Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Physical Therapy

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.


College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department

First Advisor

Dawn Brown-Cross

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Purpose: To determine the differences between PT program NPTE 3-year ultimate pass rates (3YUPR) based on program length and faculty scholarship. To explore relationships between 3YUPR and quality faculty behaviors. Subjects: A total of 112 CAPTE accredited PT educational programs in the United States and Puerto Rico during 2013. Method: A quantitative design method was used to retrospectively test differences between program and faculty traits and student NPTE 3YUPR using data from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), PT Annual Accreditation Reports (AAR) and Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) score reports. A self-generated faculty survey was used to prospectively obtain faculty behavior data in programs with high versus low NPTE outcomes. Results: The final survey had an acceptable Cronbach alpha score of 0.701. All survey items yielded a high percentage of correct classification above 75%. Eighteen faculty behaviors were consistent with high rated NPTE PT programs (p-values between >0.001 to 0.034 α level 0.05). Use of Independent t-tests found a significant difference between means of scholarly activity performed by faculty at high (22.54 ± 11.63) and low (14.77 ±8.47) ranked schools, t (70) = 2.99. p = 0.004. No statistically significant difference was found between PT program lengths in higher ranked programs (121.52 ± 12.16) compared to low ranked programs (123.96 ±18.80), t (37) = - 0.595. p = 0.555. Conclusions: This study found the sum of scholarly activity performed by faculty differs between high and low 3YUPR. No differences found in total program lengths when assessing by program 3YUPR. A survey tool was created that tested faculty behaviors consistent with programs that score high on the NPTE. Recommendations: Testing should be performed on a greater number of constructs representing faculty behaviors of quality programs for survey development. Correlations should be performed with faculty data from the same year and NPTE first time pass rates for an assessment of predictive relationships. Also, a repeated longitudinal design study is recommended for PT educational programs with high versus low NPTE scores using the self-generated survey to see how faculty behaviors impact student first time pass rates.


Physical Therapy


Health and environmental sciences, Education, Examination success, National physical therapy examination, Pedagogy, Student outcomes, Teaching behaviors, Teaching effectiveness

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