Alvernia Mission and Philosophy
The mission of the Alvernia University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is to provide an educational experience that seeks to prepare the next generation of autonomous physical therapist clinicians, researchers, and educators by challenging students to think critically, act professionally, and serve altruistically. The DPT Program seeks to prepare graduates to assume a leadership role in today’s health care environment as Doctors of Physical Therapy who are committed to the application and perpetuation of evidence-based knowledge. Represented within the mission of the program is the vision of the American Physical Therapy Association and the core values of Alvernia University.
Achievement of this mission is accomplished through the promotion of a graduate who is self-reflective, service-oriented, and highly skilled. Self-reflective professionals are committed to lifelong learning and demonstrate the capacity to thoughtfully consider their actions and creatively solve problems. Service-oriented professionals are agents of change who understand their role within the health care continuum. Such practitioners are committed to making contributions to the profession and to the communities in which they live in the context of client and societal needs. Skilled professionals exhibit clinical knowledge and competence through the application of evidence-based principles and practices. Such practitioners are dedicated to achieving optimal outcomes through exploration of innovative strategies.
DPT Program Philosophy: The Program’s philosophy clearly reflects the best practice standards for the professional training of physical therapists as evidenced by pursuit of the following:
Learner-Directed Education: In a model of learner-directed education, instructors are viewed as facilitators who guide students through meaningful learning experiences. The development of competent, critically-thinking graduates prepared to impact their profession and the lives of others requires an educational process that appreciates multiple learning preferences and one in which the onus of learning is placed upon the student.
Performance-Based Education: The content and organization of the curriculum is performance-directed and engenders a philosophical orientation toward competence in clinical practice. In accordance with this initiative, content emphasizes evidence-based practice and encourages the pursuit of practice-based evidence. The knowledge base and essential skills required to enable graduates to practice competently and autonomously will serve as the preeminent criterion for inclusion in the curriculum.
Culturally-Competent Education: Incumbent on the physical therapist professional is the ability to see beyond one’s self and serve others altruistically, generously, and without prejudice. A myriad of deliberate and sustained experiences provide opportunities for students to develop cultural competence. This goal is achieved by changing attitudes and patterns of thought that precede behavioral adaptations. Viewing disability through the eyes of those whom we serve infiltrates every aspect of the curriculum and demonstration of skill in appreciating diversity is expected and required.
Doctorally-Trained Professional Education: Graduates receive explicit instruction in the personal requirements and professional responsibilities associated with their entrance into the doctoring profession of physical therapy. As doctors of physical therapy, graduates will appreciate their role as leaders within the health care community and be fully equipped to pursue their rightful place as autonomous professionals in the service of those in need. As citizens of a larger community, graduates will be prepared to practice ethically, honestly, and diligently for the better good of mankind in clinical practice, academic endeavor, and scientific inquiry. Graduates will be dedicated to embracing the art and the science of physical therapy according to the ethical principles and practice act requirements as delineated elsewhere. Associated with professionalism is the ability to altruistically serve those in need and to provide expert care that is founded upon the current best evidence.