PT school failing policy

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by conjc17, 09.24.14.

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  1. conjc17

    conjc17

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    Hi, I am currently in the second quarter of my first year of PT school. A lot of people in my class (more than 2/3) are incredibly frustrated with our program so I wanted to ask around to see if it is just us.

    Does anyone's program have a sort of guarantee to get you through?
    Is failing out a constant worry?
    How do other schools react if a student isn't doing well?
    Do you feel like the staff is on your side?
    Basically, I'm curious how people feel about their program.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. swolecat

    swolecat 2+ Year Member

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    I actually have been to two different PT schools- (withdrew from one program to attend my state school when I got in off the waitlist) so I have TWO experiences instead of one. At the first school, a much larger class size of about 50, people did worry about failing an some people the year in front of us actually did. I felt like the teachers were on our side, but wouldn't relax their standards (if you can't do well, you probably SHOULD be weeded out of the profession). Students who failed a class could sit out a year and try again next year. Fail any two classes and you're gone. You had to keep above a 2.75 GPA but you get one semester of "probation" to bring it up.

    My current school is a little bit stricter in GPA (can't get even a single B- in any class except I guess first semester anatomy or physiology, because they aren't part of the actual program- you can get a B- in those). However I have never even heard of a student failing out. The tests thus far have been easier than at my previous school, which is probably why. Nobody seems to fear failing out, it's a very laid back atmosphere, though I worry about that because I'm not much of a self- motivator and you are gonna get the education you put into it yourself here.

    Two totally different strategies and atmospheres.

    I'd say that I would be a more knowledgable therapist if I were at the first school, but I might be a better therapist overall here with all the soft skills teaching they do. I think either place passing is not a problem for 90% of students. Who wants to be in the bottom 10% of your class anyway?
     
  4. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    It's something you should consider when applying to PT school. I can't believe some of the stringent policies I have seen. You should not be ejected from a program for a B- in one class.

    At our school, you can theoretically pass with all C's and pass the program, but I don't think any of my classmates are doing that. Here you can get one D and stay in the program, but if you get D's you have to petition the school to stay in, and the school has to approve your petition.

    The relaxed standards at my school definitely favors older students who have not been in school for several years and are changing careers. If my school ejected every student who earned anything less than a B, the graduation rate would be abysmal. Instead the graduation rate here is 95% or more for the DPT program.

    My classmates worry about failing all the time, but I've heard of only two students in two years getting ejected from the program.
     
  5. SwampPT

    SwampPT

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    What school are you attending? I am in the process of applying and never thought to consider these things.
     
  6. markelmarcel

    markelmarcel 5+ Year Member

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    I think when I first started school there were some fears of failing, especially because 2-3 people in my class ended up failing anatomy. If you fail a course, you can wait one year to re-take it. Our first year, you had to get above a 75% to be passing. In our core PT courses you had to achieve this on EACH assignment. If you failed an assignment, you had to re-take it to score a 75%. If you failed it a second time, then you had some counseling and I think you were given a third shot. If you failed any three assignments in one course, you then failed the course and had to sit out a year to re-take. Then, in our second and third year, the passing percentage increased to 80%.
     
  7. SwampPT

    SwampPT

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    My biggest fear is failing, which is probably why I will do well:). Luckily I had a really good anatomy professor in undergrad so I'm confident with my anatomy. What do people generally have problems with in PT school? I'd like to be prepared as possible:)
     
  8. rltruong

    rltruong 2+ Year Member

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    In my program if you fail a class then you have to wait a year to retake it but while you wait you have to audit the previous years classes(if you are a year two or three). you're only allowed to do that once. if your cum gpa falls below a 2.75 then your on probation and must get your cum gpa above 2.75 the follow semester or your out. on average about 10% of our class leaves the program due to grades or personal reasons.
     
  9. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    I attend the University of Saint Augustine, FL. I like the policy because it gives you some breathing room. No one intentionally tries to get C's in my program, as far as I know, but we have a lot of older students here and they are typically the ones who have to repeat classes. The great thing about USA is that it offers courses three times a year, not just once. If you fail or drop a class, you only delay your graduation by four months. This school allows a lot of flexibility.

    Enough promoting my own school. May the conversation resume.
     
  10. SwampPT

    SwampPT

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    Well it just so happens that I have applied for USA Florida for summer 2015:). That information sure makes me feel more comfortable. I'm also a non traditional student. I'm 41, but I went to school full time for four and a half years while also working 50 hours a week. If I don't count grades from 20 years ago I have a 3.77. I think working and school at the same time has prepared me. I'm definitely a master of time management now:)
     
  11. markelmarcel

    markelmarcel 5+ Year Member

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    I think everyone has a fear of failing! And in my opinion, there's not really a generalized problem area... Everyone is different and so they excel in different areas... Just be aware of your weaknesses and address them sooner rather than later! :)
     
  12. SwampPT

    SwampPT

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    Thank you very much:). I think the fear of failing will drive me to excel. Plus I am very passionate about PT so I'm really hoping that I will enjoy the ride:)
     
  13. markelmarcel

    markelmarcel 5+ Year Member

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    I'm sure you'll do great! :) Good luck! And welcome to the PT family!
     
  14. okramango

    okramango 5+ Year Member

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    My program only allows one C in any course. If you get a second C, you're out of the program (though you could petition to join again the following year). You're also out if you fail more than one practical exam. I've never heard of these happening to anyone at my program, though. During first semester there was a lot of worry about failing out of the program, because of the huge workload and super fast pace, but eventually everyone got used to it. We did lose a few students in my class over the first year, and I think a couple were partially due to the workload, and how it affected their families and lives, but none were kicked out as far as I know. Overall though, the faculty clearly want us to succeed and do everything they can to help us, despite the sometimes crazy insane workload.
     
