National Student Conclave (NSC) Programming

  • Attending NSC provides you with the opportunity to attend the following can't-miss events:

    Develop a framework for exploring career pathways and learn some of the core essentials required to pursue these options! Take advantage of opportunities to explore innovative career paths and fortuitous detours to taking the initial steps in identifying your preferred pathway as a new graduate entering the profession.

    Workshops on resume writing, interviewing skills, and small-group debt evaluation.

    An open discussion with APTA's president, where you'll find out what's ahead for the profession.

    An exhibit hall that features employers, manufacturers, and publishers who are eager to speak with you.

    Network with colleagues, mentors, and other members of the profession at Special Events.

    Daily Programming Schedules

    Click the tabs above for daily programming schedules.

    APTA Strategic Business Partners

    NSC programming for Thursday, October 30

    3:00 pm-7:00 pm

    Attendee Registration

    5:30 pm-7:00 pm

    Networking Event 

    7:00 pm-10:00 pm 

    Miami-Marquette Challenge Student Social

    NSC programming for Friday, October 31

    8:00 am-5:00 pm

    Attendee Registration

    9:00 am-10:00 am

    Opening Session  

    10:00 am-Noon  

    Exhibit Hall

    12:00 pm-1:00 pm

    Lunch & Navigating Your Career Highway: Where Do I Go Next?
    Do current demands in your life require managing physical therapy coursework, navigating a myriad of clinical experiences, and passing the licensure examination? Have you taken a break from dreaming of graduation and started reflecting on your career? What you will be doing in the physical therapy profession in 3 to 5 years and beyond?

    This session will provide you with a framework to explore career pathway options, essentials required to pursue these options, available resources, and questions to consider in navigating your career highway. Your future starts today!

    1:00 pm-1:15 pm


    1:15 pm-1:45 pm

    Choose a Path!
    Select from one of the 7 sessions below. You will have the opportunity to attend 3 of the following sessions.

    Expert Clinician: Residency
    How Much Learning Can I Possibly Take? Residency Education After Graduation: Is It for You?
    This course will review residency and fellowship education available to physical therapists (PTs) during their career development path. Former residents will highlight reasons for committing to a residency program, when they chose to apply to a residency program, the type of residency program they selected, their residency training experience, and the impact graduating from a residency program has had on their careers. Various program models will be presented along with methods to help choose programs tailored to the physical therapist’s needs and goals. Current program requirements set forth by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) will be highlighted in addition to focusing on benefits of postprofessional education for the individual, profession, and consumers. After attending this course, you should be able to: Describe the structure and requirements of residency education in physical therapy; Compare and contrast residency education programs; Describe the rationale and benefits of completing residency education; Describe how residency education supplements the physical therapist's career plan.

    Master Clinician: Specialist Certification & Advanced Proficiency for the PTA
    Professional Development Through Specialist Certification and Advanced Proficiency Pathways
    The objective of this 30 minute presentation is to provide student PT and PTA attendees with information on pathways for professional development through ABPTS Specialist Certification (SC) and APTA Advanced Proficiency Pathways (APP).  Specifically, the attendees will learn about the role of SC and APP in advancing clinical practice, motivations that have been identified by clinicians in pursuing various professional development opportunities, and eligibility and maintenance requirements. 

    Teacher (Clinical and Classroom)
    Those who CAN … teach!
    You are a teacher from the moment you begin treating patients. Clinical teaching is part of academic preparation and becomes the backbone of clinical effectiveness. While collegial teaching and collaborative learning will be as commonplace as paperwork and treatment plans, there are additional steps you can take to develop yourself as a teacher of physical therapy. This 30-minute session will provide information on becoming clinical instructors (student interns), educators/lecturers with continuing education agencies and conferences, and faculty within academic programs. Teaching enhances a PT's impact well beyond the reach of 2 hands. It’s never too early to consider a career inclusive of teaching. Pay it forward. You wouldn’t be here today without a wealth of impactful teachers in your own background.

    Researcher: The Road Less Traveled
    "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." This often-quoted line from the poet Robert Frost captures the essence of catching the research bug. It is only through some type of systematic evaluation that we can showcase the true value of our profession. To do so, we need physical therapists to consider a career in research. If you are interested in taking the road less traveled, attend this session and join a discussion of research opportunities that extend far beyond the entry-level DPT.

    Entrepreneur/Consultant: Having It All and Having it NOW: Entrepreneurship in Clinical Research
    This session will focus on the way in which a proactive entrepreneurial spirit can create a vibrant and progressive program that will significantly impact the upper tiers of clinical and scientific research (with a heavy dose of fun for researchers, clinicians, and students as well). Dr Galloway and Dr Lobo will share their philosophy, principles, and processes that have allowed them to maintain meaningful collaborations, community integration, national funding, industry interest, undergraduate and graduate educational excellence, and rapid dissemination through publications, presentations, and lay media.

