Accreditation Info

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Saint Mary is seeking accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245; The program has submitted an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional/technical phase of the physical therapy program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional or technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status does not assure that the program will be granted Accreditation.*

Notice of Impact of Candidacy Status on Students

The Department of Physical Therapy is submitting its Candidate for Accreditation document to Apply for Candidacy Status in August, 2011. Approximately six months before the proposed start date of June, 2012, a reader assigned by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education will make a recommendation to the Department of Accreditation regarding whether or not our school will be permitted to begin in June, 2012 as planned. If the Department of Accreditation approves our start date, the physical therapy educational program will begin in June, 2012.

If the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education does not approve our start date, we will not start the physical therapy program as planned. If this happens, that is, if we do not achieve Candidate for Accreditation Status and approval to start our program, you will be informed in writing of this decision and at that time we will explain the options you have. But you must understand that without Candidate Status, the program will not begin. As a department, we are working very hard to implement all requirements necessary to achieve Candidate Status. It is important to realize that all physical therapy programs are on a cycle of earning and maintaining accreditation.

File a Complaint

The following information is taken from CAPTE's web site and reproduced here as a courtesy. Please visit CAPTE's website at

CAPTE considers complaints about programs that are accredited, or are seeking accreditation by CAPTE, and complaints about CAPTE itself.

CAPTE has a mechanism to consider formal complaints about physical therapy education programs (PT or PTA) that allege a program is not in compliance with one or more of CAPTE's Evaluative Criteria or has violated any of CAPTE's expectations related to academic integrity. CAPTE will consider two types of complaints: those that involve situations subject to institutional due process policies and procedures and those that involve situations not subject to due process procedures:

  • If the complainant is involved with an institution/program grievance subject to due process and procedure, CAPTE requires that the process be completed prior to initiating CAPTE's formal complaint process, unless the complaint includes an allegation that the institution/program process has not been handled in a timely manner as defined in the institution/program policy, in which case CAPTE will consider the complaint prior to completion of the grievance process. Evidence of completion of the institutional process or of the untimely handling of such must be included in the complaint materials.

  • If the complaint is related to situations that fall outside of due process policies and procedures, the complaint may be filed at any time.

CAPTE will not consider complaints that fall outside its jurisdiction/authority as expressed in the Evaluative Criteria and the academic integrity statements. When appropriate, complainants will be referred to other organizations to pursue their concern(s).

In order for CAPTE to consider a formal complaint, several conditions must be met:

  • The complaint must be specifically linked to the relevant Evaluative Criteria (PT or PTA) or to the integrity statements.

  • The complainant must have exhausted all remedies available through the institution, if appropriate.

  • The complaint must be submitted in writing, using the format prescribed by CAPTE, and must be signed by the complainant.

  • The event(s) being complained about must have occurred at least in part within three (3) years of the date the complaint is filed.

In reviewing and acting on a complaint, CAPTE cannot and does not function as an arbiter between the complaint and the institution. Should CAPTE find that a complaint has merit and that the program is out of compliance with the Evaluative Criteria or the integrity statement(s), CAPTE can only require the program to come into compliance with the Evaluative Criteria. CAPTE cannot force a program into any specific resolution of the situation that resulted in the complaint.

To obtain the materials necessary for submitting a complaint, contact the APTA Accreditation Department at (703) 706-3245 or at

CAPTE acts on formal complaints twice a year, in April and October/November. The timelines involved in the complaint process are such that complaints received between January 1 and June 30 will be considered at the October/November meeting and complaints received between July 1 and December 31 will be considered at the April meeting.

Anonymous Complaints About Programs

Complaints that are submitted anonymously are not considered to be formal complaints and will not be reviewed by CAPTE. Depending on the circumstances and severity of the complaint, it may or may not be forwarded to the program for information purposes only. The decision to forward is made by the Director of the Accreditation Department. A record of anonymous complaints will be maintained by the Department of Accreditation.

Contact CAPTE

Department of Accreditation
American Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-1488
Phone: 703/706-3245

Department Business Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm ET.

CAPTE Staff Contact List for PT Programs

Confidentiality of Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.

Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.

Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest;

  • Other schools to which a student is transferring;

  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;

  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;

  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;

  • Accrediting organizations;

  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;

  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and

  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.


Policies governing the privacy of student records are explained above. Generally, student records are private and confidential.


1. Upon acceptance into the DPT program at USM, each student will have a student file.

2. These files will be kept in a locked filing cabinet with limited access.

3. The departmental secretary maintains these files and is primarily responsible for ensuring privacy of the files. Faculty (core and/or adjunct) as well as the program chair may have access to student files but must also be responsible for ensuring student privacy. Student files will be maintained in the department for not less than 5 years post graduation.

4. Student grades (including final grades, mid-term grades and class assignment grades) may be posted, both on printed lists as well as on class websites, provided that the posting method maintains a high standard for data security and that student confidentiality is protected. Posting grades by name, student ID number or Social Security Number is not permitted under any circumstances. The best way to post grades is using an approved online learning environment where students must login using credentials that only the student knows and in which the student can only see their own record. Another method that protects student confidentiality is to assign randomly generated numbers to students in a class which only the student knows and then post grades along with these assigned numbers in numerical, not alphabetic, order. Classes with 10 or fewer students should not have grades posted in this manner, as protecting the identity of student records in small groups is difficult.

5. Individuals will not participate in clinical demonstrations, student laboratory practical examinations, research, photographs, video, or other practices that might violate the privacy of the participant without obtaining a written informed consent from the student. Informed consent authorization forms will be available in the Physical Therapy Department. Signed informed consents will be kept in the students file.

6. During clinical internships, students will adhere to all policies and/or procedures of the institution regarding patient confidentiality and privacy.



Effective May 2, 2012, the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Saint Mary has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: Candidacy is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation. Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program is progressing toward accreditation.
USM DPT Program Student Outcomes 
(As of May 2012)
1.      Graduation Rate: The program earned Candidacy in May of 2012.  We will not be able to post a graduation rate until May of 2015, when we anticipate graduating our first class of students.
2.      Licensure Examination Pass Rate:  The program earned Candidacy in May of 2012. We will not be able to post a licensure examination pass rate until 2015, when we anticipate receiving that information from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.
3.      Employment Rate:  The program earned Candidacy in May of 2012. We will not be able to post an employment rate until late in 2015, approximately 6 months after graduation.