New Agreement Provides a Pathway for Young Harris College Students to Enter PCOM Georgia's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Staff Report

Thursday, September 21st, 2023

Young Harris College in the mountains of North Georgia and PCOM Georgia in metro Atlanta recently signed a winning agreement for undergraduate students interested in becoming physical therapists. 

“This agreement with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is a great moment here at Young Harris College,” said Drew Van Horn, PhD, president of Young Harris College. “Partnering with a reputable institution like PCOM Georgia allows us to offer educational opportunities to students in the physical therapy field. This partnership expands our ability to offer more options for students in this region interested in this field of medicine.”

“Young Harris College continually looks for opportunities to expand our students’ chances to advance their learning and development,” Dr. Van Horn added. “An agreement like this with PCOM Georgia helps us meet a healthcare need in an area we previously could not. It’s a win-win for the College and students.” 

Ruth M. Maher, PT, PhD, DPT, professor and chair of the PCOM Georgia physical therapy department, said, “With a significant national shortage of physical therapists, the affiliation agreement between PCOM Georgia’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program and Young Harris College couldn't be timelier.” 

She added, “Our institutions’ missions and values are very much aligned regarding education, service to society, and improving the quality of life for our communities. In addition, Young Harris College’s focus on encouraging intellectual curiosity, the pursuit of intellectual inquiry, and fostering open-minded and inquisitive learners is very much valued and a vision we share. These traits predict success in a Doctor of Physical Therapy program and physical therapy profession as they enrich and promote critical thinking and clinical reasoning.”

The educational institutions agreed to identify prospective physical therapists by their sophomore year of college so that PCOM Georgia could introduce them to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. PCOM Georgia agreed to admit up to three Young Harris College students per year into the program. The agreement requires the students to have successfully completed their undergraduate prerequisites for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and fulfilled the requirements for admission to PCOM Georgia.

Among the eligibility requirements for the PCOM Georgia Doctor of Physical Therapy program are:

  • Completion of undergraduate course requirements and all requirements for a baccalaureate degree.

  • US citizenship or permanent residence.

  • A 3.5 cumulative and science cumulative average.

  • A minimum score of 150 on both the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and a minimum score of 3.0 on the analytical writing section of the GRE.

PCOM Georgia’s physical therapy program develops practitioners who take a holistic approach to patient care in a field that transforms lives. Physical therapists are evidence-based movement experts who use critical thinking and clinical reasoning to treat their patients across their lifespan. The doctoral program emphasizes a commitment to lifelong learning and growth. Not only are physical therapists in high demand, but research indicates that they achieve a high level of job satisfaction as they work with individuals to improve quality of life.

Young Harris students who attend PCOM Georgia will continue to experience the benefits of a small campus, focusing on student success. The Doctor of Physical Therapy program offers small class sizes, state-of-the-art learning facilities, and several interprofessional educational opportunities, culminating in a diverse and vibrant learning environment that encourages critical thinking, creativity, and ethical leadership, empowering students to reach their full potential.