Central to the mission of the Program in Physical Therapy is the mission and goals of Florida Gulf Coast University and the College of Health Professions. Reflective of this, the academic program is designed to meet the diverse needs of the college students of today and of the future. The program prepares students to enter contemporary practice in the field of physical therapy. Students become proficient in employing current sources of information as they relate to learning and evidence-based practice. Students develop into self-directed learners through the active learning format that characterizes the program - skills that aid them in being resourceful scholars and clinicians.
All students participate in a curriculum that focuses on the process of effective problem solving and scientific inquiry. Faculty provide scaffolding for higher learning, exposing students to the base of knowledge on which the professions are founded and facilitate student exploration of the validity of that knowledge base. Coursework requiring the student to use intellectual inquisitiveness builds a desire in each student for life long growth and learning. Psychomotor and decision-making skills are developed in the context of ethical, competent, compassionate and holistic client care. An integrated curriculum and community-based laboratories prepare students for autonomous practice. Students are encouraged to participate in a variety of service opportunities.
Self-evaluation and reflection are the cornerstone of student evaluation. Through this process, students become proficient in identifying individual areas of strength and need. This enables each student to bring a strong foundation in self-assessment of learning and a repertoire of necessary tools to the process of guided periodic peer assessment, both formal and informal. Through collaborative learning and application of the review and evaluation process, students develop acceptance of and comfort with the development of the skills essential for peer assessment and review.
Faculty contribute to the future development of the profession through teaching, scholarly activities and community and professional service. Faculty are committed to the continuous improvement of teaching and learning strategies and curriculum design, providing an environment that accommodates a variety of learning styles and fosters success. Professional and community service are valued and are modeled by the program faculty.
Graduates of the program reflect the diverse backgrounds, experiences and interests of the community that the University serves. Through active participation in interdisciplinary coursework and community experiences, graduates are skilled in effective communication, facilitating teamwork and model leadership within their work environments and in their communities. All graduates are exposed to experiences that cultivate cultural awareness and sensitivity to age, gender and cultural diversity. Skilled, knowledgeable, self-directed, adaptable, and compassionate graduates are prepared to meet the needs of patients, clients, the profession, and the community as autonomous practitioners.