A Comparison of Preadmission Criteria and Critical Thinking Tests between Diverse Students Experiencing Academic Success versus Students Experiencing Academic Difficulty: A Pilot Study

By John Carlos, Jr. and Lori S. Reaney.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 9, 2014 $US5.00

The purpose of this study was to assess preadmission requirements and critical thinking skills to determine which factors were related to student success compared to students that experienced academic difficulty. Preadmission criteria commonly used for evaluation included: cumulative undergraduate grade point average, cumulative science grade point average, and qualitative and verbal graduate record exam scores. The use of critical thinking tools is an additional component in determining academic success. Academic data and critical thinking assessment were garnered from 149 doctoral physical therapy students during a four-year period. The results indicated a significant difference in cumulative undergraduate grade point average, qualitative and verbal graduate record exam scores, and critical thinking scores between students that were academically successful and students that experienced academic difficulty. It appears that the greater numbers of students who have academic difficulty are from ethnically diverse backgrounds. This study demonstrated a significant difference between all preadmission criteria, ethnicity, and academic status. It was determined that at-risk students who have met admissions criteria can be identified at the start of a program. By identifying factors that may place a student at risk for academic difficulty, PT programs could implement mentoring interventions that could minimize students from experiencing academic difficulty.

Keywords: Ethnical Diversity, Academic Difficulty, Physical Therapy

The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Volume 13, Issue 3, May 2014, pp.13-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 9, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 317.769KB)).

Dr. John Carlos, Jr.

Professor of Physical Therapy, Department of Physical Therapy, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA

John Carlos, Jr. has over thirty years of teaching experience. He has taught at Boston University, the University of Florida, and is presently on the faculty of Andrews University in Michigan. He earned his Baccalaureate degree in physical therapy from Loma Linda University in California and his PhD in exercise science at Florida State University. Dr. Carlos is a licensed physical therapist and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Michigan Physical Therapy Association, the Section on Education, and the Section on Orthopedics of the APTA. His teaching experience has been in anatomy, therapeutic exercise, physical therapy interventions, movement science, and scientific inquiry. He has practiced in a variety of rehabilitation and hospital settings. His latest research is focused on the academic and cultural characteristics of diverse students as it relates to their progress through physical therapy education. Dr. Carlos has coauthored several articles and has given many scientific presentations.

Dr. Lori S. Reaney

Physical Therapist, Outpatient Department, Adventist Medical Center, Portland, Oregon, USA

Lori S. Reaney, PT, DPT is an outpatient physical therapist who works for Adventist Medical Center in Portland, OR. She graduated in 2010 with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI. She is currently working on becoming Certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy of the Spine through the McKenzie Institute.