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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2015-04-16

Physical Therapy DPT



Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:

Introduction

This handbook has been developed to provide the information that you, the student, will need regarding the specific policies and procedures of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. You will need to refer to your UCF Graduate Catalog and the UCF Golden Rule for additional policies of the university. It is expected that you familiarize yourself with the contents of this manual and adhere to the policies described herein. This manual does not substitute other documents provided by the College of Health and Public Affairs and/or the University of Central Florida.

The faculty members of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program have the right and responsibility to revise and update this handbook according to changes in program and institutional policy, regulations and procedures. All physical therapy students will be informed accordingly.

The program is designed to enable students to demonstrate in the classroom, and later in the clinic, that they have achieved levels of comprehension and competence expected of entry-level physical therapists.

The professional component is divided into three segments: foundational science courses, physical therapy theory and practice, and clinical science. All students are required to complete the entire curriculum in the prescribed sequence.

The curriculum is organized into units of instruction integrating the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains of learning.  Each course identifies behavioral objectives and the level of comprehension and competence expected of the students at that point in the program.

In addition to the academic advising and student support provided by the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, the College of Health and Public Affairs also provides the Office of Graduate Services which is designed to provide support specifically to graduate students and graduate programs in the college. The COHPA Office of Graduate Services is available to answer student questions and provide assistance with many of the processes involved in the university system. They can provide information about the application, registration, graduation and appeals processes in addition to many other requirements and policies affecting graduate students.

Office location: HPA 1, Room 356
Hours of operation: 9:00 – 5:30 M – T; 9:00 – 5:00 Friday.
Evening appointments may be available upon request.
Phone: 407-823-4025
E-mail: cohpagraduate@ucf.edu
Website: www.cohpa.ucf.edu/graduate

Upon enrollment in the professional component of the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum, the student will be assigned a faculty advisor with a primary appointment in the program. The advisor will assist the student in academic matters (and others as appropriate). The student is required to meet with his/her academic advisor at least once during each term. An advisement form may be used for this process in which both the advisor and student sign. The student is responsible for scheduling these meetings. In addition, each student will be required to have an annual review each year in the curriculum to review the student's didactic performance, research progress, and professional development. Annual reviews will be completed by the student and DPT faculty advisor and become part of the student's permanent record. Additional advisement and counseling services are available at the University Counseling Center.

Curriculum

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is a full-time professional doctoral program requiring completion of 112 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. The course work is taken in a prescribed sequence over nine semesters as provided here and all course work is required. The program requires a total of 34 weeks of full-time clinical training. During the clinical affiliations, students work under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist.

Prerequisites

Each prerequisite course must be completed with a minimum grade of "C". The overall GPA for all prerequisite courses must be a 3.00 or higher to be considered for admission. The program recommends all prerequisite courses be completed at time of application. Candidates with all prerequisites completed at time of application may be given preference over those still completing courses. No more than two prerequisite courses may be in progress the fall semester prior to the program's start and no more than one course may be in progress during the spring semester prior to the program's start. Courses older than seven years will not be accepted. Online courses are NOT accepted for the following prerequisites: anatomy courses, physiology courses, physics courses, or chemistry courses. Hybrid courses are only accepted for the prerequisite courses listed above if the lab component is delivered in a face-to-face format (submission of course description/syllabi may be required to verify course delivery mode). Email ptinfo@ucf.edu to request a prerequisite review.

Anatomy and Physiology - Two courses with labs and a minimum of 8 credit hours is required. One of two options must be met:
    Option 1: One semester of Human Physiology with lab and one semester of Anatomy with lab.
    Option 2: Two semesters of Anatomy/Physiology combined courses with labs.

Biology / Biological Studies - Two courses and a minimum of 6 credit hours is required. Labs are not required. Must be courses for science majors.

Chemistry - Two courses with labs and a minimum of 8 credit hours is required. Introduction and survey courses are NOT accepted. 

Physics - Two courses with labs and a minimum of 8 credit hours is required. General Physics and Physics with Calculus are both acceptable courses.

Psychology - One course (3 credit hours) is required. Any psychology course that is taken within the Psychology Department will meet this requirement.

Statistics - One course (3 credit hours) is required.

Required Courses

Year 1

Summer Term 1 (14 Credit Hours)
  • PHT 5003 Foundations of Physical Therapy I (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 5125 Clinical Kinesiology (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 5125L Clinical Kinesiology Lab (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 6115C Gross Anatomy/Neuroscience I (6 credit hours)
  • PHT 6606 Research Methods in Physical Therapy (2 credit hours)
Fall Term 1 (17 Credit Hours)
  • PHT 5240 Physical Assessment (1 credit hour)
  • PHT 5240L Physical Assessment Lab (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 5260 Patient Care Skills (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 5260L Patient Care Skills Lab (1 credit hour)
  • PHT 6118C Gross Anatomy/Neuroscience II (6 credit hours)
  • PHT 6156C Applied Human Physiology for Health Science (5 credit hours)
Spring Term 1 (14 Credit Hours)
  • PHT 5218 Theories and Procedures I (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 5218L Theories and Procedures I Lab (1 credit hour)
  • PHT 5241 Therapeutic Exercises I (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 5241L Therapeutic Exercise Lab I (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 6242 Orthopedic Physical Therapy (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 6242L Orthopedic Physical Therapy Lab (1 credit hour)
  • PHT 6306 Pathology/Pharmacology (4 credit hours)

Year 2

Summer Term 2 (12 Credit Hours)
  • PHT 5718 Neurological Physical Therapy (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 5718L Neurological Physical Therapy Lab (1 credit hour)
  • PHT 6219 Theories and Procedures II (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 6219L Theories and Procedures II Lab (1 credit hour)
  • PHT 6245 Therapeutic Exercise II (3 credit hours)
  • PHT 6245L Therapeutic Exercise II Lab (1 credit hour)
  • PHT 7722C Physical Therapy Integration I (2 credit hours)
Fall Term 2 (15 Credit Hours)
  • PHT 6521 Management of Physical Therapy Services (3 credit hours)
  • PHT 6322C Pediatric Physical Therapy (3 credit hours)
  • PHT 6070C Radiology/Imaging for Physical Therapy (3 credit hours)
  • PHT 6805C Clinical Education I (3 credit hours)
  • PHT 6716C Advanced Orthopedic Physical Therapy I (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 6720 Wound Care and Professional Issues (1 credit hour)
Spring Term 2 (13 Credit Hours)
  • PHT 6374C Gerontology in Physical Therapy (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 6381C Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 6618 Research Applications in Physical Therapy (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 6719 Advanced Neurological Physical Therapy (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 6719L Advanced Neurological Physical Therapy Lab (1 credit hour)
  • PHT 7134C Physical Therapy Integration II (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 7730C Primary Care for the Physical Therapist (2 credit hours)

