Physical therapy graduate program coming to ULM

Get ready kinesiology and pre-physical therapy majors. The physical therapy graduate program will be up and running in the fall of 2022, according to Lisa VanHoose, the physical therapy program director.

VanHoose said once they have received approval for the accreditation of the program, the class will start with around 40 students and they will begin accepting applications in Jan. 2021. Applications will be due Oct. 1, 2021, and annually on Oct. 1. Most of the classes will be face-to-face, according to VanHoose.

In 2015, regulations changed for physical therapists which required for them to hold a clinical Doctor of Physical Therapy. In a press release by KEDM, Dr. Ken Alford, the interim dean of the College of Health Sciences, said there is a need for qualified physical therapists in the northeast Louisiana area. He said his goal was to draw students in from everywhere with this program and hopefully get them to stay once they finished their graduate program.

According to VanHoose, ULM saw a need for physical therapists in the northeast Louisiana area. They began to take steps to get approval from the Louisiana Board of Regents, University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors and the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education.

“ULM has a robust portfolio of health science programs, so we are not new to undergraduate or graduate health education,” VanHoose said. “Historically, ULM has 30-40 graduates who apply to DPT programs within and outside the state. However, we need those students to train in northeastern Louisiana and practice in northeastern Louisiana to meet the needs of our community.”

Luckily for those seeking to join the physical therapy program, there are many positions offered. You can find jobs working as an educator, healthcare administrator, researcher, information technologist and other positions.

“Our ability to integrate large amounts of information helps to position physical therapists as a valuable member of any team,” VanHoose said.

Developing this program will help not only students but also the northeast Louisiana area. As more information develops about the graduate program, The Hawkeye will report what is going on.