Henderson, Tennessee – (Dec. 5, 2023) – The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) has granted Freed-Hardeman University’s Physical Therapist Assistant program accreditation status effective October 31, 2023, as reported by Dr. C.J. Vires, FHU provost and vice president for academics. This is the maximum accreditation granted by CAPTE, for a period of five years until the next reassessment period.
“I have had the privilege of building the PTA program from the ground up,” PTA Program Director Ashley Prentice said. “It’s been a labor of love for the last 5 years of my life since I began at FHU, and it is so amazing just to see how God’s hand has been in every fine detail of the establishment of the program, from the hiring of faculty to donor support to the students we have had accepted into our program. We have truly been blessed to see so much success early on, and the support from administration and members of the Freed-Hardeman family has been overwhelming. I truly believe we have the best students in our program, and I am so excited to see where their paths take them. I’m thankful to have played just a small part in their journey.”
The inaugural cohort of the PTA program began courses in the fall of 2022 and will graduate on December 15, 2023. Students will sit for their national licensure examination (NPTE) in the spring of 2024. The program currently has two cohorts of students.
Applications for the fall 2024 cohort will open on December 1, 2023, with a deadline for submission on March 31, 2024. The PTA program accepts a maximum of 18 students each fall semester. The program is a 1+1 degree model, meaning that students who have already completed prerequisite and general education requirements can complete the program in as few as three academic semesters. Students without any academic credit will need five semesters.
Classes are taught four days per week during the fall and spring semesters. The program is a three-semester blend of didactic and clinical education experiences. It includes 640 hours of clinical experience in both the outpatient and inpatient settings under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant who is supervised by a licensed physical therapist. At this time, students have completed clinical education rotations in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Colorado and Wyoming. In addition to clinical education experiences, the program has created a voluntary medical missions experience to Honduras that takes place each summer.
Prentice serves as the PTA program director. A 2012 alumna of FHU, she has been a practicing clinician since 2015. Brian Vaughn, with more than 20 years of experience in the outpatient clinical setting, serves as the program’s director of clinical education. Both faculty members hold a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Freed-Hardeman University.
CAPTE is the only accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit entry-level physical therapist and physical therapist education programs, according to its website. The organization currently accredits more than 250 physical therapist education programs and more than 350 physical therapy assistant programs, predominantly in the United States.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Freed-Hardeman University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: capteonline.org. In order to contact the program/institution directly, please call 731-989-6097 or email email@example.com.
The mission of Freed-Hardeman University’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program is to equip students with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service in order to provide holistic healthcare services to individuals and communities throughout the world. By growing in knowledge through dedicated faculty and a comprehensive curriculum focused on contemporary practice, the program will prepare graduates to serve as competent and ethical physical therapist assistants working under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist.