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University of Saint Augustine Flex DPT vs Full-time Residential Program

Discussion in 'Pre-Physical Therapy' started by Gator2DPT, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. Gator2DPT

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    Hey everyone, so I plan on applying to University of Saint Augustine (St. Augustine Campus) for their spring 2019 start date; however, I'm undecided on whether I should apply to the flex program or the full-time program. I was hoping to get any type of insight from any of you who are either currently enrolled or are applying to either of the programs and what your thoughts are about any potential pros and cons or potential things to consider. Thanks in advance for any input!
     
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  3. dpt94

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    I’m in my second month of the flex DPT program, I started in January of this year.

    I have mixed feelings on the program.
    Pros are that you can work while you’re in the program (it really is flexible), the same curriculum is spread over 4 years instead of 2.7 years like in residential so it’s not as mentally draining. Flex programs are also a lot easier to get accepted to than the residential.

    The fact that it is a 4 year program may be a con as well, most programs are 3 years or less.

    You have to be motivated every week, every day to study on your own. You get some help with lecture videos and some teachers hold weekly, optional live video sessions to ask any questions you may have. But your own self motivation will be the determining factor in your success.

    To be honest, I kind of wish I applied to the residential program instead. It’s weird for me to not be in class every day and to only have to go every 2 weeks. As you go further into the program, you’ll have to go to campus less (I think only 4 or 5 times in the later terms). I just feel like I still have a lot of questions about the program than answers. It is easier than most programs because you don’t have as many classes at the same times as the residential cohorts, but I find it easy to slack off because I’m not going to class often.

    I would go with flex if you absolutely need the financial help with a job on the side, but if not I would do residential.

    Hope I helped. Feel free to ask any questions.
     
  4. Gator2DPT

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    Thank you so much for taking the time to give me all that info! That has definitely helped me out a ton. I'm a little wary about the flex program being 4 years as opposed to 2.7 years because it would obviously be nice to get finished and start working as a physical therapist sooner, but like you said it wouldn't be quite as mentally draining which is definitely a plus. Also, I'm really worried about potentially not getting accepted so the increased chance of acceptance for the flex is a big deal for me. I do like the idea of being able to have a job on the side too because I could certainly use the financial help. And while I would love to live in Saint Augustine, I feel like I would save a lot of money by not having to relocate and take out additional loans for a place to rent because I currently live around 2 and a half hours away. I think I would really prefer the residential program but the flex program seems to be a little more realistic for my situation. Do you feel like you're still getting a good quality physical therapy education with the flex program? And what are the bi-monthly weekend meetings like? Is it all day of each day Friday-Sunday? And do you just stay in a hotel for those weekends or what? I feel like hotel costs could add up and be a burden but it would still probably be cheaper than moving there and paying rent. Oh, and if you don't mind me asking, what were your stats like when you applied? Sorry for the overload of questions lol I'm just really trying to make the best decision.
     
    #3 Gator2DPT, Feb 28, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  5. dpt94

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    First I want to point out that i go to the campus in California, not the Florida campus. But I'm sure it's very similar as they are under the same curriculum.

    Your first question is a question I have for myself. I'm only in my first trimester so the focus is really on gross anatomy more than anything and a little bit of soft tissue interventions. They have cadaver labs, where you dissect the bodies as a class from the skin down into deeper tissues so I think that's a great part of the curriculum and I think right now the quality of anatomy I'm being tested on is decent. The only thing I am worried about is how the quality of education is in later terms when I am only scheduled to be on campus 4 or 5 weekends per trimester. I'm highly questioning that, and to be honest it kind of worries me. But I keep telling myself to take it a trimester at a time and to not worry too much about the future. There is a lot of self teaching, and that is to be expected, it's really stressful but if you put the time in that you need, you'll do well.

    For the bimonthly meetings, we have class from 8 am to 5pm, sometimes 8 to 6, on Saturdays and Sundays. Personally, I go early on Fridays to get an extra day to study the cadaver and other models in anatomy lab (they hold open labs from 5pm to 10pm every day), sometimes I'll even go on Thursday to get 2 extra days to be on campus.

    Everyone usually stays in an Airbnb because staying in a hotel would get pretty expensive. You can find rooms for as low as 40 dollars a night.

    My stats were above average for the flex DPT averages, I had a 3.45 cumulative GPA, 3.5 prerequisite GPA and 309 GRE. The average for my campus was I think 3.18 for cumulative GPA.

    What makes me feel better are the same reasons you mentioned. Financially, it's so much easier than moving somewhere new and paying rent, etc. I'm living at home rent free and although I work an entry level job right now, after 3 years it'll add up to probably cut my student loans in half. I could graduate being about 50-60k in debt instead of 110k (tuition) + 3 years of living expenses in debt. I say 3 years because your 4th year is mostly clinical rotations and that can be local.

