academic Honesty

The NYIT Physical Therapy program has developed an Honor Code by which all students abide. As a professional and doctoring profession, we expect all of our students to adhere to the highest levels of integrity and sound ethical and moral judgment. It means taking ownership and responsibility for your actions and the outcomes of those actions. As such, plagiarism, academic dishonesty, and cheating are not tolerated.

New York Institute of Technology Department of Physical Therapy Honor Code
"On my honor, I pledge that I will neither give, nor receive, help on any assignment or exam. I will not obtain information, nor act, in an unethical manner."

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Student Services and Responsibilities

I. College ID Cards

You are issued ID cards from the Security Department that is needed in order to use the library and computer facilities, and to gain access to the PT lab. All Health Professions majors will need to show the ID card in order to use the NYITCOM Medical Library. You must carry your ID card on campus at all times.

II. Advisement/Office Hours

You will be given the name of your faculty advisor in June of your first professional year. This faculty member will remain your advisor throughout the professional phase. They are available for you during their office hours and also by appointment. You will have block registration for each year in the professional phase. This form will be distributed to you. You are required to make an appointment with your faculty advisor annually to discuss your professional development self-assessment form and your academic performance.

III. Laboratory Responsibilities

The laboratory courses provide a venue in which to practice clinical skills. You are expected to practice with each other in a professional manner, by providing comfort, dignity, and respect. You are to take care of the equipment, participate in the cleanup, and respect the equipment and materials in terms of safety, maintenance, and cost. You may only use equipment that has been previously covered in the classroom lecture and lab. You are responsible for reporting any equipment in need of repair to either a PT faculty member. No one other than NYIT students are allowed in the Lab. Equipment MAY NOT be removed from the lab without permission of department faculty or staff.

IV. Laboratory Consent

All PT students will be working closely with each other in the laboratory component of the curriculum. The lab work will include the following: stretching, moving, transferring, lifting, playing, mobilizing, and massaging. By signing the technical standards, you provide written consent to actively participate in these lab classes. If you have a physically limited or painful area, it is your responsibility to tell your lab partner or professor prior to doing the lab component related to that area or part.

V. Course/Faculty Evaluations

You are given the opportunity to provide on-going feedback of your course work and on the faculty. At the end of the each semester, NYIT administers an evaluation on faculty teaching. Careful thought should go into these evaluations to ensure data accuracy. As these provide valuable information on faculty performance, your careful assessment is appreciated.

VI. Physical Therapy Books and Journals

There are numerous medical and health professions books and journals located in the NYITCOM Medical Library. Some are very specific to the Physical Therapy field, while others are for more general use. Your ID card is necessary for admittance. Recommended course books will be placed on reserve. The hours for Wisser Memorial Library and NYITCOM Medical Library are located online.

VII. Licensure

Following completion of all academic and clinical requirements, you are eligible to apply for the National Physical Therapy Licensing Examination that is written by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. More information will be provided to you during your last year of the professional phase.

VIII. Health Insurance

You are required to have your own health insurance coverage. This is especially essential as you start your clinical education. Proof of this coverage must be given to Dr. Cheryl Hall prior to the start of clinics each academic year. The college offers a medical insurance plan, which health professions students are automatically enrolled. Students can waive out by September 25 if they have health insurance. Students can only enroll in the fall, or if you have a life-changing event during the year. The waiver will be available online on the NYIT website around July 15. For additional information, contact the Office of Student Services, 516.686.7976.

IX. Annual Health Assessment

All students are required to submit an annual health assessment form prior to September 1 of each academic year. They must be handed in to Dr. Cheryl Hall prior to the start of fall classes.

X. Mandatory Courses

You are required to complete the following courses prior to the start of Clinical Education I in the spring/summer:

  • Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Provider
  • Infection Control

There is a charge for the BLS course that may be arranged by the NYIT PT Department. If you do not take the BLS courses offered to you, it is your responsibility to find and take the courses on your own. The Infection Control will be given during the spring semester in Seminar in PT I.

XI. Computer Access

All NYIT Physical Therapy students are required to own (or have access to) a computer that can be connected to the Internet; iPads or a similar device are a requirement of the program. All students receive an e-mail account from NYIT. ALL email communications will go through this email address. Some classes may use other a different forum for class communications, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Remind. If a faculty member states they are using a specific form of communication, it is the student's obligation to have access to it, and to check it regularly.

XII. Communication Devices

During class time, all cell phones are to be placed on the silent mode. Having these devices ring during class is disrupting to the professor and to your classmates. It is expected that if you bring a laptop/iPad into class, that it used ONLY for classroom activities during the class session. "Surfing" the web or checking email are not appropriate activities during class, and will be grounds for disciplinary action. Students may be asked to leave the class for the remainder of that class session and/or lose points for the course.

XIII. The 500 Building

The Physical Therapy faculty and clerical staff are located in the 500 Building, in Room 501. There is a bulletin board located within the PT Office, where notices of importance are posted. Messages for faculty members may be left with the PT Department administrative assistant. Lockers will be assigned to you in the hallways of the 500 Building. You will be provided with a combination lock.

XIV. Current Status/Emergency Contact

It is imperative for all Physical Therapy students to bring any changes of mailing addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail accounts, emergency contact persons, and their respective information, in writing to the PT office in Room 501. You must hand in an updated emergency contact sheet prior to each clinical education. This form will be placed and locked in your file in your clinical education folder in Dr. Hall's office.

XV. Student Complaint Procedures

If you have a complaint about a course or a professor, and have not reached a satisfactory resolution, you should next speak to the Interim PT Chair. A detailed explanation of the complaint will be required in writing prior to the meeting. When submitted, you should provide supporting documentation as indicated relating to the matter. If the issue remains unresolved after review and decision by the Chair or his/her designee, you would then make an appointment with Dr. Fields, the Dean of the School of Health Professions. His office is located in the Riland Building, 3rd floor. If you have a complaint regarding the performance or actions of the Chair, you may direct those concerns to the Dean.

XVI. NYIT Gender-Based Misconduct Policy

NYIT takes the issue of sexual harassment very seriously. If you feel threatened in any way, we advise you to seek counseling or speak to a faculty member who can assist you.

Read the full Gender-Based Misconduct Policy

XVII. Photography Consent

There will be times when you will be photographed or videotaped in the lab class. This could be for a research project, for demonstration, or for review purposes. You consent to such photography or videography. If you object to being photographed or videotaped, this must be submitted in writing to both the faculty of the course and the Chair of the Department.

XVIII. Counseling

  • Mentoring The PT class above you will serve as mentors for you. They will be contacting you as you start the professional phase and can be a source of information, support, and kinship.
  • Peer Counseling NYIT has a Peer Mentor Program, which involves students at all levels and from all programs within the college. Their job is to offer support and information during your time at NYIT. Phone number is 516.686. 7976.
  • Professional Counseling The NYIT Counseling Center offers free confidential counseling services. Special programs, workshops, and time-limited group supports are offered to students experiencing a wide range of difficulties. The Counseling Center provides referral services to hospitals, clinics, and private practitioners when more specialized assistance is needed.

XIX. Accessibility Policy

Eligible students are entitled to accommodations. Please see the website for the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) for policies and procedures.

XX. Student Health Risks

As physical therapy involves movement, activity, and human interaction, there are inherent health risks present during laboratory classes and when in the clinical situations. Exposure to pathogens is a distinct possibility when in close encounters with other individuals. Students should take all precautions to protect themselves, their classmates, and patients from all potential risks, including infectious agents, unsafe situations and musculoskeletal injury.

XXI. Personal Appearance

Within the lab, you must be dressed appropriately to expose the appropriate body part. This would include a bathing suit top, sports bra, or tank top, and shorts for the women, and shorts for the men. Long hair should be pulled back or up and jewelry, such as dangling earrings, sharp rings, long chains, or dangle bracelets, should be removed. Nails must be trimmed and clean. Use of strong scented cologne or perfume is not recommended. Please remember your own personal hygiene. As you will be working closely with other students and touching each other during lab, please be respectful of their rights and come to school showered and clean!

