PREDICTING SUCCESS:Ê A STUDY OF ADMISSION PROCESSES AND PASSING THE NATIONAL PHYSICAL THERAPY EXAMINATION FOR PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANTS

Purpose: In order to practice physical therapy, physical therapist assistants (PTAs) must graduate from an accredited academic program and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants (PTA-NPTE).Ê The primary objective of academic programs is to prepare students to successfully complete these two milestones to become competent, entry-level practitioners.Ê The ability of an academic program to achieve this goal begins with the admission of students most likely to complete the academic training and pass the PTA-NPTE.Ê Although previous research has examined the relationships between certain programmatic and PTA student characteristics and the PTA-NPTE, research had yet to explore the relationships between admission processes and criteria and student achievement.Ê The purpose of this study was to examine the existence of a relationship between the admission processes and criteria used by PTA programs and student achievement, defined by programmatic completion and PTA-NPTE passing rates.Methods/Description: An online survey was used to gather data from a convenience sample of 85 PTA program directors across the United States.Ê Data collected included the process and criteria used to admit students into the technical phase of training from 2008 through 2010 and the corresponding student achievement outcomes.Ê Admission processes were identified as either selective or open enrollment processes.Ê The admission criteria examined included pre-admission grade point average, completion of pre-admission college credits, pre-admission standardized test completion and prior experience in the field of physical therapy.Results/Outcomes: Statistically significant differences were identified between selective admission and open enrollment programs for both completion rates and PTA-NPTE pass rates.Ê With regard to completion rates, statistically significant differences were identified between schools that considered completion of prior college credit and experience in the field of physical therapy during the admission process and those programs that did not.Ê No statistically significant differences were revealed in PTA-NPTE pass rates based on the admission criteria examined.Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Shaping the Future of Physical Therapy Education: The study concluded that PTA programs that use a selective admission process would have higher completion and PTA-NPTE pass rates than those that use an open enrollment process.Ê Within the selective admission process, consideration should be given to completion of prior college credits as well as experience in the field of physical therapy.Ê Despite these findings, further research is needed to clearly identify the specific admission criteria correlated to both student achievement outcomes.References: American Physical Therapy Association. (2007). A normative model of physical therapist assistant education: Version 2007. Alexandria, VA: American Physical Therapy Association. Andrews, A. W., Johansson, C., Chinworth, S. A. & Akroyd, D. (2006). Cognitive, collegiate, and demographic predictors of attrition in professional physical therapy education. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 20, (1), 14-21. Atkinson, R. C. & Geiser, S. (2009). Reflections on a century of college admission tests.Ê Educational Researcher, 38, (9), 665-676. Crawford, C. & Jervis, A. (2011). Community college today. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 4, (8), 29-32. Desmarais, L., Woble-Valenski, M. A., & Oestmann, E. (2011). Factors influencing physical therapist assistant licensure examination success. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 25, (2), 36-41. Fike, D. S. & Fike, R. (2008). Predictors of first-year student retention in community college. Community College Review, 36, (2), 68-88. Geiser, S. (2009). Back to the basics: In defense of achievement (and achievement tests) in college admissions. Change, January/February, 17-23 Hollman, J. H., Rindflesch, A. B., Youdas, J. W., Krause, D. A., Hellyer, N. J., & Kinlaw, D. (2008). Retrospective analysis of the behavioral interview and other preadmission variables to predict licensure examination outcomes in physical therapy. Journal of Allied Health, 37, (2), 97-104. Ingram, W. G. & Morrissey, S. E. (2009). Ethical dimensions of the open-door admissions policy. New Directions for Community Colleges, 148, 31-38.Ê Doi:Ê 10.1002/cc.384 Jewell, D. V. & Riddle, D. L. (2005). A method for predicting a studentÕs risk for academic probation in a professional program in allied health. Journal of Allied Health, 43, (1), 17-23. Kosmahl, EM. (2005). Factors related to physical therapist license examination scores. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 19, (2), 52-56. Maring, J. & Costello, E. (2009). Education program and student characteristics associated with pass rates on the National Physical Therapy Examination for physical therapist assistants. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 23, (1), 3-11. Mohr, T., Ingram, D., Hayes, S. & Du, Z. (2005). Education program characteristics and pass rates on the National Physical Therapy Examination. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 19, (1), 60-66. Riddle, D. L., Utzman, R. R., Jewell, D. V., Pearson, S., & Kong, X. (2009). Academic difficulty and program-level variables predict performance on the National Physical Therapy Examination for Licensure: A population-based cohort study. Physical Therapy, 89, (11), 1182-1191. Shiyko, M. P. & Pappas, E. (2009). Validation of pre-admission requirements in a doctor of physical therapy program with a large representation of minority students. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 23, (2), 29-36. ÊTinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed). Chicago:Ê The University of Chicago Press. Utzman, R. R., Riddle, D. L., & Jewell, D. V. (2007). Use of demographic and quantitative admissions data to predict performance on the National Physical Therapy Examination. Physical Therapy, 87, (9), 1181-1193. Vendrely, A. M. (2007). An investigation of the relationship among academic performance, clinical performance, and success on the physical therapy licensure examination. Journal of Allied Health, 36, (2), 108-123. Ê

BACK to Abstract Results

  • Control #: 1996009
  • Type: Platform
  • Event/Year: ELC2014
  • Authors: Kathryn R. Shaab
  • Keywords:

BACK to Abstract Results