Jul 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Exercise Physiology, B. S. leading to Doctor of Physical Therapy (3+3 PTEX)


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Department Contact:

Exercise Physiology

Chair: Dr. Kristofer Wisniewski

Telephone:  (814) 471-1132

Email:  kwisniewski@francis.edu

 

Physical Therapy

Chair: Dr Jessica Cammarata

Telephone:  (814) 472-3851

Email:  jcammarata@francis.edu

Program Description:

The American College of Sports Medicine and exercise physiologists define an Exercise Physiologist as one who studies the acute and chronic physiological responses and adaptations resulting from physical activity. An exercise physiologist can apply this knowledge to improve or maintain health, fitness, or performance. Traditionally exercise physiologists worked and studied only with athletes to improve performance. Today, however, exercise physiologists also work and study in commercial, clinical, and workplace settings to increase health, fitness, and quality of life in the general population. For example, an exercise physiologist may work as a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialist, a personal trainer, or direct an employee fitness program. (www.acsm.org)

 

The Exercise Physiology program’s curriculum, faculty, and resources are consistent with the standards and guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Commission on Accreditation of Exercise Sciences.

The accelerated direct entry Doctor of Physical Therapy 3+3 program provides three years of pre-professional study where students complete the general education studies and  core requirements to complete a BS in Exercise Physiology followed by three years of study in the professional curriculum which includes clinical experiences. While the entire six-year curriculum is taught on campus, selected education experiences may occasionally require travel to local health care facilities. All clinical education coursework is full time and requires travel to clinical sites for practical experience under the supervision of a physical therapist. Clinical education sites will be available locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Freshmen applicants should have strong backgrounds in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer science. Clinical volunteer or paid employment experience, while not required for freshmen admission, is recommended to provide students with exposure to physical therapy practice.

Students will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology after successful completion of the fourth year, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree will be awarded after successful completion of the sixth year. Progression through the curriculum is dependent upon successful completion of all courses in the sequence. The Student Progress Committee must approve any changes to the sequence outlined. Please consult the departmental handbook for detailed information about internal policies and standards. Professional courses are open to physical therapy majors only.

See Physical Therapy  for more information on the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Accreditation Statement:

The Saint Francis University Exercise Physiology program has been continuously accredited since January 16, 2014 by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education (CAAHEP). CAAHEP may be contacted at 9355 - 113th St. N, #7709, Seminole, FL 33775; (727) 210-2350; www.caahep.org.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Saint Francis University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Graduates of the Exercise Physiology program will be able to utilize exercise physiology concepts to:

  1. Assess an individual’s readiness for exercise and appropriately conduct, interpret, debrief, and implement exercise testing results.
  2. Develop safe and effective individualized exercise programs and appropriately modify the exercise prescription.
  3. Optimize adoption of, and adherence to, exercise and other healthy behaviors through communication, motivation, and behavioral strategies.
  4. Recognize the importance of risk management policies in health and fitness settings.
  5. Display personal and professional character consistent with the Goals of Franciscan Higher Education, specifically respect for the uniqueness of individual persons.

 

For further information, see the full list of CAAHEP Performance Domains and Associated Competencies for Educational Programs in Exercise Sciences that are covered in the program in the Exercise Physiology Student Handbook.

The curriculum leading to the DPT requires students to engage in diverse, complex, and specific experiences essential to the acquisition and practice of physical therapy skills and functions. Unique combinations of cognitive, affective, psychomotor, physical and interpersonal abilities are required to satisfactorily perform these functions. In addition to being essential to the successful completion of the requirements of the DPT, these functions are necessary to ensure the health and safety of the student, patients, fellow students, faculty, and other healthcare providers.

The essential qualifications are necessary to acquire or demonstrate competence in physical therapy and needed for successful progression by students for the DPT.  These essential qualifications are in addition to the standards of behavior and academic conduct set forth in the University Conduct Code, and includes, but is not limited to the following functions, skills, competencies, abilities and behaviors.

Graduates of the First year of the DPT program (year 4) will:

  • Be prepared to be ethical and compassionate practitioners of physical therapy.
  • Be able to use clinical reasoning in professional practice.
  • Become lifelong learners able to formulate plans for professional and personal learning.
  • Be able to use evidence-based approach to support decisions and serve the needs of consumers and society.

 

For further information, see the full list of DPT Student Learning Outcomes which can be found in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Student Handbook.

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically four years of full-time study to complete the BS plus two additional years of full-time study to complete the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree

Admission Requirements:

There are two options for admission into the Accelerated 3+3 program leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy: 

Students applying completing Standardized testing - SAT/ ACT

In addition to University admission requirements the program also requires the following:

  • SAT score of 1210 or higher in critical reading and math or an ACT composite score of 25 or higher.
  • GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 with 16 academic units indicated below:
    • 4 units of science including biology and chemistry; physics recommended but not required; 4 units of math, reaching at least the level of pre-calculus; calculus recommended but not required; 4 units of English; 4 units of academic electives.

Students apply without completing standardized testing -  SAT/ACT (Test Optional)

In addition to University admission requirements the program also requires the following:

  • GPA of 3.7 on a 4.0 with 16 academic units indicated below:
    • 4 units of science including biology and chemistry; physics recommended but not required; 4 units of math, reaching at least the level of pre-calculus; calculus recommended but not required; 4 units of English; 4 units of academic electives.