XXII. Class Representatives

Each class in the professional phase will choose two classmates who will represent their respective class. These persons should be accessible to the class and to the PT faculty. They will have the opportunity to meet with faculty formally once/semester for general discussions. They may be called upon for input into departmental or curricular changes.

XXIII. Emergency School Closings

In the event of severe weather conditions, students should check the NYIT website or sign up for text alerts. You should check your email for any updated information from the PT faculty and/or Chair.

XXV. Physical Therapy Student Awards

  1. Dean's Honor List
    If you attain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in any semester with 12 completed credits without any incomplete grades, you will be placed on the Dean's Honor List. You will be notified and the honor is recorded on your transcript. If your overall grade point average is above a 3.5 upon graduation, you will graduate with honors.
  2. Departmental Awards
    In addition to college-wide awards, the Department of Physical Therapy will sponsor student awards at graduation. Criteria for these awards will be based on qualities such as leadership, college involvement, and/or service. Please refer to the list in the Appendix.
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Professional Development in Physical Therapy

The process of becoming an effective physical therapist involves attaining competency in professional knowledge, skill, and behavior. Expected professional behavior in both the academic and clinical setting will be defined by the following documents:

  1. The ten professional behaviors as outlined in the Generic Ability Assessment Tool
  2. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Code of Ethics
  3. The APTA Guide of Professional Conduct


  1. The process of becoming socialized into a profession requires hard work and takes a long time; therefore, it must begin early.
  2. A repertoire of behaviors, in addition to a core of knowledge and skills, is important to be a physical therapist.
  3. Professional behaviors are defined by the ability to generalize, integrate, apply, synthesize, and interact effectively.
  4. Whether behaviors can be "taught" or not, the fact remains that behaviors are learned.
  5. Behaviors can be objectified and assessed.


The concept of looking at the other, often unspoken "parts" of becoming a physical therapist was addressed in 1992 at University of Wisconsin at Madison. The Physical Therapy Faculty there felt a need to smooth the transition from the academic setting to the clinical one. Generic abilities with behavioral criteria were established, and clinicians and academicians in the Wisconsin area and beyond have redefined them. There was additional input from PT faculty from Boston University. A revised version was released in 1997.


Generic abilities are behaviors, attributes, or characteristics that are not explicitly part of a professional's core of knowledge and technical skills, but nevertheless are required in that profession.


a. Self Assessment

You are required to fill out a professional behavior self-assessment form each year. This will require reading and then highlighting the various criteria that you feel that you have accomplished. You then "grade" yourself on the included chart and discuss your self-assessment with your faculty advisor. This will require introspection, a sharing about yourself, to look into the areas where you may need assistance, intervention, counsel, or more focused effort on a problem or a challenge. With your advisor, you both come up with a plan of action.

Our goal for you is to provide an environment that allows you to seek challenges and request feedback on your performance. Constructive feedback is important, especially when you are assessing yourself.

There are three levels of Behavioral Criteria: Beginning, Developing, and Entry Level. It is our goal that most of you achieve the Beginning Level by the completion of your first clinical experience, the Developing Level by the completion of your second clinical experience, and Entry Level by graduation.

Plan of Action

A plan of action is a response, which may include journal writing, specific remediation, or a special project or assignment. This is to be a joint effort, but it is really your choice. You should view your advisor or professor as your coach, giving you "pointers", but you are the one making the plays.

b. Problem-Oriented Assessment

This assessment would be used if consistently inappropriate behavior is observed or an essential behavior is not observed. These behaviors may be present in the academic or clinical setting. This assessment is prepared specifically for the individual that is involved. The process initially includes a discussion with your advisor or professor. After discussion, a plan of action would be made.

If serious problems arise or if the plan of action is not successful, there will be a meeting with the Physical Therapy Academic Review Committee, the NYIT Physical Therapy Faculty, or the Clinical Instructor/ACCE. Again there will be discussion and a new plan of action would be drafted. Compliance and progress towards improving a certain behavior is essential for continuation of the Physical Therapy program.

c. Professional Behavioral Course Objectives

Each graduate course in the NYIT PT program contains objectives for professional and attitude expectations. Most of the faculty used the objectives from the professional development worksheet, based on the generic abilities, to be consistent with the language. Up to 5 points may be deducted from your final course grade for repeated episodes of unprofessional behavior. Variables that may result in deduction of points include severity, duration, and consistency of the "problem area", overall attitude about the problem, especially if addressed, and the effect of the problem on the student themselves, the class as a whole, and the faculty member. You will be given one warning with no point deduction.

