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Course Syllabus

Course Description

The first year DPT student spends one half day per week (4 hours) for 10-12 weeks (minimum of 45 clinical contact hours) throughout the Fall semester, in a clinical environment under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. This experience is designed to help students become socialized to the clinical environment, and to integrate knowledge, practical skills, and professional behaviors learned. 

Credit Hours



Successful completion of summer DPT curriculum and good academic standing in the Department. For specific curriculum and course information, see the Department Site.

Course Coordinator and Instructors

    • Reva Rauk, PT, PhD, MMSc, NCS
    • Director of Clinical Education (DCE) & Assistant Professor (Clinical)
    • Phone: 801-581-8665 / Cell: 435-901-4803
    • Amy Powell-Versteeg, PTA
    • Site Clinical Instructor (CI)
    • Clinical Site Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE)

Course Objectives / Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course the student will:

    1. Demonstrate beginning acculturation into the profession of PT. 
    2. Integrate knowledge, skills, and professional behaviors learned in the academic setting into the clinical setting. 
    3. Report how this clinical experience has broadened his/her perspective of physical therapy practice.
    4. Demonstrate preparation for full-time clinical internships the following summer.
    5. Value this (and future) clinical experience and appreciate the clinical instructors who provide these learning opportunities
    6. Demonstrate Beginning to Developing level professional behaviors.

Required Text/Readings:

  • Schon DA. 1987. Educating the Reflective Practitioner. Josey-Bass: San Francisco; pp.3-40.
  • APTA. 2003. Professionalism Core Values.
  • May, W. (to be published) Professional Behaviors.

Student Expectations/Responsibilities

  1. Attendance – at least 4 hours per week for 10-12 weeks, or equivalent variations. Attendance is mandatory! If a session is missed, the student should reschedule to make up the clinical time at the CI’s convenience. The CI’s or the facility’s clinical schedule may require alternate schedules. Two afternoons per week are allocated in the semester class schedule for the experience.
  2. Abide by the University of Utah Department of Physical Therapy Student Code of Responsibilities.
  3. Be an active participant and self-initiated learner regarding all learning opportunities; attempt to integrate academic knowledge into clinical scenarios; and practice interpersonal, communication, and professionalism skills with patients, families, staff and with whomever he/she interacts.
  4. Completion of the Professional Behaviors Assessment with the supervising CI at midterm and final.
  5. Demonstrate appropriate professional behaviors and skills at all times.
  6. Successful completion of any additional assignments/projects given by CI or CCCE (e.g., inservice, case study, etc.).
  7. Maintenance of a Clinical Experience Reflective Journal, with entries throughout the semester submitted via WebCT.
Assignments** Due
Complete Compliance Training on Canvas (NLT Clinical Experience start date) Sep 1 0
CI Name & Email Contact Information Sep 26 1
Reflective Journal 1 Sep 26 10
MIDTERM Professional Behaviors Assessment w/CI (Student completes assessment & discusses with CI) Oct 24 1
FINAL Reflective Journal 2 – complete final week of experience Dec 12 or earlier 10
FINAL Professional Behaviors Self-Assessment Handed In Dec 12 or earlier 25
FINAL Site & CI Evaluation on Acadaware Dec 12 or earlier 10

Grading Policy

The student will receive a Credit/No Credit grade upon completion of the course based on the following criteria:

  1. Successful completion of the required time within the clinic (minimum of 45 contact hours).
  2. Successful completion of the Professional Behaviors Assessment by the student and the supervising CI with ratings of at least Beginning level and progressing readily toward Developing level.
    • **NOTE TO Clinical Instructors & Students**

      The Professional Behaviors Assessment is designed to evaluate attributes, characteristics, and behaviors not explicitly part of the profession's core of knowledge and technical skills, but are nevertheless absolutely required for success in the profession of physical therapy.

      Students have been instructed on the use of the Professional Behaviors Assessment and should be able to answer questions regarding use of the tool. Also, directions found at the beginning of the instrument should be very helpful. However, please feel free to contact the Director of Clinical Education (Reva Rauk) for any clarifications! (contact information above)

      It is the student’s responsibility to be pro-active in pursuing appropriate clinical learning experiences, pursuing practice opportunities for appropriate skills, and self-initiating the scheduling of student evaluation sessions with the clinical instructor.

      If there are ANY concerns whatsoever about the student’s performance in any of the Professional Behaviors, or any other skill that the CI or the CCCE of the site feel the student should be demonstrating, please communicate any concerns to the Director of Clinical Education immediately via 801-581-8665 or 435-901-4803. Addressing these concerns early is prudent and in the best interest of all parties. 

  3. Successful completion of all assignments required by course instructors (DCE, CI, CCCE), including all web-based course assignments and EB project (i.e., case study, lit. review, in-service, clinical experience journal).
  4. Acceptable verbal CI report regarding student performance within the clinical environment; CI responses are very enthusiastically welcomed throughout the experience – and/or Professional Behaviors Assessment.

Additional Information

Examples of Clinical Training Agreement language of which students must be aware:

“The Facility may immediately remove from the premises any student who poses an immediate threat or danger to personnel or to the quality of medical services or for unprofessional behavior.”

“It is mutually understood and agreed between the parties that the Hospital or the Educational Institution may withdraw any student from the program at any time if the qualifications, performance, or actions of such individual is unsatisfactory or if an individual is disruptive or otherwise interferes with desirable work relationships within the Hospital. If in the opinion of the Hospital or its agents, the health of the student may be detrimental to the health of the Hospital’s patients or employees, the Hospital may remove that student. The above action may be exercised summarily and without recourse.”

APTA Credential Clinical Education Program

The University of Utah highly recommends all Clinical Instructors and Clinical Coordinators of Clinical Education complete the APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor Education Programs and achieve credentialing. The programs are offered a minimum of annually through the Department.

  • Basic Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program
  • Advanced Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program

For further information contact the DCE, Reva Rauk, PT, PhD, MMSc, NCS, via or 801-581-8665, or Kristin Augustine, Assistant to the DCE, at 801-585-1462. 


The University of Utah and the Department of Physical Therapy seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services, and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 581-5020 (V/TDD). CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations. All written information in this course can be made available in alternative format with prior notification to the Center for Disability Services.


Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender (which includes sexual orientation and gender identity/expression) is a Civil Rights offense subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, color, religion, age, status of a person with a disability, veteran’s status, or genetic information. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you are encouraged to report it to the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 135 Park Building, (801) 581-8365, or the Office of the Dean of Students, 270 Union Building, (801) 581-7066. For support and confidential consultation, contact the Center for Student Wellness, 426 SSB, 801-581-7776. To report to the police, contact the Department of Public Safety, 801- 581-2677(COPS).


The code is provided in detail on the University of Utah web page. The code specifies student rights as well as conduct involving cheating, plagiarism, collusion, fraud, theft, etc.

Contact Us

Reva Rauk, PT, PhD, MMSc, NCS

Director of Clinical Education

Phone: 801-581-8665
Fax: 801-585-5629


Emily Walton

Clinical Education Executive Secretary

Phone: 801-585-7962
Fax: 801-585-5629