Background and Purpose.
There has been a recent move to identify benchmarking criteria for indicators of quality in an educational program. One measure of program quality is performance on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of educational program characteristics on NPTE pass rates.
Subjects and Methods.
Program directors from 132 Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredited physical therapist education programs completed a survey about their program. This information was matched with the NPTE pass rate for that program. A regression analysis was performed examining 21 independent variables and their role in predicting the program's pass rate.
The final regression model consisted of three educational program variables that best predicted the pass rate on the NPTE examination: 1) accreditation status, 2) number of faculty with a PhD and/or EdD, and 3) years of preprofessional and professional coursework combined.
Discussion and Conclusion.
Although we found that the total length of the program (ie, preprofessional and professional combined) was a significant variable in the regression model, the length of the professional program by itself was not. The program pass rate is dependent on a number of factors including individual student characteristics as well as the quality of the professional educational program and its faculty.