Student Clinical Assignments

Due to changes in the health care system and growth in PT and PTA educational programs, there has been an increased demand for clinical education sites. In order to maximize the use of those clinical education sites that are currently under contract to West Virginia University; and to be as fair as possible to all students enrolled in our program, the following policies regarding clinical education site placement have been instituted:

Rotation Dates

The ACCEs will meet in early January to set the dates for clinical rotations for the next calendar year (ie. January 2010 is when dates for calendard year 2011) are set. Dates will be chosen to coincide with the University calendar whenever possible. Requests for changes in rotations dates will NOT be considered, with the following exceptions:

  • Military service
  • Illness or injury (with approval of the program chairperson)
  • Occasional adjustments may be made to accommodate clinical instructor availability

Clinic Information

Information regarding all full time clinical education sites can be found in the clinical education filing cabinet located in room 8707. These files include information provided by each clinic, as well as feedback from students who have completed clinical rotations. Students are asked to be responsible by returning all materials and re-filing them correctly after review.

If a file is not available, or if the information on the facility is not sufficient, the student is encouraged to schedule an appointment with the ACCE to discuss the opportunities available at the facility/facilities in which he/she has an interest.

Selection of Clinical Sites

Although personal needs and preferences will be considered for all students, guarantees cannot and will not be made as to final placement. The ACCE reserves the right to make the final decision on all student placements. The first priority will always be the academic needs of the student.

Each year, during the Spring semester, all clinical sites are surveyed regarding rotation availability for the upcoming academic year (August of the same year through August of the following year). For each clinical education segment, the ACCE will provide students with a list of those sites which [1] have offered slots for the rotation in question and [2] are appropriate in scope and setting for the rotation in question.

Students will be given ample time to review the site information prior to the placement process. Students are encouraged to discuss their needs and the slots available with the ACCE. The ACCE may use PT Clinical Internship Manager to assist in the assignment process. The program uses a random selection methodology that takes into account the students' choices.

No clinical education placement is guaranteed. Occasionally, a clinic will cancel a student rotation due to staffing or other issues beyond our control. When this occurs, the ACCE will reassign the student to a site that is available for that rotation.

Request for Affiliation Sites not Currently Under Contract

As stated in the opening paragraph, one of the purposes in establishing a clinical education site placement policy is to maximize the use of those facilities currently under agreement with West Virginia University. For each rotation, ACCEs will negotiate a limited number of new contracts, considering:

  • availability of similar placements with clinic sites already under contract
  • ability of the site to meet the learning needs of the student
  • ability of the site to meet the needs of the program
  • willingness of site to supervise students in the future

No guarantee can be made that exploration of a new clinical site will result in an agreement. West Virginia law governs our contractual agreements and non-compliance with the law will prevent an agreement from being finalized. Many other factors may also prevent a facility from accepting a student for an affiliation, such as staffing levels and affilations with other PT/PTA education programs.

Contact with Clinical Sites

Sites prefer that requests for agreements and rotation slots come from the ACCE.

Students may NOT contact a clinical site regarding clinical placements or affiliation contracts without the prior consent of the ACCE.

Students are also responsible for providing for their living expenses [room, board, etc]. Estimates for expenses are outlined in the student handbook and can also be obtained from the clinical information provided on each facility. Some out-of-town sites provide housing but this is becoming increasingly rare. Most sites will provide a list that outlines the housing available and its cost. Arrangements for travel and housing are the responsibility of the student. Occasionally, a site will provide a small stipend for meals and/or housing. All information about travel and living expenses can be obtained in the file on the facility or by contacting the facility directly.

Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to all clinical rotations. Therefore, the Division recommends that all students have a reliable car available by the spring semester of the first year in the program.

The Division of Physical Therapy cannot provide financial assistance for living expenses. If you need financial aid assistance or information, please contact the Health Sciences Financial Aid Office.

Conflicts of Interest

To protect all parties involved, full-time student placement is prohibited if:

  • Student is or has worked at the site as an employee
  • Student has a pre‐employment contract or scholarship agreement
  • Direct relative is employed and can have influence over evaluation of the student

Please discuss any potential conflicts with ACCE prior to placement.

Travel and Living Expenses

All students will be required to do at least one of their full-time clinical affiliations in rural West Virginia.

All students will be expected to travel outside of the Morgantown area for clinical education. Further, ACCEs cannot guarantee that any student will be able to complete clinical rotations in a specific city or geographic area.