A student learning clinic has been one of the many exciting changes occurring as a result of this move. As a part of the clinic experience, second-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students are assigned a client in the fall as part of the neuro thread and another in the spring to support content on aging. Paired students enjoy leading weekly treatment sessions with community volunteers over the course of their semester.

“This is a wonderful low-stakes learning opportunity for our students and a great opportunity for individuals in our community to interact with our program and find some benefit, as well,” said Becca Jordre, Ph.D., DPT, who stays involved in clinic supervision both semesters. “We strive to let the students make their own decisions and create their own treatment plans, and we don’t scrutinize their activities like we might during a practical. They truly learn by doing.”

When reflecting on the student providers, a community member who regularly participates in the spring clinic said, “They figured out what my limitations were and then pushed a little beyond them. They taught me a lot about working a little harder without injuring myself. In the last measurements, I had improved in most areas. They gave me the tools to work during the summer to keep improving.” 

When surveyed, clients from this clinic report 100% satisfaction with their care, and all report they would like to return in subsequent semesters. Students consistently list this as a highlight of their second-year DPT coursework.

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