Clinical Education

Clinical education is a valued component of professional formation.  Actively engaging in the provision of physical therapy services fosters student development in professional identity, motivation, confidence, communication, and clinical skills. Our clinical education curriculum begins in the first fall semester and consists of both integrated and terminal clinical education experiences. Strong relationships between academic faculty, clinical sites, and clinical instructors create learning environments that strive for excellence in clinical education.  Student physical therapists deserve a quality education in the clinic, and clinical sites deserve well-prepared students and continual support from the faculty at the academic institution. 

The mission of our clinical education program is to graduate new physical therapists who strive for excellence in professional behavior, clinical care, and lifelong learning. Our Directors of Clinical Education provide advisement, teaching, support, and student assessment throughout the clinical education curriculum to endorse this mission. 


Directors of Clinical Education

Marcie L. Becker, DPT, GCS
Co-Director of Clinical Education

Kelly J. Sass, PT, PhD
Co-Director of Clinical Education

Clinical Education Curriculum Overview

Integrated Clinical Education (ICE):  ICE experiences are scheduled during the first and second year of the program to afford the opportunity for students to apply their new skills and knowledge in an authentic learning environment, explore a variety of patient/client care settings, and to begin to develop their professional identity. ICE experiences may be part-time or full-time. The University of Iowa has 4 ICE Courses, two part-time and 2 full-time, including our Rural Health Initiative that requires each student to complete their 6-week ICE III course in a rural health environment. 

Terminal Clinical Education (TCE): Full-time clinical education experiences that occur after the student has completed the didactic curriculum of a physical therapist professional education program. The expected outcome of the final, or terminal, experience is entry-level performance.  The University of Iowa has three 9-week full-time TCE courses.  Students must complete one rotation in an outpatient orthopedic setting, one in a medically complex setting, and one in a setting of the student’s choice. 


Clinical Education Curriculum