The name of my program is Pre Physical Therapy. My program mainly consists of courses needed for Physical Therapy graduate school, along with courses that will assist my knowledge in that field. Entering my undergraduate studies as undeclared, I was at a loss of what I wanted to choose for my career path. I knew I wanted to work with athletes but was unsure of what I wanted to do with that group of people. That is, until I started thinking about physical therapy. With physical therapy, I will be able to not only work with injured athletes, but also the general population. Physical Therapy does not only pertain to getting a soccer player back on the field after an MCL injury, a physical therapist also helps everyday people move and perform functional activities in their everyday life. I chose to create this program because no other major at Plymouth State would give me enough room to complete my prerequisites for Physical Therapy school. Along with the prerequisites, this program allows me to pick and choose courses that will fit together to ensure a more personal and beneficial educational experience.
When choosing courses for my program, the first order of business was to make sure the prerequisites were taken care of. In my contract, I chose to put in MA2300 Statistics I (which satisfies my QRCO) because it teaches me how to organize information received and will allow me the ability to interpret the data in a quantitative or qualitative way. For my sciences I began with BI1110 Biological Science I and BI1120 Biological Science II (satisfying as my TECO). Biology is necessary when understanding exactly what goes on inside the cells of the human body and how they correlate with the body’s every day functions. Other important courses include CH2335 General Chemistry I and CH2340 General Chemistry II (which also satisfies my QRCO). Chemistry is essential as our bodies are made of chemicals and reactions must occur for humans to live a healthy life in a stable environment.
Prerequisites not included in my contract, but that I have taken or am currently enrolled in, include: BI2110 Human Anatomy and Physiology I and BI 2120 Human Anatomy and Physiology II, and PS2010 Introduction to General Psych. The Anatomy and Physiology classes teach the basics of the human body and how bones, muscles, and joints work together to put our body in motion. Not only does the course discuss the physical attributes, but also what is happening internally. Psychology is an interesting course in how it relates to physical therapy. Psychology deals with the mental and emotional characteristics of a person. By knowing how the patient is emotionally handling the treatment, physical therapists are able to gather a better understanding of their mental limits. I also plan to take Physics I & II at a community college back home during the summer time to complete my prerequisites for Physical Therapy school. By taking physics, I will have a better understanding of lever systems and how they’re incorporated in the human body.
Alongside the prerequisites, I was able to put courses in my contract that would assist my knowledge going forward with physical therapy. Most of my additional contract consists of Physical Education courses. The first course being PE2750 Functional Anatomy, where I am able to learn about the muscles in a more in depth experience. With PE3570 Kinesiology, I am able to apply what I learned in Functional Anatomy by studying the mechanics of body movements. PE3720 Motor Learning is a very important course. This is the study of how new motor skills are learned through changes in the central nervous system by practice or experience of that specific skill. PE3580 Physiology of Exercise with Lab are beneficial classes in that I will be studying the effects of exercise on the human body and developing physical performance. The PE4520 Principles and Theories of Strength and Conditioning with Lab courses will provide me with the knowledge on how to create safe and effective strength growth programs necessary for patients. Lastly out of the physical education courses, I chose PE4780 Exercise prescription. Alongside strength and conditioning, this course will aid in developing an exercise program that is specialized towards a specific client and his/her needs. I chose these courses because as a whole they help build fundamental knowledge required to fully understand the human body and its movement related to exercise. These courses will help assist me in graduate school as I begin to go more in depth on
these movements and how they relate to the healing process of injuries.
To satisfy my WRCO, I put HE3240 Health Promotion Planning and Evaluation into my contract. This course will prove beneficial as I am able to develop and evaluate health promotion programs. This course will assist in my career as a physical therapist as I develop programs for individuals to follow in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Another health education course I added into my contract is HE3220 Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living (also serving as a TECO). This course is necessary in my proposed profession, as nutrition alongside physical movements, is needed in the healing process for muscles, joints, and bones. Lastly, included in my contract is AT3400 Pharmacology for Allied Health. I am looking forward to this course due to its focus on medications relevant to the treatment of injuries for individuals involved in physical activity.
My program is interdisciplinary because I am able to bring in a variety of courses that will provide me with the most beneficial knowledge as I continue my education at graduate school. With Interdisciplinary Studies, I am able to complete my prerequisites for Physical Therapy school and take additional courses that will assist in this journey. By taking classes I find beneficial and relatable to my desired profession, I am able to enjoy my classes knowing they will help benefit me in the long run. As I look towards the end of my four years at Plymouth State University, I feel confident in the contract I have created knowing these courses are exactly what I need to help me reach my goal of being a physical therapist.
UPDATE: I am entering my final semester of undergraduate studies and I have never been happier with the path I have chosen. Choosing interdisciplinary studies has been the best decision I have made regarding my education. Without this discipline, I would be forced into another expensive and meaningless year in order to complete my major and the pre-requisites for a Physical Therapy graduate program. Instead of working about squeezing in as many classes as I can in order to not have to attend summer classes, I am now looking for Physical Therapy Aide jobs as I take a gap year before entering graduate school for Physical Therapy. With Interdisciplinary Studies, I was able to choose courses I found relevant and could help propel my career. I can go into my job as an aide feeling confident and knowing I have an edge over some of my peers who are having to take summer courses to fulfill their degree and pre-requisite requirements. Along the way, some courses had to be switched due to schedule conflicts or change in direction and I had no issue with that. The process of changing my contact was simple and efficient. I received an email confirmation within 24 hours! If I had college to do all over again, I would continue to choose the path I did. Over and over again.