May 17, 2023, KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. –Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) will welcome its first cohort of doctoral students this coming summer. The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) approved Oregon Tech to admit students for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, which is offered jointly with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).
The Oregon Tech-OHSU doctoral program successfully secured candidacy status, which is the first phase of accreditation, effective April 25. During the candidacy phase, all credits and degrees earned and issued by the program are considered to be from an accredited program.
The DPT program development gained momentum in 2017 through a strategic partnership between Oregon Tech, OHSU, and Sky Lakes Medical Center to promote and accelerate rural health initiatives. The program highlights the commitment to address the shortage of physical therapists in Oregon, emphasizing service to the community, particularly for the state’s rural and underserved populations.
“We have sensed a genuine interest in and a strong need for such a program in the communities we serve. This is in response to that interest and need and is demonstrative of our commitment to our community,” said Oregon Tech President Dr. Nagi Naganathan. “Our university has an established reputation as a center for excellence for nurturing health care professionals. Launching our first doctoral program in a health care field during our 75th anniversary year is a great tribute to our past and the people that came before us at Oregon Tech. We are pleased and honored to have OHSU as our distinguished partner in the new collaborative DPT program.”
“OHSU is proud to partner with Oregon Tech on this important degree program, which will expand access to physical therapists across the state of Oregon,” said OHSU Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Marie Chisholm-Burns. “We look forward to the successes of our students and the beneficial health outcomes for the communities we serve.”
Oregon Tech-OHSU physical therapy professionals will be uniquely prepared to practice in rural communities and treat a gamut of physical therapy needs. This includes working with diverse patients with varied socioeconomic backgrounds and conditions. The lack of affordable educational options in rural areas exacerbates Oregon’s unmet demand for rural health practitioners. Access to high-quality physical therapy providers will create a healthier Oregon with more equitable care across the state.
Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by CAPTE is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states. Graduates from Oregon Tech-OHSU’s DPT program will complete all eligibility requirements to sit for the state licensure exam and will be prepared for employment as practitioners in a variety of clinical settings.
“I want to thank DPT faculty Dr. Marc Campolo, Dr. Marybeth Grant-Beuttler, and Dr. Amanda Petty; Dean Dan Peterson and Provost Joanna Mott at Oregon Tech; President Danny Jacobs and Provost Marie Chisholm-Burns at OHSU; and many other colleagues at both universities, for their special contributions in helping Oregon Tech reach this program milestone,” President Naganathan said. “Growing this program has been made possible by committed donors, including lead donors John Stilwell, Klamath Medical Service Bureau Foundation, and Sky Lakes Medical Center. We appreciate their commitment to Oregon Tech students, our university, and our communities.”
Application for Summer 2024 (the second cohort) will open in July, and the application deadline is November 1. More information and the DPT application are available at www.oit.edu/academics/degrees/physical-therapy.