Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2020



  • Minimal data exists on optimizing the retention of undergraduate students to the DPT program within the same academic institution.
  • Many DPT programs provide information and resources for applicants to explain admission requirements and overview the program curriculum.


  • Identify and understand undergraduate student and faculty member’s knowledge, perceptions and resources regarding the DPT program within the same institution.
  • Develop resources and tools to enhance the connectedness within the undergraduate and graduate DPT program in the same institution and fill identified gaps.


  • 41 undergraduate Science and Kinesiology students
  • 6 Kinesiology faculty members
  • 5 Science faculty members
  • 4 active DPT students who attended CSP as undergraduates
  • 18 active DPT students


  • Qualitative data collection via surveys and focus groups
  • Triangulation of data, coding and development of themes
  • Action research strategies used to create tangible products and resources


  • Majority of undergraduate students choose their major in high school or freshman year of college.
  • Undergraduate students expressed a lack of resources and understanding of the DPT program within their institution (Figure 1).
  • Undergraduate students expressed desire for admission requirements, informational meetings and mentorship (Figure 2).
  • Faculty echoed lack of resources and provided ideas for potential products.


  • Themes emerged that students and faculty were provided with little information regarding the DPT program within their home institution.
  • Analysis of student and staff focus groups, questionnaires, and interviews, determined the need for a variety of products including: Program resource guide, Mentorship program, Social media (Facebook & Instagram), On campus marketing, and informational events.


  • Designing and implementing products may help bridge the gap between the undergraduate and graduate populations in the same institution.
  • Future research will examine the impact of products and to also determine if graduate applications within institution increased.
  • Future phases may include admissions, undergraduate student advisors and other CSP undergraduate departments.



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