Year 3

Summer Term 3 (6 Credit Hours)
  • PHT 7822C Advanced Clinical Education I (6 credit hours)
Fall Term 3 (10 Credit Hours)
  • PHT 7823C Advanced Clinical Education II (4 credit hours)
  • PHT 7721C Advanced Orthopedic Physical Therapy II (1 credit hour)
  • PHT 7772C Advanced Neurological Physical Therapy II (1 credit hour)
  • PHT 7780C Advanced Gerontology in Physical Therapy I (1 credit hour)
  • PHT 7329C Advanced Pediatric Physical Therapy I (1 credit hour)
  • PHT 7521C Management of Physical Therapy Services II (2 credit hours)
Spring Term 3 (11 Credit Hours)
  • PHT 7021 Professional Practice in Physical Therapy (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 7900 Capstone Project in Physical Therapy (3 credit hours)
  • PHT 7829C Advanced Clinical Education III (4 credit hours)
  • PHT 7XXXC ***Elective Course (2 credit hours)

***Elective Course Options (student must select at least one of the following courses, pending availability):

  • PHT 7742C Acute Care Physical Therapy (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 7778C Advanced Manual Therapy  (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 7764C Advanced Neurologic Treatment  (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 7702C Advanced Orthotics and Prosthetics  (2 credit hours)
  • PHT 7779C Sports Physical Therapy  (2 credit hours)

Examinations

This program requires a final comprehensive examination on all course work in the program of study. Students are required to pass the comprehensive examination with an 80% proficiency. Students will be allowed to re-take the examination for a total of three (3) attempts. A student may not graduate from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program until the comprehensive examination is passed with an 80%. Failure to pass the examination after 3 attempts will result in a meeting with the Retention and Advancement Committee for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, where further action will be determined. In addition, comprehensive examinations may be required at the end of each year of the program. Participation and completion of a capstone (research) project is also required of each student prior to graduation.

Equipment Fee

Students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled.


Timeline for Completion

The Doctor of Physical Therapy is a full-time professional doctoral program requiring completion of 112 credits beyond the bachelor's degree. The course work is taken in a prescribed sequence over nine semesters. The program requires a total of 34 weeks of full-time clinical training. During the clinical affiliations, students work under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist.

Course Schedule

Summer Year 1
  • PHT 5003 Foundations of Physical Therapy I: 2(2,0)
  • PHT 5125 Clinical Kinesiology: 2(2,0)
  • PHT 5125L Clinical Kinesiology Lab: 2(0,4)
  • PHT 6115C Gross Anatomy/Neuroscience I: 3,6 (3,6)
  • PHT 6606 Research Methods in Physical Therapy: 2(2,0)
Fall Year 1
  • PHT 5240 Physical Assessment: 1(1,0)
  • PHT 5240L Physical Assessment Lab: 2(0,4)
  • PHT 5260 Patient Care Skills: 2(2,0)
  • PHT 5260L Patient Care Skills Lab: 1(0,2)
  • PHT 6118C Gross Anatomy/NeuroScience II: 3,6 (3,6)
  • PHT 6156C Applied Human Physiology for Health Science 5 (3,2)
Spring Year 1
  • PHT 5218 Theories and Procedures I: 2(2,0)
  • PHT 5218L Theories and Procedures I Lab: 1(0,2)
  • PHT 5241 Therapeutic Exercise I: 2(2,0)
  • PHT 5241L Therapeutic Exercise I Lab: 2(0,4)
  • PHT 6242 Orthopedic Phsyical Therapy: 2(2,0)
  • PHT 6242L Orthopedic Physical Therapy Lab: 1(0,2)
  • PHT 6306 Pathology and Pharmacology: 4(4,0)
Summer Year 2
  • PHT 5718 Neurological Physical Therapy: 2(2,0)
  • PHT 5718L Neurological Physical Therapy Lab: 1(0,2)
  • PHT 6219 Theories and Procedures II: 2(2,0)
  • PHT 6219L Theories and Procedures II Lab: 1(0,2)
  • PHT 6245 Therapeutic Exercise II: 3(3,0)
  • PHT 6245L Therapeutic Exercise Lab: 1(0,2)
  • PHT 7722C Physical Therapy Intergration I: 2(2,1)
Fall Year 2
  • PHT 6070C Radiology/Imaging for Physical Therapy: 3(3,1)
  • PHT 6322C Pediatric Physical Therapy: 3(2,2)
  • PHT 6381C Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy: 2(2,1)
  • PHT 6521 Management of Physical Therapy Services: 3(3,0)
  • PHT 6716C Advanced Orthopedic Physical Therapy: 2(1,2)
  • PHT 6805C Clinical Education I: 3(1,15)
Spring Year 2
  • PHT 6374C Gerontology in Physical Therapy Practice : 2(2,1)
  • PHT 6618 Research Applications in Physical Therapy: 2(2,0)
  • PHT 6719 Advanced Neurological Physical Therapy: 2(2,0)
  • PHT 6719L Advanced Neurological Physical Therapy Lab: 1(0,2)
  • PHT 6720 Wound Care and Professional Issues: 1(1,0)
  • PHT 7134C Physical Therapy Integration II: 2(2,0)
  • PHT 7730C Primary Care for the Physical Therapist: 2(2,0)
Summer Year 3
  • PHT 7822C Advanced Clinical Education I: 6(1,40)
Fall Year 3
  • PHT 7329C Advanced Pediatric Physical Therapy I: 1(1,0)
  • PHT 7521C Management of Physical Therapy Services II: 2(1,1)
  • PHT 7721C Advanced Orthopedic Physical Therapy II: 1(1,0)
  • PHT 7772C Advanced Neurological Physical Therapy II: 1(1,0)
  • PHT 7780C Advanced Gerontology in Physical Therapy I: 1(1,0)
  • PHT 7823C Advanced Clinical Education II: 4(1,20)
Spring Year 3
  • PHT 5005 Foundations of Physical Therapy II 2(2,0)
  • PHT 7829C Advanced Clinical Education III: 4(1,20)
  • PHT 7900 Capstone Project in PT II: 3(3,0)
  • PHT 7XXXC*** Elective Course (2 credit hours)

***Elective Course Options (student must select at least one (1) of the following courses, pending availability):

  • PHT 7742C Acute Care Physical Therapy
  • PHT 7778C Advanced Manual Therapy
  • PHT 7764C Advanced Neurological Treatment
  • PHT 7702C Advanced Orthotics and Prosthetics
  • PHT 7779C Sports Physical Therapy


Examination Requirements

Examinations

Students are expected to take all examinations at the scheduled time and place. The University calendar stipulates when all final examinations are to be held and, where applicable, this policy is adhered to by this program.

