By Timothy Miller, PT, DPT, EdD, GCS | December 10, 2020
One of the biggest goals of earning a tDPT degree is to acquire the knowledge to advance professional practice. This goal cannot be realized by simply listening to lectures and passing exams. Achieving this goal and getting the most out of a tDPT program, requires the deliberate application of the curricular content to your everyday practice. That is, making everything you are learning relevant and relatable to you and your specific professional context. Approaching the program with the mindset of thoughtfully and purposefully blending all academic work with your context will allow for meaningful application and integration of advancing professional practice. Not only will this make the learning ‘stick’, but will also allow for meaningful professional growth throughout your time in the program.
In addition to making the content contextually relevant for you, another way to get the most out of your tDPT program is to take advantage of being in a cohort-based learning environment. While in the program, you have a unique opportunity to interact and engage with a diverse group of professionals from around the globe. Not only will the support of fellow cohort members be helpful as you navigate each semester, but what you can learn from one another will further advance your knowledge and professional practice. Soak it in and learn as much as you can from one another, it is not often that you find yourself in a setting with so many talented professionals at your fingertips.
Finally, it is important for anyone in an academic program, especially one that is in an online environment, to set a schedule and stick to it. To get the most out of your experience, you want to make sure that you can carefully and mindfully work your way through the content and learning activities. Waiting until the last minute or rushing through the content simply to get it done will not allow for meaningful learning and advancement of professional practice to occur as intended and designed – not to mention, cause unnecessary stress in your already busy life. Be sure to invest the time to set a weekly schedule that provides plenty of cushion for you to devote the time necessary to engage and thoughtfully work your way through the learning activities.
Dr. Timothy Miller is the Director of Education & Faculty Development at Rehab Essentials. To learn more about the online, budget friendly transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy please visit our tDPT program site.