• Benefits and Challenges in the Development and Implementation of a Doctor of Physical Therapy Consortium

      Keskula, Douglas R; Mishoe, SC; Wark, ET; Department of Physical Therapy (Georgia Regents University, 2013-05-23)
      Educational consortiums provide an opportunity to improve the quality of the educational programs involved through an increase in resources, collaboration, and expertise, both administrative and faculty. This paper addresses the benefits along with the major challenges encountered in the development and implementation of a consortium involving multiple universities within a state system of higher education. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the Doctor of Physical Therapy Consortium in 2005. The consortium created a partnership between three existing and successful physical therapy programs. One program was housed in a research university, and two were located in state universities. The primary goal of the consortium was to create an educational alliance within Georgia, which enabled the two state university physical therapy programs to offer doctoral level education to their students. The state university programs were unable to award the doctoral degree due to their institutional missions at that point in time. Forming a collaborative relationship between the state programs built on the excellence of the existing programs, helped to meet the demands of incoming students seeking a degree in physical therapy, produced a steady number of physical therapy graduates, and helped to meet the increasing expectations for practice into the future. The consortium was created to allow each partner to retain their unique mission, curriculum and identity while offering a doctoral degree in physical therapy to all students. Although there were several successful outcomes directly related to the consortium, there were also a variety of challenges that we believe limited the sustainability of the partnership. These challenges included costs relative to benefits, managing ambiguity, the perceived lack of faculty control, and issues related to effective and assertive conflict management.