Retention and Advancement through Curriculum

The curriculum of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is organized in a hierarchical manner to provide students with basic and clinical sciences information as a foundation to the development of “hands-on” patient care skills, with progression into research and evidence-based practice. It is assumed that the didactic information and clinical skills gained each semester will be retained at a high level throughout the entire program.

Each student will be required to have an annual review at the end of each year in the curriculum to review the student's didactic performance, research progress, and professional development. Annual reviews will be completed by the student and DPT faculty advisor and become part of the student's permanent record. Low scores or failure to address weak areas on the review by the student will result in action by the either the Profesional Conduct or Retention and Advancement committees. 

Each student's preparation to enter clinical education is assessed by both the Director of Clinical Education and the program's Retention and Advancement Committee. Students will have expected benchmarks of clinical performance that will be specific to each level of clinical affiliation as deemed appropriate by the Director of Clinical Education. These benchmarks are specifically stated in each clinical education course syllabi. Students must pass their final clinical affiliation with a majority of the items on the CPI indicating that the student has attained the entry-level standards of Professional Practice and Patient Management (see Clinical Education Handbook).

Each student is required to pass with 80% proficiency a comprehensive written examination. Students will have the opportunity to retake the final comprehensive test twice if they fail to earn 80% on the first attempt. However, students will not be allowed to graduate if they do not pass the examination on the third try.

Clinical Requirements

Ethical Standards

The Physical Therapy faculty will also use the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the American Physical Therapy Association and the State of Florida Statutes governing the practice of Physical Therapy to address problems created when a student does not adhere to these standards.

Academic Standards

The Program in Physical Therapy has established standards of admission, retention, and graduation in accordance with its mission and philosophy.  The Physical Therapy curriculum has been designed to prepare its graduates to meet the levels of comprehension and competency expected of an entry-level physical therapist.  Furthermore, standards of and conduct for students have been set to ensure appropriate professional growth during the student’s Physical Therapy education.

Grading Policies and Expectations

Each student’s academic progress is reviewed by both the Physical Therapy Program and the Division of Graduate Studies each semester. Students who have not met conditions or restrictions of their admission may be prohibited from further study in the program. Additionally, students who have not performed to academic standards of the program or university will be placed on Probationary Status or Dismissed from the program.

In accordance with the College of Graduate Studies’ Policies and with the minimum university standards for satisfactory performance to continue graduate study, the doctoral program in physical therapy maintains the following requirements for all DPT students:

Students must maintain a graduate status GPA of at least 3.0 or higher in order to maintain regular graduate student status, receive financial assistance, and quality for graduation. This GPA requirement cannot be waived.

A student may apply a maximum total of six semester credit hours of “C” grades, or the “C” grade credits associated with at most two classes, whichever is greater, to satisfy degree program requirements. “C” grades (C, C+, C-), as well as D, D+, D-, F, and U grades, are all considered unsatisfactory grades. Exceeding six semester credit hours of unsatisfactory grades is grounds for dismissal for all degree-seeking and non-degree students. A course in which a student has received an unsatisfactory grade may be repeated, however both grades will be used in computing the GPA. There is no forgiveness policy for any course taken while in graduate status.” Receive no more than 6 credits of C+ (or lower) grades in graduate-level coursework, or in two courses, whichever is greater.

Receiving a grade of D+ (or lower), a grade of U, more than six credits of C+ (or lower) grades or failing to maintain a 3.0 graduate GPA is grounds for Dismissal from the program.

If a student fails to meet the minimum grade standards as defined by the Program in Physical

Therapy, they must retake any courses for which they received unsatisfactory grades. The opportunity to re-take courses is at the discretion of the Department of Health Professions and the university and will not be granted if the student is dismissed from the program. In cases where courses are retaken, both grades are factored into the graduate GPA. There is no grade forgiveness in graduate programs.

The approval of the Director of Clinical Education and Physical Therapy Retention and Advancement Committee to enter into the clinical internship(s) in the program.

No grade of a “D” or “F” in a DPT curriculum course or a prerequisite course taken after a conditional admission to the program.

No ‘unsatisfactory’ grade in a clinical education course.

Any violation of these standards may result in the student being placed on academic probation or dismissal from the program.

Students who are dismissed for unsatisfactory progress will be removed from current semester courses and any future semester registration will be cancelled. Dismissed students will not be allowed to take additional courses in the program. After Dismissal, a student may only continue graduate study at UCF by applying as a non-degree seeking student or applying to another graduate program.

Probation and Dismissal Policy

Probationary Status in the Physical Therapy program means that the student is in difficulty (academic, professional or ethical) within the program. A student cannot graduate from the Physical Therapy program while on probationary status.

A student may be placed on Academic Probation by the Physical Therapy Program, and be notified if any of the following occur:

Current semester grade point average falls below the required 3.00 GPA. Students will be notified in writing if the semester grade point average falls below the required 3.00. The student will have one academic semester (9 credit hours) to bring the GPA above a 3.00 to be removed from probation. Within one week after having received the probation notice, the student must initiate consultation with the Program Director in order to analyze the reasons for academic difficulties. If the student is in his/her last semester of academic or clinical work, the student may be asked to meet with the faculty.

‘U’ grade is received in a Clinical Education Physical Therapy course. Any problems encountered by the student in a clinical education course must be identified in writing by the Clinical Instructor and/or the Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE) and shared with the student and the Director of Clinical Education of the program (DCE). Problems may include, but are not limited to practicing in an unsafe manner, causing harm or injury to a patient or staff member, lack of professional behavior, or failing to comply with ethical or legal standards of practice.

If a student fails or is requested to terminate a clinical affiliation by the affiliation site, the student’s performance will be evaluated by the Director of Clinical Education, who, in consultation with the Retention and Advancement Committee will provide a recommendation to the Program Director on the course of action. This may include either the dismissal of the student from the program, or a remediation of the clinical. A formal plan may also include didactic coursework and/or counseling.

If the clinical education course is allowed or mandated to be repeated, it will be at a different clinical facility during the subsequent academic year. The Director of Clinical Education, using feedback from the Clinical Instructor, will determine successful completion of the repeat experience. The time length of the remediated clinical will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Students may also be asked to sign a behavioral contract in remediation of a clinical affiliation. If the identified behavior is not corrected, the student will be dismissed from the program.

