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July 2002

Release Date: July 18, 2002

ASU Physical Therapy Program on Course for Major Milestones in 2002

With the start of the second summer term, the master of physical therapy (MPT) program at Angelo State University now has a full complement of three classes of students enrolled in the graduate program.

The new class is the first of four milestones the MPT program will reach by the end of the calendar year. The program is moving into newly renovated quarters in the Center for Human Performance. In August the physical therapy program will host a site visit by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) to consider the program's request for accreditation. Then in December, the program will graduate its first class of physical therapists.

Ten graduate professional students went through orientation at the start of the second summer term and are now enrolled in physical therapist education classes. This is the third class of students to enter ASU's physical therapy program.

Physical Therapy Department Head and Program Director Dr. Kathleen Cegles reported that four of the new students did their undergraduate work at ASU while the remainder hold degrees from North Carolina A&T, Texas Lutheran University, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Schreiner University. Their undergraduate majors include early childhood intervention, exercise science, biomedical science, economics and biology. Eight members of the Class of 2004 are female and two are male. The average age is 24 years.

"We are thrilled to have such a non-traditional mix of student physical therapists in our graduate program," Cegles said.

Cegles said the MPT program is now returning dividends to the community, which was so generous in providing essential financial support in the beginning stages of program development. For example, one group of student physical therapists is in the process of establishing a once per month pediatric respite night out with a local church and a center for medically fragile children. Another student physical therapist group is working on an outpatient cardiac rehabilitation project at a Sonora hospital.

The CAPTE visit is scheduled Aug. 17-21. The CAPTE team will consist of one clinician and two academicians. Team members will review the MPT program and its curriculum, inspect the PT facilities, meet with PT faculty and university administrators as well as student physical therapists and then file a written report to CAPTE.

After reviewing the report and documenting information, the commission will consider granting accreditation to the program. Cegles said the university should have a final decision by November.

Then in December, the program will grant its first degrees when ASU holds its commencement Dec. 13 in the Junell Center/Stephens Arena. Ten students are on course to receive their physical therapy diplomas at the ceremony. Commencement speaker that night will be American Physical Therapy Association President Ben Massey of Raleigh, N.C.

Throughout the summer and fall the program will be utilizing the renovated facilities in the Center for Human Performance. Cegles and the PT faculty are excited about the new laboratories housing state-of-the-art human performance, exercise science, neurological, cardiopulmonary and musculoskeletal equipment.

Specialized research areas are also included in the renovated facilities. The motion analysis laboratory, for instance, will enable faculty researchers and student physical therapists the unique opportunity to examine, evaluate and study "real time" movement dysfunction in subjects. Cegles said this contemporary laboratory is the first in the Concho Valley, with San Antonio housing the next closest motion analysis laboratory.

"These facilities provide our ASU students with access to exemplary equipment most commonly seen in MPT programs that are housed within a medical facility," Cegles said.

Overall, Cegles said ASU's PT program has come a long way in the past three years and has set the foundation to go a long way in the future toward meeting multiple health care needs for the Concho Valley and beyond.