Clinical Education


Overview of Alvernia’s Clinical Education Program

Alvernia’s DPT Clinical Education Program consists of:   

  • 39 weeks of full-and part-time clinical education experiences, which total 32 credits.

  • At Alvernia, the cornerstone of our program is our emphasis on clinical competence and skill that is facilitated through early and frequent immersion of the student into real-world clinical experiences.  Many programs begin clinical internships after the first year of classroom learning or incorporate clinical observation into the coursework.  At Alvernia, we believe that authentic learning transpires when students are able to connect classroom instruction with actual patient interaction. 

  • To accomplish our mission of developing clinical competence, students begin their clinical internship experiences within their first semester of the program.  These initial part-time clinical experiences will serve to develop professional behaviors, connect classroom instruction with actual patient scenarios, and prepare students for full-time clinical internship experiences. 

  • Throughout the curriculum, students will engage in 4 part-time and 4 full-time clinical education experiences totaling 39 weeks of clinical education.  Web-assisted resources will be utilized throughout each clinical internship to facilitate self-reflection and to connect clinical practice with previously-learned classroom knowledge.  Clinical sites offering innovative care by experienced and well-trained Physical Therapist clinical experts will be used to guide students toward entry-level clinical competence.  The ACCE will work closely to forge close relationships between clinical instructors and students by establishing clear expectations and communicating anticipated outcomes. 

  • The clinical education curriculum represents a hybrid model that includes full-time clinical experiences offered as unopposed focused-learning experiences during 2 summer semesters.

  • The final two 12-week full time experiences are considered post-didactic and resemble the traditional residency model that is often used in medical education.  In this way, the program ensures that each student demonstrates entry-level proficiency prior to graduation.  The majority of clinical sites will be located within 25 miles of Alvernia’s main campus.