Background: Higher education programs that admit students to sequential curricula incur a substantial financial loss when an enrolled student fails to continue in the program for whatever reason. In many instances, the seat cannot be filled, and valuable tuition dollars often over $90,000 per student is lost to the institution. In addition to financial loss, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs are required to report and explain rates to the Commission for Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Admission committees at Doctor of Physical Therapy programs seek candidates that will be successful in the program and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore relationships of non-cognitive characteristics (grit and emotional intelligence) and Grade Point Average (GPA) in the first year of a DPT program with the intent to potentially identify students who might benefit from remediation/intervention to prevent attrition. Methods: Forty-two students in the first year of a Doctor of Physical Therapy program completed the Grit scale and the Mayers-Salovey Emotional Intelligence test early in the fall semester of year one. Results: There were no significant relationships between grit or emotional intelligence and academic success in the first year of a DPT program. Conclusions: The current study provides preliminary information related to non-cognitive factors of grit and emotional intelligence and success in a Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Author Bio(s)

Karen Huhn PT PhD is Professor and Chair School of Physical Therapy Husson University, Bangor Maine.

At the time of this study, the other authors were students at Husson University. They are no longer students there.





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