Physical therapy graduates exceed national and state average pass rates

CULLOWHEE — The class of 2000 from Western Carolina University’s master’s degree program in physical therapy surpassed both national and North Carolina averages for first-take passing rates on the Physical Therapist Licensing Examination.

North Carolina physical therapy program passing rates were recently announced by Ben F. Massey Jr., executive director of the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

Between July and December 2000, 94 percent of the WCU graduating class (29 of 31 students) took the Physical Therapist Licensing Examination and 96.55 percent of those students passed on their first attempt. The first-take passing rate for all accredited programs in the United States was 91.90 percent, and 91.72 percent for all programs in North Carolina.

From July 1999 through June 2000, 90.32 percent of WCU physical therapy graduates passed on their first attempt. This compares to a 83.08 percent first-take pass rate for North Carolina programs, and 76.26 percent for all accredited U.S. programs. “Western Carolina University’s graduates had the highest first-take passing rate of all the physical therapy programs in North Carolina for that period of time,” said Jeannette Bull, assistant professor of physical therapy.