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Wingate PT program earns 10-year accreditation

by Chuck Gordon

Wingate University’s Department of Physical Therapy earned its 10-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) this week. It now won’t have to go through the accreditation process again for another decade.

Best of all, it achieved that goal with no outstanding citations.

“There are 132 distinct and separate items in CAPTE’s Standards and Required Elements, and all must be satisfied,” says Dr. Karen Friel, program director. “To come through the process with no citations certainly is a welcomed outcome. This is one of the highlights of my professional career in academia.”

CAPTE accreditation is vital to a doctor of physical therapy program. Graduation from a CAPTE-accredited program is required before a budding physical therapist can sit for the licensing exam.

Wingate’s first accreditation came before there were any students in the program. The first cohort started in 2014 and graduated in December 2016. In the past six years, 250 students have earned their doctor of physical therapy degrees at Wingate.

Accreditation is an arduous, two-year process, one that was made doubly difficult by virtue of having taken place during a global pandemic. Friel, who took over the program in January 2019, is happy that the program passed with flying colors and is looking forward to concentrating on making improvements.

“We felt we had prepared well and had submitted an inclusive, thorough and well-written document that told the story about our history, our present and our future,” she says. “We have made incredible strides in the past three years to update our curriculum and our outcomes assessment.

“Knowing that we are on solid ground with our accreditors allows us to now focus on continuing to move forward with initiatives in our strategic plan, including offering more continuing education, expanding our pro bono services and offering global study opportunities for our students.”

There are 10 accredited physical therapy schools in North Carolina and only three in South Carolina.

May 27, 2022

  • DPT