Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Exercise Science - PrePhysical Therapy

Research Sponsor

Melissa Smith

First Reader

Rachele Kappler

Second Reader

Michael Dunbar

Abstract

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to increase Akron’s knowledge on opinions of the effectiveness of the current Exercise Science: Pre-Physical Therapy Program among its alumni. A cross-sectional retrospective study was done to gain a better understanding of The University of Akron’s opinion of its students on the effectiveness of the current Exercise Science: Pre-Physical Therapy Program. METHODS: A single contact survey was sent via email through Qualtrics to the University of Akron Exercise Science: Pre-Physical Therapy students from this current graduating year (2014-2015) as well as graduates from the past four years. This survey included questions on the effectiveness of classes in the preparation for graduate school, what classes were considered to be the most helpful, and what classes were considered to be the least helpful. RESULTS: No significant relationship was observed (p<.05) between: whether students viewed the courses taken in the Exercise Science: Pre-physical Therapy track helped their academic career by gauging whether they have been accepted, currently in, or graduated from graduate school and whether graduating with a degree in Exercise Science: Pre-Physical Therapy and being accepted, currently in, or graduated from a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. Alumni found that exercise-based and anatomy based classes were the most effective courses. Exercise based classes were rated as the most relevant, followed by anatomy and kinesiology, introductory classes, and supplementary classes. Alumni saw fourth year courses, lab based courses, and co-op and experiences as the most influential in their learning experience. First year courses and capstone and final projects did not rate as high in their learning experience. Limiting factors are discussed in the discussion portion of the report. CONCLUSIONS: This study supports previous research finding classes based on kinesthetic learning styles to be most valued among pre-professional health care students. This information allows The University of Akron, as well as other educational institutions to improve department programs.

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