School Based DPT Struggling to Move past Bachelors plus 36 – Needs Your Input


We received this question from one of the school therapists in our community, she would like to hear your thoughts and experiences:

I am a PT in the school system in Foxborough , Ma. I got my BSPT in 1982 and went back and got my DPT in 2005 thru a transitional DPT program at MGH Institute. The transitional DPT program was 8 classes but only 15 credits. They keep credits low to encourage enrollment. I went on to take 21 more credits of graduate courses. In my district this moved me to the bachelors plus 36/masters salary scale. However, I can not move past that level since I did not get my masters. Since there is no longer a master’s program in PT, I am trying to have my district look at my unique situation. It seems unfair I can not move past the bachelors plus 36 level when I have my DPT, the preferred degree in my field. It is a contractual year and I have asked my superintendant and union rep to look into this. They asked if I could reach out to other districts to see how other towns are handing the situation. I spoke with a college friend who is an OT with the Boston Public Schools and she said the entry level DPTs there are on the doctorate sale. I have gotten emails from your organization where therapists are trying to get ideas from other therapists. I wonder if there is a way to send this to a school therapist distribution list if you have one.

I am particularly interested if there are any BSPTs who went on to get their DPT through a transitional DPT program to see where they are paid on the salary scale. It is tricky since the entry level DPTs have many more credits than I do. Could forward this email to anyone who may have insight into this situation. Thanks in advance for your help. Lisa MacDonnell

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2 Responses to School Based DPT Struggling to Move past Bachelors plus 36 – Needs Your Input

  1. Linda says:

    I received a BSPT in 1988. At that time it was not necessary to get a masters in PT. PT schools were quite competitive and it was actually an honor to get accepted into a BS PT program and to not have to endure the cost of getting an undergraduate psychology degree before being accepted into a PT program. What saved us time and money then has come back to haunt us a bit now. I did a transitional DPT program and I was moved from the BS scale to the masters scale at my place of employment. I have been told that even if I were to go back and earn a masters degree that they will not move me onto the the doctorate pay scale level. They differentiate between entry level doctorates (or translational doctorates) and PhDs and they do not feel that it is appropriate to pay PT’s at the PhD level.

  2. Kathryn Biel says:

    I’m in NY. I did initially graduate with my masters, but then went back for the transitional doctorate. Our contract does provide for the DPT, and all I did was provide a copy of my transcripts, and that stipend was added. So, I don’t know if it helps, but other districts are doing it, at least in NY.

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