A student will be granted only one opportunity to repeat a clinical affiliation and reinstated in an alternative clinical site. If the student fails or is requested to leave more than one clinical site, the student may be summarily dismissed from the Physical Therapy program.

Removal of Probationary Status

Probationary status will be removed when:

The cumulative GPA is above a 3.00 in the following semester (≥ 9 credit hours).

In the case of a ‘U’ grade, when objectives and criteria for the repeat of the clinical experience are successfully completed for an ‘S’ grade.

Students will be notified in writing when probationary status has been removed.

Dismissal

The following may be grounds for dismissal from the Program in Physical Therapy.

Receiving a “D” or “F” grade in a course listed as a part of the DPT program’s curriculum. The student may be summarily dismissed from the program at that time.

A semester grade point average below a 3.00 in any semester places the student on academic probation. A second consecutive semester below a 3.00 is grounds for dismissal and the student will be reverted to non-degree status.

A graduate student may earn only six hours of “C” grades, or “C” grades in two courses, whichever credit hour total is greater. Exceeding this limit is reason for dismissal from the program. There is no forgiveness policy on graduate grades and students may not graduate with a GPA below 3.0. At such time, with approval of the faculty, a student may choose to retake any courses where they received a grade of “C”. However, the student will not be permitted to take any advanced courses until they have re-mediated the earlier courses.

Faculty may discuss student progress after mid-term exams. Students whose coursework is below “C” will initiate and discuss this problem with their instructor and their advisor. If a student earns more than 3 hours of “C” grades, he or she is expected to discuss academic performance with the Program Director.

The course in which the first “U” grade is earned must be repeated. The second “U” grade in the repeat experience or in any later clinical Physical Therapy course will be grounds for dismissal.

Cheating, which includes plagiarizing of materials from previously published sources. Students will not discuss the content of written or oral examinations or laboratory practical examinations until cleared to do so by the course instructor.  See Golden Rule, UCF’s Student Handbook- Rules of Conduct.

Unprofessional behavior. Behavior that is inconsistent with a professional physical therapist or failure to correct unprofessional behavior as defined by the “Physical Therapy - Specific Generic Abilities” is grounds for dismissal from the Program.  This includes failure to attend classes or unexcused absences.

DISMISSAL FROM THE PHYSICAL THERAPY PROGRAM DOES NOT MEAN DISMISSAL FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA.

Personal Leave of Absence

Should a student find it necessary to seek a non-academic leave of absence, he/she must submit a written request to the Program Director documenting:  

A rational statement that supports the leave as being beneficial to the student’s personal growth and progress.

Period of requested leave of absence. Whenever possible, the request for a personal leave of absence should be submitted at least one month prior to the first day of the requested leave. 

Leaves of absence will be handled on an individual basis; however, the student must be aware that the sequential nature of the curriculum will necessitate a leave of one (1) year’s duration. 

The Program Director will notify the student in writing of the status of his/her request within ten (10) working days of the request. Any consideration for a refund of fees shall comply with the refund policies of the University. 

Notification of a return from a leave of absence must be submitted to the Program Director at least three months (3) months prior to re-enrollment. An extension to a leave of absence must be requested by letter to the Program Director.

Withdrawl from the Program in Physical Therapy

Any students considering withdrawing from the Program in Physical Therapy should contact his/her (1) Physical Therapy Advisor (2) and the Program Director. Students will be asked to document this plan in a letter to the Program Director. Withdrawal from the Program does not constitute withdrawal from the University.

Grievance and Policy/Procedure

Due process for students’ complaints:

The Physical Therapy Program guarantees due process to students, assuring to the extent possible, safety and confidentiality in the process and its outcome. The faculty is charged to exercise their best judgment to attempt to obtain an optimal result for the student involved in this process. Faculty members and students owe each other mutual respect and civility. Student problems should be resolved, whenever possible, before the filing of a formal written grievance, and open communication is encouraged so that resorting to formal grievance procedures will not be necessary.  Informal resolution of grievances may be continued throughout the process. Time limits specified in this section may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties.  Upon failure by the university or its representatives to provide a decision within the time limits provided in this section or any extension thereof, the grievant may appeal to the next appropriate level.  Upon failure of the grievant or counsel to file an appeal, or take prescribed action, within the time limits provided, the grievance shall be deemed to have been resolved at the prior level.

Informal process:

  1.  It is the university policy to encourage the informal resolution of grievances directly between the parties. If this cannot be accomplished, the grievant is encouraged to continue informal resolution presenting the problem orally through appropriate administrative channels up to, but not including, the office of the vice provost in whose area the respondent is employed.
  2. The student must present the complaint to the lowest possible level. That is, if the complaint is related to a specific course issue, the complaint must be initially addressed to the faculty member(s) offering the course. If the student feels the situation has not been successfully resolved at this level, the student can request further consideration of the complaint at the level of the Program Director, through personal communication.
  3. Upon request, a Petitions & Grievances Committee (P&G committee) member will inform the grievant as to the appropriate administrative steps to be followed in an attempt to secure resolution.

Formal process: This process is recommended if the informal process does not solve the situation. Formal process is outlined in the UCF Golden Rule (http://goldenrule.sdes.ucf.edu/) and is summarized in the following:

Initiation of a complaint- The student must present the complaint at the level of the Program Director in writing. The student has the responsibility to give accurate and complete information about the situation expected to be addressed, including date, circumstances, and additional information that can assist in solving such situation. The grievant shall notify the P& G committee in writing the nature of their complaint and any informal steps taken to resolve the issue.

Within ten (10) working days the P & G committee shall schedule a meeting of the parties to hear the facts of the case.

Within five (5) days thereafter, the committee will issue a formal opinion as to the merits of the case.  If the parties agree with the committee’s recommendations, the dispute will be considered resolved.

If the student feels that his or her complaint was not resolved, he or she may request a petition for exception through an appeals process.  Requests for exceptions should be made in writing to the Petition and Grievance Committee. This committee will collect information on the factual basis of the grievance or petition and make a recommendation to the Program Director. The Program Director may approve or reject the petition or grievance. 

Resolution of the complaint at the program level. The Program Director will inform the student in writing of the outcomes of the complaint no later than 15 calendar days after the written complaint has been received at the appropriate level. This may include a plan of action to solve the issue. The Program Director may inform the student on steps to follow in proceeding with the complaint, according to institutional policies and procedures.

If the student wishes to challenge this decision, he or she may then petition the Department Chair, in writing, that an exception be made. The petition or grievance may be further pursued to the Dean as outlined in the Golden Rule.

