Many factors affect students' academic success in a physical therapist (PT) education program and their performance on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). Although studies have shown that academic variables assist in ensuring that qualified applicants are admitted into PT education programs, these studies have not included a minority-serving institution. The purposes of this study were to identify the academic variables that predict NPTE scores and/or pass rates and to determine if English as a second language (ESL) adds to the prediction among graduates from a primarily Hispanic-serving institution. 72 PT education program graduates from the University of Texas at El Paso master's degree program from the graduation years 2004-2007 were included in this study. Admissions data and PT education program data were compiled. Statistical analyses included Pearson correlation coefficients and multiple and logistic regression analyses. Data analyses indicated statistically significant correlations between NPTE scores and the following variables: PT grade point average (GPA), visual analog scale (VAS) scores on the first clinical experience, English as a second language (ESL), pre-PT GPA, verbal graduate record examination (GREv), and quantitative GRE (GREq) (P .05). However, only PT GPA and pre-PT GPA made unique contributions to the prediction of NPTE scores (P .05). Using logistic regression, ESL also contributed uniquely (along with the GPAs) to NPTE pass or fail status (P = .02). ESL added predictive value in conjunction with both types of GPAs when examining NPTE pass or fail status. Based on the results, we recommend that programs identify those students most at risk of failing the NPTE, specifically those with low PT/pre-PT GPAs (below 3.5) and/or ESL, and provide them with supplemental preparatory experiences.
——————————-————————— RESEARCH PAPER ————————————-——————-- NPTE Predictors in a Hispanic-serving Institution’s Physical Therapist Education Program Loretta S. Dillon, PT, DPT, MS, and Joe Tomaka, PhD physical therapy grad
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