Mercer Physical Therapy Program Awarded Full Accreditation Status

April 30, 2013
ATLANTA – The Mercer University Doctor of Physical Therapy program was awarded full accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), a seminal step in the program's impressive three-year journey.

The program's five-year accreditation status is the maximum time span allowed a newly accredited program by CAPTE and represents a program at the highest level of functionality. The accreditation status is particularly impressive because Mercer's Physical Therapy program became operational in 2010 and quickly began distinguishing itself. Within just two years of operations, the program established two residency programs, one in orthopaedic physical therapy and the other in neurologic physical therapy in partnership with the nationally recognized Shepherd Center. Both residencies are now fully credentialed.

Dr. Leslie Taylor, chair and program director of the Department of Physical Therapy, was thrilled when she received notice that the program received full accreditation status. The news comes just days before the program graduates its inaugural Doctor of Physical Therapy class on May 11.

"Words cannot describe how proud I am of this faculty and staff for their tireless efforts in getting our program to this critical point," Taylor said. "It has taken countless hours and extraordinary commitment over the last three years to get us here. I thank the faculty and staff, and the leadership of this University, for their support of this program and our students."

The Mercer Physical Therapy program is an innovative eight-semester program that provides a comprehensive entry-level professional education. It includes an integrated clinical education track that consists of service-learning, clinical experiences, and clinical internships. Mercer Doctor of Physical Therapy students are actively engaged in patient/client-related activities each semester. Built upon an integrated traditional model, the DPT curriculum provides a strong foundation in basic, applied, and physical therapy science courses.

"Dr. Taylor and her faculty and staff have performed tremendously over the last three years, and being awarded full accreditation status is a testament to the excellence of this program," said Hewitt "Ted" Matthews, Ph.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and senior vice president for health sciences at the University. "I thank her for successfully leading the program to this achievement, and I look forward to seeing the program continue to thrive."

About the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Mercer University's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is ranked No. 4 among pharmacy programs at private institutions in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. The College offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy(Pharm.D.), pharmaceutical sciences(Ph.D.), and physical therapy(DPT), and the master's degree (M.M.Sc.) for physician assistants. Founded in 1903 as the independent Southern School of Pharmacy, the school merged with Mercer University in 1959 and in 1981 became the first school in the Southeast to offer the Doctor of Pharmacy degree as its sole professional degree. The College officially became a comprehensive College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2006, adding the Department of Physician Assistant Studies in 2006 and the Department of Physical Therapy in 2010. With an enrollment of more than 850 students and a distinguished faculty ofbasic scientists and clinicians, the College houses five centers focusing on research, teaching and learning. The College's motto, "A Tradition of Excellence – A Legacy of Caring," frames its philosophy of providing excellent academic programs in an environment where every student matters and every person counts. For more information about the College, please call 678.547.6244 or visit www.cophs.mercer.edu.

David N. Hefner
(678) 547-6244
Hefner_DN@Mercer.edu