When there appears to be a deficit in one of the areas, the faculty member is requested to inform the rest of the faculty about what they are observing in their course. It is up to the discretion of each faculty member to decide how to handle his or her certain situations. The following suggestions have been provided:

  • Speak to the student privately
  • With the student's permission, have another student assist them with the area of concern
  • Speak to the student's faculty advisor
  • Start a written problem sheet with specific objectives and/or assignments along with a timeline
  • Hold an informal faculty meeting
  • Hold a formal NYIT PT Academic Review session with the student, the faculty, and PT colleagues as needed
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Membership in Professional Organizations

Professional associations set standards for the profession and work for the practitioner in a number of ways: attendance at professional meetings, advocacy, lobby activities, continuing education, information, consultation, publications, product discounts, grants, loans, and scholarships and the opportunity for professional growth and recognition.

Students in a professional physical therapy program are encouraged to join, at student rates, the organizations that represent and support the profession. Membership allows the student to vote on matters of importance to the profession and to become acquainted with other student members from other PT programs as well as practicing physical therapists. Discounted APTA membership continues after graduation.

NYIT Physical Therapy Society: The NYIT PT Society is made up of NYIT physical therapy students at the pre-professional and professional levels. There are scheduled meetings during the school calendar. Dr. Cheryl Hall is the faculty advisor. The PT Society's goals include, but are not limited to: Increasing student interaction, (especially between pre-professional and professional classes), fundraising for internal and external causes, increasing physical therapy knowledge and experiences, and increasing public relations regarding PT within NYIT and in the community. Each year there are elections for President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA): The APTA is divided into three levels: National, State and District.

  • National: The American Physical Therapy Association is located at 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314-9902. Telephone number is 1-800-999-APTA. Webpage is Membership in SPTA, the Student Physical Therapy Association of the APTA, provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about your profession. Student members are eligible to serve on committees and will receive the Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association and the PT Magazine. There are annual conferences and Student Conclaves held throughout the United States.
  • State: The New York State Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association is located at NYPTA, 4 Palisades Drive, Suite 220, Executive Woods, Albany NY 12205. Telephone number is 1-800-459-4489. Web Page is: The NY Chapter Executive Director is Leslie Wood (e-mail is The newsletter is Empire State Physical Therapy. There are annual conferences held in the fall, alternating upstate and downstate locations. The 2002 Annual Conference will be held in October in Huntington, NY.
  • District: The Long Island District of the APTA holds their meetings at various LI sites. A mini-conference is held once a year. All physical therapy students are invited to attend all district meetings.
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Physical Therapy Student Handbook Appendices

Departmental Awards

Physical Therapy Academic Performance Award
Conferred by the Physical Therapy Faculty upon the graduating student with the highest overall grade point average.
Physical Therapy Clinical Education Performance Award
Conferred by the Physical Therapy Faculty upon the graduating student who received the highest Clinical Performance rating by their clinical supervisor.
Physical Therapy Research Award
Conferred by the Physical Therapy Faculty upon the graduating student who demonstrates outstanding scholarship in design, development, and execution of an original research project.
Physical Therapy Leadership Award
Conferred by the Physical Therapy Faculty upon the graduating student whose outstanding extracurricular activities reflect dedication both to the students and faculty in the program in physical therapy and to the NYIT community at large.
Physical Therapy Professional Development Award
Conferred by the Physical Therapy Faculty upon the graduating student who has demonstrated career development consistent with the highest standard of the profession.
Benjamin Morey Commitment to Excellence Award
Conferred by the Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy upon the graduating student who has demonstrated significant perseverance in the pursuit of success in physical therapy.


Sign the DPT Honor Code

Sign the DPT Contractual Agreement