Admission Deadline:

The program has rolling admission.

Essential Functions of Students in the Pre-professional and Professional:

The University’s Exercise Physiology Program prepares students and graduates to competently practice as exercise physiologists and to sit for national certification exams. The education of exercise physiologists requires the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities typically required to perform the job of an entry-level Exercise Physiologist. A full list of the essential functions can be found in the Exercise Physiology Student Handbook.
 

The University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program prepares students and graduates to competently practice as a physical therapist and to apply for licensure for any state in the United States. The education of a physical therapist requires assimilation of knowledge, acquisition of skills, and development of judgment through patient care experiences in preparation for a) independent, b) semi- autonomous, or c) collaborative practice, and making appropriate decisions required in such practice.

 

For further information, see the Essential Functions of the Student Physical Therapist.

 

Saint Francis University is committed to the principle that no qualified individual, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits or services, programs or activities of the University, or be subjected to discrimination by the University as required by the Americans with Disability Act. A copy of the technical standards for admission into the Physician Assistant Sciences program is available in the office of the program director or on the department’s website. The Physician Assistant Sciences program adheres to the policies for academic accommodation as determined by the Center for Academic Success. The Center’s Office of Disability Services assists eligible students in receiving basic services as determined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act. Every effort is made to arrange appropriate academic accommodations for students who experience physical or mental disabilities. Students are required to provide appropriate documentation to the accessibility coordinator upon request of the accommodation.

Progression and/or Retention Criteria:

Pre-Professional Curriculum Progression Standards

All physical therapy majors in the three-year pre-professional curriculum must meet the following academic requirements prior to the summer of the fourth year of study in order to have a guaranteed seat in the professional curriculum.

  • Must maintain an overall cumulative QPA of 3.20 or higher
    • The overall cumulative QPA will be reviewed at the end of each year of the pre-professional curriculum to assess progress towards the attainment of entrance requirements for the professional phase of the program.
    • QPA’s are evaluated as reported by the student’s Saint Francis University transcript. Transfer credits are accepted but not included in the QPA calculation.
  • Must maintain a cumulative math/science QPA of 3.20 or higher in all prerequisite courses. Grades below a “C” are not accepted. The student may, prior to the end of the spring semester of the junior year, retake up to two courses one time to achieve the minimum grade of “C.”
    • The cumulative math/science GPA is based on courses taken at SFU; BIOL 111, 205, 206, CHEM 113,114, EXPH 305, PHYS 104,105, and STAT 205 (or EXPH 375).
  • Cumulative and pre-requisite QPA will be reviewed at the end of the junior year. QPA’s are evaluated as reported by the student’s transcript.
  • Prior to the fall semester of the junior year, 50 hours of documented volunteer experience or paid employment in at least one physical therapy practice settings, with two settings recommended.
  • Completion of the pre-professional curriculum in 3 consecutive years.

 

*A seat in the professional curriculum of the physical therapy major is not guaranteed for a student who does not meet these progression standards. Students should work closely with their advisors to review their academic progress and to make a plan to meet progression standards or select a new major if they are not meeting requirements for matriculation into the DPT program. Students may request a transfer into the Exercise Physiology, B.S. leading to DPT 4+3 program, provided the requirements are met for that program. Any student who does not meet the requirements for a guaranteed seat may apply for admission as a graduate admission.

Professional Curriculum Progression Standards

All physical therapy majors in the three-year professional curriculum must meet the following academic requirements. Failure to meet any one of the progression standards will result in dismissal from the program. Beginning with the fall semester of the 1st year, achieve a minimum GPA of 3.000 each semester of the professional curriculum.

 

  • Earn a minimum grade of “C” or better in every professional curriculum course.
  • Achieve a grade of “Pass” on all courses in the professional curriculum graded as “Pass/Fail.”
  • Achieve competency on all lab practical examinations as per department policy.
  • Successfully complete each clinical education experience/ course and achieve a grade of “Pass” in each course (per Department policy).
  • Adhere to the University Conduct Code and all Essential Functions as defined in the Physical Therapy Program Student Handbook.

Capstone Requirement:

Exercise Physiology

Students in the Exercise Physiology program are required to successfully complete ONE of the following requirements in order to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology:

 

  1. Take the comprehensive exercise physiology major written exam (EXAM 401)
  2. Take an accredited and approved certification exam offered by:
    • The American College of Sports Medicine: EP-C exam; OR
    • The National Strength and Conditioning Association: CSCS exam.

Note:

Exercise Physiology students in the four-year program must complete two* 100-hour internship/practicum experiences. These experiences may be completed during the fall or spring semesters, but it is encouraged that they be completed in the summer months. These experiences are arranged between the student and the Internship Coordinator. Students are responsible for all expenses related to housing, food and transportation to the internship site.

 

*(PTEX students have one 100-hour experience.)

 

Physical Therapy

The completion of the senior capstone is defined as completion of all professional lab activities in the student’s senior year.

Total Credits Required:

BS Exercise Physiology to DPT Accelerated Program: 154 credits minimum for the B.S. in Exercise Physiology plus 74 credits for the DPT

DPT Only: 115 credits

Courses Required for the Major: 106 credits


Major Requirements:


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