All petitions or grievances must be filed on the appropriate form and the committee will respond to the student within ten (10) business days.

Exclusions

Grievances pertaining to the following matters shall not be processed by this committee:

Disciplinary actions taken under UCF Rules of Conduct

Traffic and Parking Violations

The professional judgment of licensed practitioners in health-related professions

Complaints that fall outside of due process

When there is a complaint by a party that falls outside of due process, the complaint will be brought to the Program Director, who will then consult with the Petitions & Grievances Committee within ten (10) days of receiving the complaint.

Although the Program will aim to address and resolve issues that arise in this manner, based on the nature and scope of the complaint, the party may or may not receive a response by the Program Director or Petitions and Grievances Committee. All complaints will be held in a secure electronic file by the DPT Program Director.

University/Department/Program Policies

If a Program policy differs from the University policy, the University policy will prevail except where Programs have the prerogative to establish policy.

Attendance

Class attendance is a privilege and is mandatory for all students.  If a student needs to be absent from class, the student must notify his/her instructor and be given permission to be absent. Notification of unexpected absences such as illness should be given to an instructor by leaving a message on their phone, email, or other appropriate means as outlined in course syllabus.  The student must consult with the instructor immediately upon return.  The student is responsible for arranging with his/her instructor for adequate make-up work immediately upon return.   Each faculty member has the option of reducing the student’s course grade for each absence. 

If a student has excessive absences in a semester, the student may be requested, at the option of the faculty and Program Director, to take a leave of absence from the Program.  The student would then have to wait a year and rejoin the Program at the appropriate place in the curriculum.

Students are expected to be prompt and on time for classroom and laboratory experiences.  Each faculty member has the option of reducing a student's course grade for repeated lateness.  The total deduction for tardiness and absences will not exceed 10% of the final grade.

Students are responsible for reporting health, family or other problems that may necessitate absences to the Program Director.

Professional Conduct 

The development of a healthcare professional is of utmost importance to the Program pf Physical Therapy. Professionalism encompasses areas of behavior and qualities that are expected of physical therapy students in the school setting and in the student clinical experiences. Attendance, timeliness and attire are all reflections of professionalism. When professionalism is assessed, instructors will also consider each student’s conduct in their class, the quality of content of interaction, the contribution to class discussion as related to preparedness. Students who are in violation of these behaviors will be cited and counseled. Repeated disregard or violation of these behaviors may constitute a serious problem. The faculty may then decide that the student is not yet capable of professional responsibility and the professional role. The faculty may recommend remedial action, a leave of absence, or may request that the student resign from the program. See Probation Policy.

Some of the criteria by which a student’s professional demeanor is measured are:

  1. Adherence to the rules and regulations as stipulated by the University of Central Florida and the Program in Physical Therapy.
  2. Attendance: It is required for students to attend each lecture and absences will not be excused unless previously determined by the instructor. In the rare instance that a student cannot attend class, it is their responsibility to obtain class information from a fellow classmate.
  3. Timeliness: Students are expected to be on time. Tardiness will be reflected in the professionalism portion of each grade.
  4. Being respectful and courteous to fellow students and to other professional and non-professional personnel. Respect to those presenting or speaking is expected.
  5. Guest Speakers / Presentations: The DPT Program often utilizes guest speakers from the community. Students in the program must demonstrate professional conduct, respect, and appreciation for these professionals’ donation of their time to further your education. Professional attire and conduct is required when guest speakers are present.
  6. Recognizing personal or professional limitations and requesting assistance when necessary.
  7. Class Participation: Asking questions at appropriate times to expand knowledge of the material. Pertinent student-to-student interaction is considered a valuable part of the learning environment and appropriate articulation of critical-thinking during class time will be viewed as efforts toward developing professional judgment.
  8. Inappropriate use of cellular phones, pagers, electronic devices, etc. in class and clinical settings. Inappropriate use of computers or electronic devices during class, (i.e. web searches, IMs, etc.) that is not part of the class discussion as deemed by the instructor will result in the device being turned off. Additionally, the student could be dismissed from class &/or receive a deduction in the final course grade.
  9. Appropriate non-distracting behavior while on campus, in hallways and in classrooms.
  10. Demonstrating honesty and veracity.
  11. Expressing or exhibiting interests in his/her profession.
  12. Accepting constructive criticism offered by instructors and others in an appropriate manner.
  13. Complying with the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Code of Ethics (for a more detailed overview of APTA Code of Ethics please refer to the APTA’s web site at www.apta.org).
  14. Complying with the APTA Professionalism Core Values of (for a more detailed overview of APTA Core Values please refer to the APTA’s web site at www.apta.org):
    • Accountability 
    • Altruism 
    • Excellence 
    • Integrity 
    • Professional Duty 
    • Social Responsibility

Electronic Media

Electronic media - students are not allowed to video record, audio record, or take photographs in classroom or lab experiences without written permission from the instructor of the course. This also applies to courses that are held off campus or in locations with adjunct faculty or other community partners. Students are prohibited from photographing or recording guests to the program who are serving in the capacity as patients to be evaluated or facilitate student learning unless written consent is obtained.

Social media websites - students are strictly prohibited from being on social media websites during class. Social media website posting is also discouraged when content involves information/communication about UCF physical therapy affiliations.

Appropriate Attire

A. All Class Lectures/Patient Presentations

Students will dress in professional attire for all courses and announced guest lecturers and patient presentations: 

        a) Males: dress pants, UCF polo or collared shirt (tie optional) and dress or casual shoes. 
        b) Females: dress pants, UCF polo or collared shirt, and dress or casual shoes.

In summer months, dress shorts will be allowed for instructor lectures, not guest lectures, patient presentations, or field trips.

ALL Occasions: no excessively worn tennis shoes, open-toe sandals, caps, hats, excessive jewelry, or visible piercings or tattoos; for patient presentations - nametags will be worn. At certain times, students may be requested to wear UCF PT polo shirts or lab jackets.

At no time should a student’s mid section be visible during a presentation or with a guest lecturer unless it is required for examination purposes.

Grooming

  1. Personal appearance should always be clean and neat.
  2. Do not wear inappropriate attire to class. 
  3. Hair should be kept neat, groomed, and away from face. 
  4. While at a clinical site, students must abide by the dress code of the facility. 
  5. During professional activities off site, students are expected to maintain a
    professional appearance. 
  6. Showers are available in the Arena, in the building next to the pool and in the
    student exercise facility.

