Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Henry C. Wessman


Physical Therapy -- standards


The North Dakota Physical Therapy Association, the state professional organization for physical therapy practice, asked several of its members involved in the area of pediatric practice to develop guidelines for physical therapy practice in the public school setting in North Dakota. Eleven physical therapists met to give input on developing these guidelines. A list of topics to include in the guidelines was generated, and several therapists volunteered to research and develop one or several of the topics on the list. This independent study report developed information on the topics of qualifications, roles, advanced competencies, and job descriptions for physical therapy service in the public school/educational setting. In researching these topics, the author reviewed North Dakota state physical therapy licensure law and its accompanying rules and regulations; federal legislation related to practice in the public school setting; guidelines developed by other states and individual special education districts; physical therapy professional standards and policy statements developed by the national physical therapy professional organization; and journal articles and books written about these topics.

The independent study report describes qualifications, role descriptions, competencies, and specialization processes for the physical therapist; qualifications and role descriptions for the physical therapist assistant; and a brief statement on roles and qualifications of the classroom aide. Also included in this report is information on what should be included in a job description and different uses for job descriptions. It is the intent of the final published guidelines for physical therapy practice in the educational setting in North Dakota to assist personnel involved to provide high quality, yet cost effective, physical therapy services.