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Evaluating the Performance of the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education in Physical Therapist Education: Determining Appropriate Criteria and Assessors

Buccieri, Kathleen M, PT, DPT, MS, PCS; Brown, Renee, PT, PhD

Journal of Physical Therapy Education: October 2006 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 - p 17–28

Background and Purpose. The role of the academic coordinator of clinical education (ACCE)/director of clinical education (DCE) in physical therapist education programs is evolving as physical therapy moves to a doctoring profession. Faculty evaluation of the ACCE on traditional academic criteria does not capture all of the responsibilities of the ACCE. Teaching occurs in individualized instructional sessions, making it difficult to obtain student feedback of teaching performance on course evaluations that assume a more typical classroom format of teaching. Administrative activities are not represented on course evaluation forms. The purpose of this study was to determine relevant criteria and identify appropriate individuals to contribute to the faculty evaluation of the ACCE.

Subjects. The ACCEs and DCEs from all accredited physical therapist education programs in the United States were surveyed.

Methods. An anonymous questionnaire was developed using institutional promotion criteria, traditional course evaluation forms, and published roles of the ACCE. Content validity was established. The percent responses were rank ordered to determine the importance of items in the categories of administration, teaching, scholarship, and service. Data obtained regarding individuals qualified to contribute input on performance were reported.

Results. The response rate was 63%. The items rated the most valuable were in the category of teaching, followed by administration, service, and scholarship. Academic administrators, faculty, center coordinators of clinical education, clinical instructors, and students were identified as qualified to provide input on various items in evaluation of the ACCE.

Discussion and Conclusion. Results are valuable in designing a comprehensive faculty evaluation of the ACCE for the purposes of promotion, tenure, and career satisfaction. The information will be useful in designing appropriate evaluation criteria for formative and substantive feedback to ACCEs.

Kathleen M Buccieriis an assistant professor and the director of clinical education at Ithaca College at the University of Rochester Campus 1100 South Goodman Street, Rochester, NY 14620 ( Please address all correspondence to Kathleen Buccieri.

Renee Brownis an associate professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Belmont University, 1900 Belmont Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37212 (

This study was approved by the Human Subjects Review Board of Ithaca College.

Received April 22, 2005, and accepted February 28, 2006.

Copyright2006 (C) Academy of Physical Therapy Education, APTA
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