Clinical Laboratory Dress

  1. All students are required to keep lab clothes in the locker for lab use.
  2. Individual instructors will specify lab dress for each lab. 
  3.  Lab clothes are not to be worn in the hallways.
  4. Generally, lab clothes include the following:
    a) Women 
        (1) Elastic-waist shorts (no blue jeans or cut-offs with loose fitting pant legs). 
        (2) Short sleeve or tee shirt. 
        (3) Sports bra, halter top, or a bathing suit top, which allows complete exposure of the back. 
        (4) Tennis shoes
    b) Men 
        (1) Elastic-waist shorts with internal lining (no blue jeans or cut-offs with loose fitting legs) 
        (2) Short sleeve shirt or tee shirt. 
        (3) Tennis shoes

Anatomy Laboratory Dress

  1.  A 3/4 length white lab coat or a complete set of scrubs will be required. They should be kept clean. Anatomy clothes are to be worn only in the Anatomy Lab and the student will not be allowed into the classroom or clinical lab areas while wearing this attire.
  2. Clinical Affiliations and class trips: 
        a) A short white lab coat is required with professional attire. 
        b) The lab coat must be neat, clean, and pressed.

Student ID Badge

Students are required to purchase a student ID badge. The ID Badge is to be worn during all clinical affiliations or class trips to area facilities in order to be readily identified as a UCF Physical Therapy student/intern. The letters 'SPT' should be included after the student's name. Instructions for ordering badges will be provided at or before New Student Orientation. Badges may be picked up from the UCF Office Plus- The SPOT store by the student when ready.

Safety and Security

University police can be reached by dialing 911 in an emergency, 3-5555 for any other matter. Students should always be concerned for their personal safety and security. The student should not provide any other person with the access code to the labs. Students may call the university escort service 24 hours per day to be escorted to their vehicle.

Student should keep personal effects with him/her or locked in his/her locker. Please do not leave any personal items in a hallway or conference room. If the student should see unfamiliar or suspicious persons in the Physical Therapy area, the student should not confront them personally, but should contact faculty or staff or the campus security immediately.

Fire extinguishers are located beside the Program Office (Room 256) and across from the Room 250 PT Skills lab door which has the coded lock. Another is located between offices 270 and 269 in the hallway where the anatomy lab is located.

If the fire alarm comes on (will emit sound and signal will flash), the speaker system is activated and instructions are given to evacuate the building. Please follow the instructions to evacuate even if in class.

Schedule Changes

At the beginning of each term, the student will receive class schedules. The possibility exists that additional changes may be necessary throughout the term. This flexibility is needed in order to provide the best possible class, laboratory, and field experiences. In all cases of schedule changes, the faculty will try to give several days’ notice.

It is the student’s responsibility to make any necessary arrangements in order to attend the re-scheduled class.

Food and Drink

There is no eating or drinking allowed in the classrooms during scheduled class lectures and labs including the anatomy lab. On specific occasions, eating and drinking may be permitted in a classroom. Eating and drinking is never permitted during Anatomy lab. Eating is never permitted in the dissection room whether class is in session or not.

Textbooks

All books should be purchased by the beginning of each term, even if some of the material may not be used until the latter part of the term. Several weeks into the term, the bookstore will return all unsold books, so the student should not procrastinate in purchasing his/her books.

Gross Anatomy Laboratory

It is a privilege for physical therapy students to study the human body. Under no circumstances is any student permitted to take anyone other than a UCF PT student into the anatomy lab. No photography is allowed in the cadaver lab without the permission of the program director.

Transportation

From time to time, throughout the Physical Therapy program, it will be necessary for the student to attend classes and clinical affiliations off the University of Central Florida campus. In all such cases, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange transportation and be on time.

Cellular Phones

The use of cellular phones and other electronic devices is strictly prohibited during class meetings and written or practical exams.

The use of these devices is also prohibited during class sessions or laboratories unless maintained in a silent mode. If a student has a need to use these devices while a lecture or laboratory session is being conducted, he/she should notify the courser instructor in advance and do so outside the classroom.

Health Concerns

A. Special Accommodations

The University of Central Florida is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for all persons with disabilities. Students with disabilities must contact the professor at the beginning/or prior to the semester to discuss the needed accommodations. No accommodations will be provided until the student has met with the professor to request accommodations. Students who need accommodations must be registered with the Student Disability Services, Student Resource Center, Room 132, Phone (407)-823-2371, TTY/TDD only Phone (407)-823-2116, before requesting accommodations from the professor.

B. Illness or Injury

It is the responsibility of each student to inform the program faculty of any illness or injury that may prevent him or her from performing any activity in the class or clinical setting. The instructor and the Program Director must agree upon any modification or postponement or required work.

C. Pregnancy

Because of the unusual physical demands of the program, a student who becomes pregnant is obligated to inform the instructor if a contraindication to a PT procedure exists. The pregnant student should also consult with each faculty person at the beginning of each term to determine if any classroom, laboratory, or clinical experiences may be detrimental to the pregnancy. The instructor and the Program Director must agree upon any modification or postponement or required work.

Anatomy lab - Some of the chemicals used to preserve the cadavers may be harmful to a pregnant student. A pregnant student should consult with her physician and the Anatomy Lab instructor before attending the laboratory sessions.

Health Insurance

The University offers a Health Insurance Packet. Students may contact Arlene Katz at 407-823-6426 in the Student Health Center for a specific details and an application. The APTA also offers Health Insurance for student members. Please refer to the APTA’s web site www.apta.org for further information.

Any student with a medical problem can be seen at the Student Health Center. If the student does not have health insurance, a payment plan will be worked out.

Students must contact the Program Director of any health problems that may interfere with their functioning in the program.

Employment

Because of the heavy workload and many individual and group assignments, any outside employment is discouraged.

APTA Membership

Physical Therapy students are required to join the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as student members and maintain membership throughout the curriculum. Verifications of membership are due to the Program Assistant by July 1 each year.

 The benefits of membership:

  • Includes subscriptions to the Physical Therapy Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association and PT Magazine of Physical Therapy.
  • Includes subscription to the Florida Chapter Newsletter;
  • Permits attendance at local, state, and national meetings;
  • Provides information about continuing educational programs; and
  • Provides a reduced rate registration for educational programs sponsored by the APTA.
  • Provides access to resources on the APTA website which non-members do not have access to.

The National Student Conclave takes place in October and is a good event for understanding professional issues. Although we promote participation in national conferences, maintaining one’s grade point average comes first.

SPTA Membership

Physical Therapy students admitted into the physical therapy program are considered members of the Student Physical Therapy Association (SPTA) and are responsible for adhering to all requirements and bylaws as outlined in the SPTA Constitution and SPTA Handbook.

