Program Philosophy & Goals | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Program Philosophy & Goals

Chatham University Doctor of Physical Therapy

As an integral member of a dynamic health care system, the physical therapy profession is dedicated to the promotion of health and prevention of movement dysfunction through practice that emphasizes consumer education, restoration, and maintenance of function considering the total needs of the individual.
We view learning as an evolving, collaborative and continuous process, one that integrates the learner's needs and goals and that extends beyond the climate of formal education. The student, therefore, is charged with the shared responsibility to establish learning objectives and the necessary collegial relationships to meet both academic and professional standards. The faculty is responsible for providing experiences that engage students in the teaching-learning process and that prepare students for competent, ethical, and evidence-based practice. Such preparation includes:

  • assisting the learner in the development of self-directed abilities;
  • assisting the learner in the development of analytic and decision making skills;
  • providing the learner with opportunities to ask critical clinical questions, search for, critically appraise, and integrate scientific evidence with clinical expertise and consumer circumstances;
  • creating a secure and open environment where collaborative learning can take place;
  • designing classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences which involve the student in the discovery process;
  • assisting the learner in the plan of their professional development beyond the entry-level curriculum;
  • promoting service to one's community beyond one's role as a health care professional; and,
  • providing the opportunities for self-evaluation, peer evaluation, and program evaluation.

We believe that faculty members should continually grow in their roles as educators, professional advocates, mentors, and researchers through active participation in educational, clinical, research, professional, and community activities.

"The curriculum prepared me to be able to effectively manage all diagnoses, problems, and issues in the clinic.  I feel like I received a comprehensive education and feel fully prepared to be independent in the field."

Amanda Kern, '12

"I think that the service learning experience made me aware of the diverse conditions and set ups that my patients may have.  It was very helpful to my clinical thinking because it will be my responsibility to ensure the safety of my patients in any environment."

Melinda Cameron Anderson, '12

PROGRAM GOALS

  1. To educate physical therapists who are qualified to practice in a collaborative, ethical, legal, safe, caring and effective manner.
  2. To offer a program characterized by self-directed learning, critical thinking and clinical reasoning, reflective practice, evaluation and application of best scientific evidence, and clinical competence in entry level practice.
  3. To promote an academic community of students, faculty, and clinical instructors who are committed to clinical excellence, scholarly activity, professional development, and community service that contributes to current and future societal needs.
  4. To develop and support a faculty that is actively engaged in effective teaching strategies and scholarship.