FranU Graduates First Doctor of Physical Therapy Cohort

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Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University graduated its first cohort of Doctor of Physical Therapy students on May 15.

The DPT program at FranU was awarded Candidate for Accreditation in the spring of 2018 and admitted their first cohort of DPT students that August. That first cohort of 31 students graduated on the heels of news of the program achieving its initial accreditation.

On April 27, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education granted full accreditation to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at FranU.

“The first cohort of students took a leap of faith with our program. It was a bold move and I respect that boldness very much. I will never forget them for trusting us," said Kelly Rodriguez, assistant professor.

The DPT program is the third of its kind and the only private program in Louisiana. There are over 70 students enrolled and the program will be accepting 40 new students for Fall 2021.

“FranU DPT is adding to the list of strong institutions in Louisiana that build and train physical therapists. This directly affects the physical therapy care patients receive in our state and that can only mean good things for Louisiana. Our students are ready to answer that call to serve,” said Rodriguez.

A recent survey of the graduates revealed that 92% of those responding have already received job offers in the field.

“This is an exciting time for the DPT program at FranU and for the profession of physical therapy in the state of Louisiana. This program offers students a different option for physical therapy in a unique and wonderful setting. Our graduates are entering the field with the clinical knowledge and skills required to provide effective patient care, as well as being instilled with the Franciscan Core Values of service, humility, justice, joyfulness of spirit and reverence and love for all life,” stated Kirk Nelson, doctor of physical therapy program director.

The program has nine core and 14 associated faculty members with a varied wealth of expertise and clinical backgrounds. The program offers numerous elective options in advanced clinical practice for third-year students, international learning opportunities and a DPT/MHA dual degree program.

Applications for the next admitting class will be due April 15, 2022.

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