Evidence In Motion (EIM) was founded by academics in the health care education space to expand evidence-based practice and increase health care access in communities around the country. We innovated the way health care education is delivered through highly successful hybrid, accelerated graduate programs. Read more about our hybrid model here. 📚
But we are not done innovating. In the next five years we plan to launch more than 30 programs around the country, including expansions for our current partners into new campuses and disciplines. Our experience and expertise help colleges and universities realize programs that contribute to their long-term vision and success for years to come. Together, we create rigorous, innovative and accessible programs that impact the world in a tangible way.
Ready to learn more? Hear from our academic team in this Q&A addressing some of the most frequently asked questions about current issues in higher ed and EIM’s education solutions.
1. Student Debt
Q: What is your view on the problem of rising student debt deterring prospective applicants from becoming PTs?
A: When it comes to decreasing tuition to reduce student debt, this is a tough one in the short-term as neither APTA, ACAPT, CAPTE, PT faculty, or really anyone except university decision-makers have any control over tuition. From my perspective, this is primarily driven by market-based supply and demand. Institutions will charge as much as possible so long as they’re meeting enrollment goals and meeting/exceeding budget goals.
Once institutions start to struggle with enrollment (and not a day before), they will reduce tuition to remain competitive but will seek to expand their class size to maintain similar overall revenues despite the reduction in tuition. Faculty will resist these efforts but will reluctantly go along because it could be key to survival of the program itself.
However, there are plenty of ways to increase cohort sizes with less fixed and more variable costs, namely developing flexible, hybrid options that are very much on par in terms of outcomes with traditional residential programs. Unfortunately, many smaller, under resourced PT programs will likely struggle and could ultimately fail unless faculty are willing to embrace innovation.
Ultimately, reducing the total cost of tuition is about getting students into the workforce as soon as possible and moving as much clinical education as possible to the post-graduate licensed environment.
2. Competition Between Hybrid Programs
Q: Since the curriculum is delivered in a hybrid manner, are there geographic limitations placed on Universities in terms of where they can recruit? How does EIM manage potential competition between its University Partners?
A: EIM does not impose or enforce geographic limitations on schools to control student recruitment or enrollment efforts. All programs draw from a national pool of prospective students. While considerable overlap exists, programs inherently have stronger student recruitment outcomes from within their respective geographic regions.
While variation exists, a typical composition for a student cohort includes 30-40% of enrollments from in-state or regional applicants and 60-70% from out-of-state applicants. Programs typically enroll students from 25-30 different states.
While “competition” exists across all DPT programs, for example, there remains a strong applicant pipeline with 5-6 qualified applicants for every seat. Our student recruitment efforts, to include marketing and admissions support, continue to successfully fill student cohorts to meet enrollment goals established by the University Partner.
3. Facility Requirements
Q: What are the specific facility requirements (square feet, characteristics, and specialized instrumentation) that the University Partner needs to provide to teach 100 students in a hybrid graduate healthcare program? (PT, OT, and SLP Disciplines)
A: Ideally, the University Partner secures a combined total of 6,000–8,000 square feet of primarily open space. One option is to secure a single large space of 6,000+ square feet that provides for consolidated synchronous instruction with all students and ample space to spread out when needed for breakouts.
A designated area for storing bags/books and a computer charging area can usually fit into this approach. It is possible to fit an instructional platform/stage and 50 plinths into a 4,000 square foot space. However, this leaves little to no room for student gear (backpacks, electronics, lunches, etc.). The space will become too cluttered if students bring all these items into the lab.
Also, a 4,000 square space only provides room for consolidated synchronous instruction with all students. If breakout sessions are utilized, this space does not allow sufficient room to spread out into 4-5 groups of 20-25 students. More space provides for greater flexibility in instructional approaches.
A Second Option
Another option is to secure two separate spaces, one at least 4,000 square feet and another 2,000+ square feet. This allows for consolidated synchronous instruction with all students in the larger space and a separate space to expand into when breakouts are utilized.
The 2,000+ square feet space can serve as a multipurpose room for breaks, lunch, student gear storage, practical exam staging area, etc. The key is making everything portable so that multiple configurations can be used within the same day.
Other lab space considerations include an adequate quantity of outlets around the room for equipment, modalities, etc. and well positioned projectors and screens for visibility. A camera setup on stage is needed in addition to an adequate sound system and good acoustics.
It’s important to note that the PT, OT, and SLP disciplines can share the same space. Lab immersions can be scheduled in a way such that when the PT students are on campus in lab, the OT and SLP students are in the didactic phase online and vice versa. This provides significant efficiencies and optimizes space utilization. This also significantly decreases the allocation of lease expense should the University need to lease outside space.
The PA discipline can utilize some of the space as needed for the PT and OT disciplines. In addition, the PA program requires access to small group break out rooms that can serve as mock exam rooms for clinical skills and examination labs. Access to standardized patients and simulation equipment is also common in PA education to facilitate mock exams.
Approximately 1,000 square feet of combined storage space is needed if the storage facility is not co-located with the lab and it’s not possible to keep plinths/stools set up year-round. This is assuming there is adequate storage systems for bulky items (i.e., wheelchairs, stools, assistive devices, etc.).
Storage needs to be well organized and planned. If the space is dedicated year round in support of the program allowing for plinths/stools to stay set up year round, storage can be reduced to ~700 square feet of space.
Faculty offices are not needed if faculty are primarily onsite just for lab immersions. A large conference room that accommodates 10-12 faculty members is helpful. Faculty could utilize the conference room for faculty “huddles” before and after each instructional day, break/lunch space, and as an office to work during periods of the day they aren’t providing instruction.
Access to a private space for 1:1 student counseling when needed is also necessary. The conference room could be used for this purpose, but having access to a separate private office is ideal.
Finally, the space should have adequate restroom facilities for ~100 students and faculty taking a break at the same time. Hand washing stations/sinks are always important to consider as well. It’s also helpful to position hand sanitizer stations around the lab space. EIM can provide detailed discipline specific equipment and supplies inventory needs upon request.
4. Onsite Faculty Requirements
Q: How many faculty are typically needed onsite to support the on-campus labs?
A: Ideally, programs try to maintain a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:10 during on-campus labs. For programmatic accreditation, all faculty must possess contemporary expertise in the course topic and content.
Therefore, depending on faculty qualifications, programs will generally have between 2-4 core faculty members represented for each course during lab sessions. These core faculty are supported by 6-8 adjunct faculty per course, most of whom possess contemporary expertise through their active clinical practice.
5. University Partner Outcomes
Q: Can EIM provide an example of the outcomes associated with its University Partners?
A: Primary outcomes among DPT programs include graduation rates, national licensure (NPTE) pass rates, and employment rates. Our existing University Partner DPT programs reported graduation rates between 92-96%, first time NPTE pass rates at 91%, ultimate NPTE pass rates at 98-99%, and employment rates between 95-99%.
These compare favorably to the aggregate means for all DPT programs as reported in the above mentioned CAPTE Fact Sheet, including 96% graduation rate, 92% first time NPTE pass rate, 98% ultimate NPTE pass rate, and 99% employment rate.
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