    Feel free to ask any more questions, I had so many questions about this program but was lucky enough to know someone in the same exact curriculum.
     
  6. epicpt89

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    I have a quick question for you. Would you find it advantageous to have a job that sort of in a sense allowed you to study while you were at work?

    I have a bit of debt that i wanted to cut down so i was also looking towards flex for that reason. Only thing is I'd be 29 when I start the flex and 34 by the time i was all done. Kind of a while to finally get my career in line, so that was a reason I'd rather go residential, but who knows we'll see what happens.
     
  7. dpt94

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    Yeah I think that would help. The program is flexible but it isn’t easy, you still have to study often and a lot. There are forum/discussion posts as well as online assignments that sometimes seem like busy work. It would at least get you a chance to complete assignments so that when you get home you could just focus on studying exam material.

    If it’s makes you feel any better I have a few classmates in their 30’s. Obviously that’s your own choice. The extra year wasnt a big deal to me but I’m in my early 20s.
     
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  8. epicpt89

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    that does help tons i appreciate that.

    i think even with the extra year id rather do the flex program. granted i still need to get accepted first! *crosses fingers*
     
  9. hkilft999

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    Hello, could you clue me approximately how many hours you study per week and how many pages you need to read? English is not my native language, so maybe Flex PT program will be suitable for me, I will need more time to read and maybe listen the classed twice so I can understand.
     
  10. dpt94

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    Hi!
    To be honest, if you’re not going to work while you’re in the program you’ll have plenty of time to complete readings and assignments. If you do work while studying it’s still possible.

    I personally study around 2-3 hours per day every day but the weekends, including my own review sessions. You have weekly assigned readings and lecture content for each class, the amount of pages are different weekly. You can also get away with just watching the lecture videos and not reading the assigned readings in a couple classes as well. So far in my first two trimesters the only readings where I’ve read every page is for the anatomy classes.

    If you have have any other questions feel free to ask or message me
     
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  11. hkilft999

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    Hi!!:)
    I think that this will be the nice choice for me, I managed to have part time3 or 4 days per week and each time maybe 4 to 5 hours and when I can't handle the loading, I can just quit the job and study more.

    Could you tell me the acceptance rate is high or low if you know that? A lot of universities mention in their websites that how many applicants they recive every year and how many they accept, I can't find in their website.

    Also I only found they said that the on-site courses are needed every two weeks( like twice a month), is it true for every semester? My relatives have 1 room locating 150 mi from St Agustin, Austin, and my sister has a room locating about 150~250 mi from St Agustin, CA, I'm just considering which campus I should choose and if it is needed to rent a room by my self.

    I have heard that somebody said that it will be really hard to understand upon the flex DPT program because you won't have classmates who can practice with you. How do you think about that?

    I don't know why I can only find Nova uni. hybrid DPT in PTCAS website, but I can find the ST Agustin in the list of APTA accredited program, it matters?

    Thank you for reading those chose... I think my English ability will be improved a lot after I arrive the U.S....:happy:
     
  12. scrawnyguy

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    I believe they use their own application process and don't utilize PTCAS. The vast majority of schools have moved to PTCAS but there are a handful that don't. For a comprehensive list of accredited schools check CAPTE's site.
     

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  13. dpt94

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    I think the acceptance rate for flex is higher than most full time programs because there’s less applicants. Not a lot of people are interested in a 4 year program that isn’t fully on campus. As far as the percentage, I’m not sure.

    The program is definitely accredited, I made sure of that before I accepted their offer into the program.

    It is also a requirement to be on campus for the labs, usually they are every 2 weeks for an entire weekend. You can drive there from wherever you live and rent a hotel or AirBnB for the weekend if you’d rather not pay rent close to campus, a lot of people do that.

    I also don’t think not being around classmates is a big deal. I study on my own a lot and on the weekends I am on campus I meet with a few classmates to practice the techniques for lab the day before the lab weekend starts. I also keep in touch with classmates by text message and video chats as well when we’re not at campus.

    You can apply to their flex program by using PTCAS, but their residential/full time program is only through their own website.
     
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  14. hkilft999

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    Thank you a lot!!:) I think this program is just for me, I want to give it a try in 2019 or 2020. By the way, on their website said that 2/3 students get a scholarship, tuition reduction and something like that, is it also common in our program? ( after all, that tuition is really tough:happy:)
     
  15. hkilft999

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    Hello! Thank you for the information, are you also a Hybrid DPT student? :D
     
  16. epicpt89

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    I went on an on-campus tour a few weeks ago for the Miami Campus. My personal thoughts..

    Being that I'll be 29 around spring 2019 (the term I plan to apply for), I was geared towards the flex option. Not only because of the online component, but also because I would have the ability to work while I was in school, which is a huge plus for me.

