Guest blog by Dr. Teresa Paslawski, Associate Dean, School of Rehabilitation Science
An incredible amount of time and effort has gone into preparation for our Master of Physical Therapy program accreditation site visit, being held virtually at the end of March. The accreditation process is robust, and by its conclusion the four-person review team will have assessed our detailed self-study report and hosted more than 20 meetings over a four-day period. This process takes an extraordinary amount of time and commitment from a very large and dedicated group of people and I am happy to say that thanks to everyone on our team, we are prepared!
To all 102 participants involved in this process, thank you for your commitment to our program and all of the hard work you have put in to prepare for the virtual visit, your pride in the quality program we offer is evident. This would not be possible without your dedication and support.
To our accreditation team, who led the charge, collected content, and organized meetings- quite frankly, you are awesome! I could not have asked for a more dedicated team. A special thank you to Cathy Arnold, SRS Director, currently on sabbatical, for her leadership of our program and her leadership role in the preparations for the accreditation self-study and virtual visit.
To our faculty, staff, students, and key stakeholders who have supported the accreditation process and set us up for success, I offer my sincere thanks.
Accreditation is a six-year cycle of assessment, evaluation, and opportunity for improvement, and as such, we strive continually to improve our program. Considerable effort has gone into refining our admissions criteria and selection processes to better support student success in the program and in the Physiotherapy Competency Exam. Additionally, our faculty’s individual research programs contribute new evidence-based findings that inform teaching and allow for novel research opportunities for interested students.
This past year presented unique challenges for all of us. For our MPT program, the move to online delivery of coursework and considerable modifications to face-to-face instruction led to unavoidable stresses on our learners, staff, and faculty. As a school I believe we maintained the high standards of the MPT program while still prioritizing wellness among the students, staff and faculty. And while planned changes to the MPT curriculum were necessarily dramatically altered in the face of the pandemic, through collaboration, reflection, and hard work we have identified positive and inventive ways to elevate our program even further!
Among many other things, 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted systemic racism around the world, including here in Canada. Ensuring our MPT students are educated about the past and the continuing effects of colonization and intergenerational trauma is a priority for us. Preparing our students to practice reconciliation in their care is paramount. Through our connections with community partners and Elders we are incorporating community-driven experiences and knowledge into our teaching and, where possible, offering real-life engagement with Indigenous communities to our students. We are proud of the steps taken to combat racial inequalities in our School and communities by our Indigenous Engagement Working Group, but we recognize that there is still much to do. We look forward to working closely with our college, university, and community partners in advancing anti-racism and meaningful allyship.
Thank you again to each and every person involved in the accreditation process. We anticipate learning the results of our hard work later this summer. Thank you for your commitment to our program and your pride in our achievements. As a team we have risen to the occasion, and as your Associate Dean I am very proud to say, we are prepared!
Please take a moment to watch this video highlighting our beautiful campus and the facilities available to our MPT program.