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Abstract

Background and Purpose. There is a paucity of published literature regarding the correlation between faculty attributes and education program pass rates on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) particularly regarding the physical therapist assistant (PTA). The purpose of this study was to 1) determine if there is a relationship between faculty attributes in PTA educational programs and program outcomes on the NPTE for Physical Therapist Assistants (NPTE-PTA) and 2) construct a prediction model for PTA program outcomes based on faculty attributes. Subjects. The 233United States’ PTA programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) in 2006 were studied. Methods. Using a retrospective design, data were obtained regarding the PTA programs from the dataset of CAPTE’s PTA annual accreditation report and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy’s pass rate database. Selected faculty attributes (designation of highest degree conferred, years of teaching experience, employment status, license designation [physical therapist or physical therapist assistant] and clinical specialization) were correlated to first time program pass rates. Backward deletion regression was used to predict the first time pass rate on the NPTE-PTA.Results. Based on data from 190/233 PTA programs, seven attributes had a statistically significant relationship to the outcomes on the NPTE-PTA. They were the number of: 1) full-time faculty; 2) adjunct faculty with an associate’s degree; 3) full-time faculty with a terminal degree; 4) core faculty with a terminal degree; 5) all faculty with a terminal degree 6) years of teaching experience of the full-time faculty; 7) years of teaching experience of the core faculty. Backward deletion regression analyses demonstrated an overall model of two combined predictor factors (full-time faculty years of teaching and full-time faculty terminal degree) that significantly predicted the first time pass rate on the NPTE-PTAaccounting for 6.5% of the variance. Discussion and Conclusion. Faculty attributes of the institutions providing PTAprograms are associated with first time pass rates of their graduates. This study provides a foundation for future studies by identifying some of the faculty attributes that relate to NPTE-PTA outcomes.

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