    That being said, I weighed the pros and cons of both situations. I live about 30 mins give or take from the Coral Gables campus they are planning to open up. So it would be a choice between a 4 hr drive every other week or going to school 9-5. I would honestly much rather go with the latter because the field itself is immersive and I feel like having like-minded individuals the whole way helps tremendously. Not only that, but I feel as if I would learn alot better as opposed to trying to be self taught. Just my two cents.
     
  17. epicpt89

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    So would one be able to work like say for 30-35 hrs a week on this program?
    I bartend and I still have debt layover from undergrad and some other bad mistake I made in the past. I dont want to graduate with heaps of debt and having 3 years in which I cant even make a dent in it due to school.

    I'd rather work possibly 3 days a week and work on making the money to reduce not only my actual debt, but my school debt as well. Dont know if this sounds like a viable plan or not.
     
  18. dpt94

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    There are students in the program that work full time or 30+ hours per week and are doing fine. It’s possible for some more than others.

    I dunno what your schedule is like, but if you can find 2 hours a night on two days during the week (from Monday to Friday) and study all weekend Saturday and Sunday, I think you’d have sufficient time to do the best you can. I realistically study about 3 hours per day, 5 days per week and I find that works for me
     
  19. scrawnyguy

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    No, I briefly looked into it when applying to schools a couple of years ago, but I decided it wasn't for me. I'm an older than average student and I wasn't willing to go into that much debt at that point in my life. I'm wrapping up the didactic portion (only compressive orals exams to go!) of schooling at Army-Baylor DPT.
     
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  20. hkilft999

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    I think the only thing can repel us is that this program is really expensive and I maybe can't work so much, because I need more time to study and need to get some English classes, basing on my insufficient English ability. Every the other week drive to and back from the Austine campus will be 306 mi, and every day have a trip to Victoria to get the English classes and work will be 52 mi, food, internet, water and etc. for 4 years and 100000 dollars tuition... It's in the case that I'm in TX campus, if it is CA campus, will be more expensive.

    Life is struggling... it suits me, but I don't know if it is a good idea considering how much it will cost...
     
  21. hkilft999

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    Thank you for the explanation.:) What did you feel about the accelerated program? Which courses just make it so difficult? If I just try my best to memorize everything in Anatomy, would it become easier? I have heard that you also need to do a lot of presentations and writing, what are those about?

    Could you tell me a little more?:)
     
  22. scrawnyguy

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    It was definitely a challenge for me. I realize now that although I made good grades during my undergraduate years I was a crappy student. I was relatively bright, I suppose, and I was able to do well without good studying or note taking skills. I got behind very quickly during DPT school and the accelerated nature made it pretty much impossible for me to catch up. I honestly still don't feel like I'm quite on the level of most of students in my class. The good thing about having an accelerated didactic program is that we get more time in clinicals (I believe we actually have more hours of clinical education than any school in the country). While I struggled academically at times, I believe that when it comes to patient interaction/care I am just as good as anyone in my class. I'm not trying to brag or anything, but it just goes to show that we all have different skill sets.

    Having some knowledge of anatomy can be helpful (origin, insertion, innervation, action of muscles), but I wouldn't stress it too much. In many ways I was unprepared for graduate level studies, but I think you can also almost be too prepared. Some people feel the need to study like crazy before school even starts and they end up getting burned out pretty quickly.

    We didn't do a ton of writing, but we did have a number of presentations. None of them were too difficult, but they can be time consuming. To be honest (the program director frequents these boards so I'll be careful how I phrase this), I don't think they are super useful as you get towards the end of your didactic program. Initially they really help teach you to critically search for and then analyze peer reviewed literature, but once you learn those skills it doesn't seem quite as valuable. At times it seems to take away valuable study time (or time to relax, which is also very valuable and often rare).
     
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  23. hkilft999

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    Thank you for this specific answer!!:) This is what I'm worried about, I think I just need more time than normal students, but the 30~36 months program won't give you a lot of time and a lot of people who were good undergrad students, like you, said that once you are behind the class, it is really hard to catch up.

    It is nice to hear that we don't need to write a lot. You mean to be too prepared is that study too much and feel stressful, so people eventually become too tired to study, like a tired spring? My strategy is that listen to those hard courses once in my native language before the program and I won't squeeze myself, maybe 50~70% understand is enough. When the program start, it means that I heard it again in English, I think that it will be easier.
     
  24. scrawnyguy

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    I think I may need to update my response a bit. We don't write a lot of essays, but there is writing involved. For every practical we write a patient note and many of our tests have short answer format questions. Not a ton of writing, but you may have to do a fair amount under timed conditions.
     
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  25. hkilft999

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    well... Bad news:dead: Could you tell me how many words include in the short answer approximately? Is it really important to write, using correctly words and grammar? Like what I wrote I think everybody can understand, but I think there are a lot of mistakes, is this kind of situation acceptable in school?
     

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