Experiences of Underrepresented Racial Minorities in the Entry-Level Physical Therapy Education Application Process: A Conceptual Framework

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Introduction. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of Black and Latinx students as they navigate the entry-level physical therapy education program (PTEP) admissions process and how they made meaning of their experiences. Review of Literature. Existing literature is focused on quantitative aspects of the admissions process and on the applicant's potential for success within an entry-level PTEP. There is currently not enough evidence to provide the applicant perspective when navigating the entry-level physical therapy education admissions process. Subjects. A total of 11 participants were recruited from all entry-level PTEPs through social media sites and national student organizations for Black and Latinx students enrolled in entry-level PTEPs. Methods. Three interviews were conducted for each participant. Their responses were combined with a demographic survey received before the first. Interviews were then transcribed and coded with deductive and inductive processes. Results. The study yields a conceptual model for recruitment of Black and Latinx students. Factors for programs to consider include introduction to the profession, challenges and factors of support within the application process, and factors influencing enrollment decisions. Discussion and Conclusion. This exploratory study provides a roadmap to better understand the experiences and journey of Black and Latinx students to the field of physical therapy. Findings could be used by entry-level PTEPs to provide better access to information for prospective students.

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Journal of Physical Therapy Education







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