Writing Remediation

Students are expected to have grammar and writing skills at the level of graduate student status. Students who show less than average writing skills as evidenced by class assignments will be notified by their class instructor and a plan of action devised to correct this. Students who continue to have this problem may be referred to the University Writing Center for remediation.

Use of Laboratory Equipment

The Physical Therapy Program is committed to the development of optimal skills for the practice of the profession and the development of attitudes of self-learners. With this commitment in mind, the Program provides access to the students for independent study and practice, within the program facilities and use of equipment. Due to the level, in some cases, of technological sophistication, and the difficulty in acquiring or repairing such equipment, it is necessary for the student to assume responsibility of the proper use of equipment. The following procedures must be followed to assure proper accessibility for facilities and equipment:

  1. Students must be deemed ‘competent’ by the course instructor to utilize physical agents and modalities prior to checking them out when the course instructor is not available.
  2. The facilities and equipment are available for all students during normal operating hours of the building. The building is unlocked from 6:00am to 10:00pm each day except Sunday. A class officer for each cohort will be given a building key to provide access for after hours. 
  3. Permission to check out equipment. The student must request permission by the professor in charge of the course for the use of the labs and/or equipment. Other equipment may be checked out in the program office with the office assistant. Removal of equipment from the designated area without proper permission will result in disciplinary action. 
  4. Care of equipment and materials. It is expected that the student will make good use of the equipment and available materials and follow safety precautions. The student has to care for the equipment; dispose properly of used material; disconnect all electrical appliances; remove batteries from equipment; clean area and return furniture, turn off lights; and make sure that the doors are securely locked. 
  5. Students must notify the course professor or the Program Director (if the professor in charge is not in the immediate premises) any problem or malfunction encountered with the equipment and/or facilities. If the course professor or Program Director cannot be reached, the student must submit a written statement to the Office Assistant of the Program, explaining the situation including a telephone number where he/she can be reached if necessary.

Clinical Education

Philosophy and Purpose

The University of Central Florida is committed to the ideal that professional education requires a sound academic preparation that is enhanced and enriched by strong clinical experience. To this end, the clinical education program seeks to provide for its students those clinical experiences that offer a stimulating environment to further augment their professional development.

The primary focus of the clinical education program is to provide the entry-level physical therapy student an atmosphere that promotes the health and function of the patient/client(s). The maximum level of function will be advanced through scientific principles and treatment rationales. While problem solving often follows logical predetermined steps, students must learn that many solutions are created by innovative, abstract thought processes. The excitement of research and discovery will be nurtured.

The students’ goal in clinical education must be the achievement of the highest level of competency in all areas of patient care and related areas of physical therapy. The students are expected to actively participate, question, explore, teach, and motivate during their interaction with the clinical community to reinforce their learning experiences and thereby enhance their education.

The clinical environments will stimulate the student to look beyond the information learned in the classroom to discover new meanings and relationships within the profession. The clinical centers must also create learning situations that guide students to expand their knowledge, attitudes, and skills. The clinical centers will provide the students an awareness of personal responsibility as it impacts their clients and institutions. The clinical experience will include exposure to realistic environments that allow practice in interdisciplinary communication, documentation, problem solving, and medical and legal aspects of patient care with a variety of disabilities and ages.

Clinical Education Management

The Director of Clinical Education is a core faculty member who serves as the primary authority for management of the clinical education program. This includes, but not limited to the following: screening of clinical sites, assignment of students to clinical sites, serving as the liaison between the program and clinical education faculty, assessment of student preparedness to enter clinical education, assessment of student ability to meet clinical education objectives, and outcomes assessment. All policies and procedures regarding clinical education are included in the DPT Clinical Education Handbook.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

The student will be responsible for transportation and all costs of living during these assignments. Each student may expect to complete one rotation outside of the Orlando area. In addition, costs for background checks, immunizations, or additional drug screenings or vaccinations as requested by clinical facilities will be at the cost of the student.

K. OTHER CLINICAL ISSUES

If a student fails to complete a clinical assignment because he/she has been asked to leave the facility due to inappropriate conduct, unprofessional behavior, safety issues, or inadequate clinical competency, the student may, upon recommendation of the faculty, be placed in a remedial clinical affiliation. Students who violate this program’s clinical regulations may be asked to sign a behavioral contract.

Additional Program Expectations

A. LAB FEES - The student will be responsible for payment of all lab fees for required courses.

B. PHOTOCOPYING/FACSIMILE USE and SCANTRONS - Students will be responsible for their own photocopying and faxing expenses. A photocopier is located on the first floor of the HPA 1 building and in the Classroom Building. The student may use a Copy Card purchased in the library at a reduced rate for library photocopiers. The copier and fax machine in the Program office are not for student use unless copying is authorized by program faculty. Please do not ask the staff to make copies of documents for you. Scantrons are provided for free by the UCF Student Government Association's office in the Student Union. Students are responsible for obtaining scantrons for their examinations either through this office or at their own expense at the bookstore.

C. LOCKERS - The students will be responsible for securing the contents of their lockers. No valuables should be stored there. Students will not have access to their lockers during class sessions.

D. “MAILBOXES” - Students will be assigned program mailboxes for distribution of program information. It is the student's responsibility to check the contents of his/her mailbox every day that the student attends class. The “mailboxes” are a file designated with each student’s name.

E. EMAIL - The primary mode of communication used by staff and faculty to contact students is email. The student is required to create a Knights email account and will provide their email address to the Program Assistant and to the Coordinator, Academic Support & Services. The student is responsible for updating their email address at all times. The student may update this information by email to the Program Assistant and to the Coordinator, Academic Support & Services. The student is required to check their email a minimum of once a day or more as outlined in course syllabus or by course instructor while classes are in session and while on clinical affiliations. The student is responsible for all information disseminated by email and will be held accountable. It is particularly important to update this at the time of clinical affiliations since changes may occur.

F. MAILING ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER - The student is responsible for constantly maintaining the updated information on both local and permanent addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses as well as the address and telephone number of an emergency contact person.
1. The student may update this information with an email to the Program Assistant or hand it in to her on an 8 x ll sheet of paper.
2. The student should provide the mailing address, telephone number and email address of where he/she will be staying during each clinical affiliation.
3. The student should contact the program for any changes in contact information after graduation for program mailings.

G. CONTACTING FACULTY MEMBERS - Faculty members can be contacted regarding class or program information and discussion via email or phone as listed on course syllabus. All faculty have posted office hours.

H. PRESENTATIONS OFF-CAMPUS - As a part of coursework, the student may be required to make presentations to various community groups off-campus. At such times, students will be requested to wear professional attire that may include lab coats or UCF polo shirts with nametags.

