APTA Academy of Education

Academy of Education: Strategies for Improving Licensure Pass Rates: Success Despite COVID

  • Register
    • Non-Member - Free!
    • PT Member - Free!
    • PTA Member - Free!
    • Student - Free!
    • Post-Professional Student - Free!

In this webinar, PTA educators from 4 different programs share curricular changes they've made to maintain/improve their licensure passing rates during the COVID era. Following a brief literature review of known factors that impact licensure exam success, presenters will review strategies that their programs all use, and then each presenter will highlight unique strategies that their program implemented to help ensure success. Each will address the rationale behind their changes and the evidence that validates the success of their changes.

  • Course/Session Learning Objectives: 
  • Identify commonly-used strategies for improving licensure pass rates 
  • Compare and contrast strategies used by programs with different characteristics (faculty FTE, cohort size, etc.) 
  • Discuss related/unintended consequences (pros and cons) of implementing admission/curricular changes aimed at improving licensure pass rates (eg. losing more students along the way due to written exam passing score requirements, etc.)

Holly Clynch


Holly Clynch is a faculty member at St. Catherine University since 1998, PTA program director since 2015. Currently also serving as president of the Minnesota Physical Therapy Association. Teaching/scholarship interests include regulatory issues, leadership, and geriatric physical therapy.

Niki Wallen


Niki Wallen serves as Director of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, MO. Niki has been a full-time instructor for the OTC PTA program since January 2009 and Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (ACCE) since January 2011.  Niki officially became the Program Director in July 2017. Niki received her AAS degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant in 2006 from Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, MO, Bachelor Degree (2011) in Health Services (Cum Laude), from Drury University in Springfield, MO, and a Master’s Degree (2013) in Organizational Leadership from Evangel University, Springfield, MO. Niki has practiced in a variety of settings with an emphasis in orthopedics and geriatrics. She has completed training in the Graston Technique method of instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization in therapeutic applications and procedures. Niki has presented on the national level for the American Physical Therapy Association and Missouri Physical Therapy Association. In 2007, Niki was elected to serve as the Missouri State Caucus Representative for the American Physical Therapy Association, representing physical therapist assistants for the state of Missouri. She has served as the Missouri PTA Caucus in many capacities since first being elected in 2007. In 2009, she was elected to serve on the state level as a Director for the Missouri Physical Therapy Association and currently serves in the compacity of nominating committee members for the MPTA.

Drew Wilcox


Drew Wilcox has more than a decade of higher education experience as a full-time faculty member of the Dixie State University physical therapist assistant program and has served as program director since 2017, and Chair of the Department of Healthcare Diagnostics and Therapeutics since July 2017. Experienced in many settings in physical therapy, with much of my career in outpatient ortho, and aquatic physical therapy. APTA Recognition of Advanced Proficiency in Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy, as well as Advanced Proficiency in Geriatric Physical Therapy. Honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Utah Chapter of the APTA in 2021. BS in Healthcare Administration from Weber State University, Masters of Healthcare Administration from Louisiana State University Shreveport. Past member of the board of directors of the Utah Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Deanne Grier Yates


Deanne Grier Yates serves as the program coordinator for the PTA program at Kansas City Kansas Community College. 

Course Instructions

  1. Click on the Contents tab to watch the course recording.
  2. Click the Take Quiz button to complete the assessment. Learners will have 3 attempts to pass and must answer at least 70% of questions correctly.
  3. Click Fill Out Survey under the Evaluation listing to provide valuable course feedback. Scroll down on all questions as there may be answer options that expand past the size of the window.
  4. Click the View/Print Your Certificate button under the Certificate listing. You can view/print your certificate at any time by visiting the APTA Learning Center and clicking the CEU Certificate/Transcript link on the left-hand side of the page. 

Need Assistance?

For assistance logging in, accessing activities, claiming credit, or for other questions or concerns, please e-mail learningcenter@apta.org. 


Open to view video.
Open to view video.
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  7/10 points to pass Please complete the post-course assessment with a score of 70% or better. You have three attempts to obtain a passing score.
12 Questions
12 Questions Your comments are important to us! Submit your feedback about the course through this evaluation.
CEU Certificate
Up to 0.10 contact hours available  |  Certificate available
Up to 0.10 contact hours available  |  Certificate available Download and save certificate for future use.