Program Strengths and Unique Features

Program Strengths

  1. Student Body - Our classes are ethnically diverse, with students from numerous states and undergraduate and graduate institutions show a wide variety of individual and dual undergraduate and graduate majors. Students who take the research elective have presented at national meetings, have published with their faculty mentors, and have been nominated for scientific and research poster awards. See About Us: Who We Are and Composites of the Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022.
  2. The Faculty - The program faculty is both seasoned and contemporary, with an average of 11 years teaching at Columbia. They provide a deep, broad, and challenging education directly linked to their own pursuit of excellence and commitment to teaching. The faculty has been listed, first and foremost, on Year I, Year II, and Year III surveys as “knowledgeable professors who care about students’ learning experiences, their openness to effect change and the feeling of family that outweighs the difficulty of the curriculum.”
  3. Sequencing of courses around the seven domains of learning.
  4. Development of advanced topic courses, teaching and research practicums, and electives allowing students to take ownership of their own learning to meet their individualized goals in more focused areas of practice.
  5. Resources of the medical center.
  6. Breadth and depth of clinical affiliation sites, nationwide and abroad.

Unique Features of the Program

  1. White Coat Ceremony - The White Coat is a “rite of passage” for first-year students, inspired by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, in recognition of the importance of fostering humanism in health care. Before family, significant others, friends, faculty, and honored guests, students don a white coat, which acknowledges the students’ beginning transition into competent clinicians. It is a personally delivered gift of faith, confidence, and compassion and reflects the belief in the students’ ability to carry on the honorable tradition of physical therapy.
  2. Terminal Clinical Education Experience Model - This experience is the pinnacle of the clinical education progression, which occurs during the spring semester of the final year of study. The clinical education experience gives each student the opportunity to hone advanced clinical practice skills in a specialty area under the tutelage of a seasoned clinician. A primary goal of the experience is to expose students to the continuum of care in a chosen specialty track. The sequence of clinical experiences is designed to facilitate students’ development from novice to entry-level practitioner.
  3. A curriculum that reflects hours of instruction to afford a more independent learning environment.
  4. An adult-learning pedagogy that focuses on student-directed learning activities and questions.
  5. Sequential Curriculum - Courses are designed to progress from simple knowledge to complex integration and application involving critical thinking and clinical decision-making.
  6. Course objectives that illustrate a hierarchy of learning with each semester and throughout the curriculum.
  7. The development of courses that reflect taxonomy of expected student behaviors in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (attitudes and values) domains of learning.
  8. The option to take a medical Spanish course during Summer I.