I. USE OF RESOURCE MATERIALS - The student is required to check out resource materials from the Program if they are removed from the physical therapy area. This includes videotapes, books, journal articles, other published material, etc. Please see the Program Assistant if you would like to check out any equipment. Equipment may be checked out after students have been deemed “competent” to practice in the event faculty are not available during “check out times”. Any unauthorized use of equipment is prohibited. Do not remove any equipment from the labs, including the anatomy lab, without first getting permission of the instructor and filling out a check-out form from the Program Assistant.

J. MAINTENANCE OF PHYSICAL THERAPY PROGRAM AREAS - At the end of each class, laboratory session and study/practice session, each student will automatically assume responsibility for putting away all materials, changing bed linen, returning materials to the instructor, removing all food and trash from the area, and closing out (in the proper sequence) and putting away any audiovisual materials. All classrooms, labs, study areas and hallways will be maintained in a clean and orderly manner at all times. This is the responsibility of the students, not the faculty and staff.

K. LOCKING AND SECURING THE PHYSICAL THERAPY AREA - Any student in the building after the program office has closed for the day or over the weekend is responsible for insuring that all portable equipment is stored per program policy and that all doors to the classrooms, labs, research areas, office suite and conference room are closed and locked.

L. CURRICULUM INTENSITY – The curriculum of this program is designed to prepare the student for entry-level competencies as a generalist physical therapist. The intensity of the program is advanced and commensurate with a doctoral program. The faculty, in conjunction with the Program Director, are aware of the significant commitment required to succeed in this program. It is inappropriate behavior for a student to request a reduction in coursework or assignments. Courses are designed strategically as well as the complete curriculum.

Graduate Research

The Physical Therapy faculty will also use the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the American Physical Therapy Association and the State of Florida Statutes governing the practice of Physical Therapy to address problems created when a student does not adhere to these standards. 

Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see the website: www.research.ucf.edu/ > Compliance.

UCF's Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu/ > Policies > General Graduate Policies. 

Visit the COHPA Office of Research for information on research partnerships including faculty research areas, community research organizations, government research agencies and many other research resources for students in this discipline.

Financial Support

Financial Support provided to Doctoral students by the university is limited to fellowships, graduate assistantships and tuition support.  Federally-funded financial aid in the form of Student Loan programs may be available for Graduate students based on eligibility. Students interested in federally-funded financial aid information, should check the UCF Office of Student Financial Assistance website at finaid.ucf.edu/.

The College of Health and Public Affairs may be allocated a limited number of university-funded fellowships that are awarded on an academically competitive basis to the highest qualified graduate students in the college. When available, these fellowships are awarded annually in March and April to newly admitted students for the upcoming academic year.

In addition to the academic-based fellowships for incoming students, the Graduate Presentation Fellowship provides funding for current master's, specialist, and doctoral students to deliver research papers or participate in comparable creative activities at a professional meeting. Students must be the primary author and presenter. More information is available at funding.graduate.ucf.edu/presentation/.

The Student Government Association also funds individual and group travel requests. More information about these awards is available on the SGA website at www.sga.ucf.edu.

The Department of Health Professions may offer a limited number Graduate Assistantships to highly-qualified graduate students who are interested in working in the department a minimum of 10 to 20 hours per week. Graduate Teaching Assistantships may be available to students who assist faculty with teaching responsibilities or who serve as Instructors of Record for a course. Graduate Research Assistantships may be available to student who assist faculty with research activities or perform research-related duties in the department. The department may also offer a limited number of general Graduate Assistantships to assist with the administrative and advising activities of the department.

Support to Graduate Assistants is provided in the form of bi-weekly paychecks through the university’s standard payroll process.  In addition, partial tuition support is paid in the form of a credit to the student’s UCF student account.  The amount of tuition support depends on the level of assistantship (10 or 20 hours).

Students who are interested in Graduate Assistantships should submit a resume and application to the department by the fall deadline. To qualify for an assistantship a student must be in good academic standing in the program and be enrolled full-time. They must also have flexibility in their schedule to be available during assigned work times and should not plan to work outside the university while receiving the assistantship.

For complete information about Graduate Fellowships, Assistantships and Tuition Support and the eligibility requirements, please see the Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog.

OUT-OF- STATE RESIDENCY

Florida state universities do not automatically confer in-state residency after one’s year’s residence in the state of Florida.  If you are an out-of-state resident, you are responsible for understanding University policy concerning residency and tuition. For additional information regarding out-of-state residency, please contact the office of Graduate Studies. Information can also be found at www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/student_residency/.

FINANCIAL LOANS

Students who have financial loans will find that they become due six months after the first full time semester before graduation.  This will be counted from the last spring semester because the last summer semester only has one credit hour for the clinical affiliation although it is a full-time affiliation.  Some students have found they will be unable to pay back the loan within the 6-month period and have found two solutions: one is to ask the loan agency itself (not the University) for an extension.  The Program Director has written letters on many occasions to explain this situation.  The other alternative is to take enough hours of independent study to make full-time summer credit hours.  Please be aware of this situation if you have loans.
Students who have Federal Work Study loans will have a similar problem. The Office of Financial Aid will require you to register for six credit hours to qualify for the loan.

Visit the Scholarships and Financial Aid webpage on the Department of Health Professions website  for financial information specifically for graduate students in this discipline.

Graduate Student Associations

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit www.gsa.ucf.edu. For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see the program director.

Visit the Student Organizations webpage  on the Department of Health Professions website  for associations specifically for graduate students in this discipline.

Professional Development

APTA Membership

Physical Therapy students are required to join the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as student members and maintain membership throughout the curriculum. Verifications of membership are due to the Program Assistant by July 1 each year.

The benefits of membership:

  • Includes subscriptions to the Physical Therapy Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association and PT Magazine of Physical Therapy.
  • Includes subscription to the Florida Chapter Newsletter;
  • Permits attendance at local, state, and national meetings;
  • Provides information about continuing educational programs; and
  • Provides a reduced rate registration for educational programs sponsored by the APTA.
  • Provides access to resources on the APTA website, which non-members do not have access to.

The National Student Conclave takes place in October and is a good event for understanding professional issues. Although we promote participation in national conferences, maintaining one's grade point average comes first.

Job Search

UCF's Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at www.career.ucf.edu.

Visit the Job Opportunities webpage  on the Department of Health Professions website  for job search resources specifically for graduate students in this discipline.

Forms

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

  1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
  2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
  3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
  4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
  5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

Paraphrased Material

Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

Use and Adaptation of the Material:

You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).

Explanation:

The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

Useful Links