  15. SwampPT

    SwampPT

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    Thank you:). I'm not in yet, but I'm hoping to be adopted soon :)
     
  16. aroszko

    aroszko 2+ Year Member

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    At my school you have to maintain a 75 in all PT classes, and a 70 in non-PT classes(such as first semester anatomy and physiology). If for whatever reason you drop below these you can remediate the course, or basically take an exam on the entire class about a week after your final. If you fail the test (<75, or 70 depending on the class) than you are out of the program. We are allowed two remediations in the entire program, if you fail a third class you do not get the chance to remediate and are out of the program. Also if the class is a lecture/lab based class you have to maintain the grade in each component of the class, lab and lecture and if you fail one component then you only have to remediate that component of the class (I believe).

    I'm in my second semester, the first semester I think a lot of people were worried about the policy but as we're getting used to the work load I'm thinking its a pretty fair policy
     
  17. Brandon1986

    Brandon1986 2+ Year Member

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    In my program any 2 B- or lower is dismissal from the program. There is also a rule when it comes to written exams that we have to have an 80% avg or we get dropped a full letter grade. So you could have a high B in the class, but have a 79% avg on written exams and your grade for the course will be lowered to a C... Does anyone else have this in their program? It is very frustrating.
     
  18. SwampPT

    SwampPT

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    What program are you in?
     
  19. DPTcoasral

    DPTcoasral ready to go

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    That sounds ridiculous and really doesn't make any sense. PT school isn't even really all that difficult to get into to be honest and it shocks me that some programs will drop you from the program for a C, when lots of their incoming students are actually true C and B students who have high GPAs due to grade inflation at various school. Very odd to say the least.
     
  20. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    At many schools 90% of applicants are rejected. I had a 3.6 overall and 3.6 prereq GPA three years ago and got rejected by seven schools.
     
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  21. DesertPT

    DesertPT ` 2+ Year Member

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    While I agree that the failing policy @Brandon1986 described is a little over the top, so is the rest of your statement.

    20 years ago you're statement may have been true. But the majority of desirable PT schools today have anywhere between a 5-15% acceptance rate. The vast majority of people do get in somewhere, but you have to apply quite a few places if you have mediocre stats. There's not really GPA inflation, PTCAS calculates everyone's GPA exactly the same...maybe some universities give out A's more readily than others, but on the whole college is college and if you can't get good grades at one school you're not going to get them at another school either.

    So I wouldn't call it easy, and I don't think that lots of the people going to PT school are primarily B-C students. From last year to this year (2013 to 2014) NAU went from their average admitted student having a 3.54 to a 3.71. The same is true for their pre-req GPA. That is on par with quite a few MD programs. Getting into PT school on the whole is not as hard as an MD program (although if you take away the MCAT its about equivalent to getting into some DO program IMO), but it has officially gotten to the point now where if you want to go to top choice PT school, you have very little chance if you weren't at least an A- student consistently in college.
     
    Last edited: 10.10.14
    BrokenDancer likes this.
  22. DesertPT

    DesertPT ` 2+ Year Member

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    Man that's brutal. If you don't mind me asking did you have a low GRE score or something?
     
  23. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    No. Here are my stats. The first number is my gross score, and the second number is the percentage of test takers who scored below me. I think 1250 on the old exam is pretty good.

    Verb 580 82%
    Quantitative 670 63%
    Writing 4.6/6 67%
     
  24. DesertPT

    DesertPT ` 2+ Year Member

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    Wow, 7 rejections with that? Geez...

    Did you get more than one acceptance?
     
  25. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    I did. I got onto three waiting lists, three acceptances, and five rejections. That was in 2011-12. I imagine I wouldn't get in anywhere now.
     
  26. DesertPT

    DesertPT ` 2+ Year Member

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    You might not get into three but if you applied to that many schools you'd at least get in somewhere.
     
  27. DPTcoasral

    DPTcoasral ready to go

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    You completely missed my point, which was actually a generalization. Yes, it is true that many students applying to PT school (and another program...not pointing that finger at just PT) fulfill their prerequisite classes at community colleges that hand out As for mediocre work and study habits. I've attended four different institutions and have experienced this first hand. If you don't think this is true, you're blind to what is going on. Overtime, schools that have academic policies that don't line up with their screening process are doing an injustice to the students. Yes, there will be cases where it is impossible to predict the success of the student but the system can be improved.

    My point is that despite what you believe, unqualified students are infact accepted into physical therapy school. This isn't unique to PT, so don't think I'm attempting to degrade PT applicants. If you are willing to kick students out for a couple subpar grades then you should be equally as radical in your screening process. It's not that hard to get accepted no matter how much you want to romanticize it. It's a numbers game (depends on your applicant profile), apply to enough and don't act like a complete psycho in your interview and you have a coin flip at worst. The biggest mistake I see on these forums is that a subpar or average student will apply to six schools think they have a shot. No, you have a shot if you apply to 15 to 20 schools. I"ll agree to disagree with your comments and I may be the minority here, but that is fine. It wasn't even meant to be an attack on PT applicants, I was sympathizing with the OP and commenting with my beliefs on the system.
     
    Last edited: 10.12.14
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  28. ktachiba

    ktachiba 5+ Year Member

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    I disagree. I went to U.C. Irvine in my undergrad where I majored in economics, and then I took pre-requisite courses at my local community college where current U.C. Irvine students that were majoring in biology or pre-med took the same courses as me, and I did better than them grade-wise. And they were smart students too. In fact, many students from U.C. Irvine have to take anatomy at a local JC cuz I believe U.C. Irvine doesn't have a lab component to their anatomy classes. And U.C. Irvine is a top 50 university (if rankings matter for undergrad).
     

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