Trine University’s emerging Doctor of Physical Therapy Program granted candidacy status

Trine University seal

News release from Trine University:

Trine University’s emerging Doctor of Physical Therapy Program granted candidacy status

ANGOLA, Ind. (July 31, 2014) – Trine University’s emerging Doctor of Physical Therapy Program has been granted candidacy status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), moving forward in the accreditation process.

The program, which begins classes in August, has already received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions.

“We are excited to be at this point in the accreditation process,” said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine president. “Our physical therapy team has been focused on advancing our first doctoral program as we welcome our first cohort of students.”

In November 2013, Trine University and Parkview Health announced their partnership to offer the new program. Trine students will also be working with Lutheran Hospital, Turnstone (rehabilitation services) and other regional facilities. Working with regional partners affords students greater access to professional, clinical experiences and internships.

The program begins later this month with classes at capacity.

“It’s great to get this wonderful news just before the first classes of the academic year,” said Max Baumgartner, P.T., Ph.D., program director and dean of the School of Health Sciences, through which the program is offered. “Our newly renovated building, which includes classrooms and laboratories, is ready for students. We’re eager to get started and we know our students are ready, too.”

The Randallia campus of Parkview Health (, 1819 Carew St., is the home of Trine’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. The facility includes state of the art anatomy and clinical laboratories and classrooms. Students will also enjoy study space, dining amenities and adjacent garage parking.


Program basics

Students may enter the program as freshmen and participate in the 3+3 program, in which students earn a Bachelor of Science degree in three years and then complete a doctorate degree during the next three years. The 3+3 program enables students to shave a year from the number of years typically required to earn a doctorate. Professionals and students who already hold a bachelor degree may enter the program to earn a doctorate.

For more information about Trine’s new Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (DPT), visit


Trine has hired four faculty members to work with Baumgartner.

Kimberly Beran-Shepler, D.P.T., O.C.S., joined the program a year ago as director of clinical education and will serve as an assistant professor. She attended Creighton University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in health sciences and a doctorate degree in physical therapy in 2006. In 2007, she completed an American Physical Therapy Association-credentialed orthopedic physical therapy residency. Beran-Shepler has been an orthopedic specialist certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy since 2008.

Three additional faculty members will begin this month.

Ryan Dombrowski, Ph.D., is an associate professor of physical therapy. He has been an associate professor at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind.; a part-time associate professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend, Ind.; and an adjunct associate professor at University of Notre Dame (UND), Notre Dame. He holds a doctorate in biological sciences from UND and a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Ind.

Thomas Ruediger, PT, is an associate professor of physical therapy. He has been an assistant professor at University of Michigan-Flint. He earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy from University of Montana, Missoula, Mont., a Doctor of Sciences from Rocky Mountain University, Provo, Utah; a Master of Physical Therapy from Baylor University, Waco, Texas; and a Bachelor of Arts in natural sciences from Concordia College, Seward, Neb.

Althea Watson is an assistant professor of physical therapy. She has served as therapy education and development manager for Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Wayne. Watson holds a Master of Science in physical therapy from the University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne.

Don’t miss the celebration

Everyone is invited to join Trine University as it celebrates the new program and campus.
Ribbon cutting and white coat ceremonies and an open house are set for Friday morning, Sept. 5, at the Fort Wayne Carew Street Campus, 1819 Carew St., Fort Wayne. The ribbon cutting ceremony is at 9 a.m. with the open house immediately following. The white coat ceremony to celebrate the inaugural class in the DPT program is set at 10 a.m.


Effective 7/29/2014, the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Trine University has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates that the program may matriculate students in technical/professional courses and that the program is progressing toward accreditation. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.


About Trine University
Trine University, an internationally recognized, private, co-educational, residential institution, offers associate, baccalaureate, and master degrees in programs to students in engineering, mathematics, science, informatics, business, teacher education, communication, criminal justice, golf management, social sciences, and various other fields of study. Trine is a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and offers 21 varsity sports. Its golf program includes the university-owned 18-hole championship Zollner Golf Course. Founded in 1884 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Trine operates a 450-acre main campus in Angola, Ind., and education resource centers throughout Indiana, Arizona and Michigan.

Related Images:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here