Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Adult Education

Committee Chair

Donna Menke

Committee Member

Wendy Griswold

Committee Member

W. James Jacob

Committee Member

Mary Boudreaux


Physical therapy has changed from its humble beginnings as informal classes for reconstruction aides (RAs) educated in gymnasiums to the professional education programs for students graduating with an entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy. The occupation, now a profession, complete with autonomy, direct access, and great responsibility for decision-making for those we care for has changed; however, the need for physical therapists to care for those with physical disabilities has not changed. In order for physical therapists to manage care, responsibility, and autonomy in the ever-changing economic and healthcare environment, physical therapist education programs need, as part of the admission process, some standardization to help them select the best students who have the potential to succeed academically, as well as, pass the national licensure examination. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine which critical thinking skills and higher order constructs would be essential to assess on an admission examination for entrance into physical therapist education programs. A modified e-Delphi was used to answer this question by surveying a group of experts determined by the criteria of being a licensed physical therapist who has been published for their research on critical thinking and higher order thinking, as well as, program directors of physical therapist education programs. The critical thinking skills of clarifying meaning, assessing claims, assessing arguments, stating results, self-examination, and self-correction, and the higher order thinking constructs of critical thinking and logical thinking emerged as the consensus items to be assessed in a discipline-specific examination prior to entrance into a physical therapist education program.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.