    Private Practice Owner
    As physical therapists explore opportunities to expand their professional role in autonomous practice - private practice remains an attractive option. Thoughtful questions, consideration of options, strategic professional experience, preliminary research & planning are key elements in making an informed decision & positioning yourself to enter Private Practice. Objectives: Be able to identify multiple opportunities for entering Private Practice; Explore and discuss other colleagues' experiences, the motivation, decision, challenges, rewards & realities of entering Private Practice; Evaluate your personal potential for Private Practice ownership; and Obtain resources and contacts to help with developing a Private Practice in your area.

    Global Health/Service Learning: Physical Therapists Going Global: Opening a Window of Opportunity
    Learn from the diverse experiences of physical therapists who have taken their career to the next level by engaging in global health efforts. Implementing domestic pro-bono clinics, service-learning, teaching opportunities in Belize, Africa, and Ecuador, and taking on leadership roles within APTA's Global Health Special Interest Group are just some of the topics these clinicians and PT educators will discuss while providing a range of perspectives on the various pathways and opportunities within global health.

    1:50 pm-2:20 pm

    Choose a Second Path!

    2:25 pm-2:55 pm

    Choose a Third Path!

    3:00 pm-3:30 pm

    Choose a Fourth Path!

    3:30 pm-5:30 pm

    Exhibit Hall

    5:30 pm-6:30 pm

    Open Discussion with APTA's President


    PT PAC Late Night

    NSC programming for Saturday, November 1

    7:00 am-5:00 pm

    Attendee Registration

    7:00 am-8:00 am

    Early Morning Work Out
    Tai-Chi: Mind-Body Exercise for the Health and Wellness
    This 1-hour exercise session course will combine demonstration and interactive movement experiences for the integration of tai chi for both personal and professional benefit. Participants will be exposed to a simplified medical model version of Yang-style tai chi (Tricia Yu's Tai Chi Fundamentals Program) which can readily be utilized with persons of all ages and all functional abilities. Participants will learn tai chi mind-body principles (3), guidelines (7) for tai chi practice, and qigong based movement patterns and the secret of maintaining a healthy perspective on life-long learning and professional practice. Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to: Identity and apply mind-body principles (3) for personal health and wellness; Verbalize guidelines (7) for tai chi practice for both personal benefit and professional physical therapy practice; Perform a variety of qigong (tai chi) movement patterns for helping with mental clarify, mind-body balance and physical strength for personal and professional physical therapy practice.
    SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Wear comfortable shoes and clothing that allows for movement and balance.

    9:00 am-10:30 am

    Leadership Development
    Being a leader and being a clinician in clinical practice are synonymous! And, you don’t need to be the formal leader in order to lead! Most behaviors expected by the core values of professionalism for physical therapists and the values-based behaviors for physical therapist assistants fundamentally overlap with the behaviors expected of leaders. That means that becoming a leader as a clinician is an integral part of your professional development, not something extra that you have to do.

    There are compelling reasons to develop your leadership skills from the perspective of the health care industry as well. Did you know that a lack of communication and lack of collaboration may be responsible for as much as 70% of the adverse events currently reported in health care? (Center for Creative Leadership, 2011) And, that top priorities for leadership development in health care include improving the ability to lead others and work effectively in teams? (CCL, 2011) Also, did you know that there is a direct link between quality of leadership and quality of patient care and outcomes?

    Developing YOUR leadership skills will help you become more influential every day in clinical practice and will prepare you for your next professional responsibilities. Leadership styles vary from person to person and some leadership styles are more effective and more authentic than others. What kind of leader are you?

    In this program, we will reveal the compelling need for leadership development in health care, entice you to start to enhance your own self-awareness as a personal leader, and we will explore how you can lead as a member of any group. Participants will be encouraged to contribute to interactive discussions throughout the session. Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to: Describe the need for leadership development in health care; Define personal leadership; Describe effective and ineffective leadership styles in various situations; Start to discover your own preferred personal leadership style; Examine how different leadership styles impact team performance through unleashing or stifling followership; Identify ways to build your leadership capacity as a personal leader.

    10:30 am-11:00 am

    Candidate Interviews

    11:00 am-1:30 pm

    Exhibit Hall
    (Lunch - 11-Noon | Raffles and Giveaways - 12:30 pm-1 pm)

    11:00 am-12:30 pm

    Resume Reviews

    1:30 pm-2:30 pm

    Post-Grad Track
    (Choose 1 session, from the 5 sessions listed below) 

    Advancement of the Physical Therapy Profession Through Successful Student Advocacy
    Learn about the critical issues affecting the physical therapy profession from APTA's lobbyists and advocacy leaders. As new or future healthcare professionals, the policies and regulations that are being enacted now will impact the way you practice for years to come. The strength of the physical therapy profession will rely on your leadership and involvement. Learn how to influence the decision making process learning the do's and don'ts of lobbying your legislators. You'll even get the opportunity to advocate, right from your chair!

    Engage the Future and Be the Change: How the Early Career Communicty Can Help Propel the Professsion. #DPTnextstep
    You're graduating, now what? The evolving world of health care moves faster than our educational or political system. Through this atypical presentation style, learn how professional involvement and engagement act as tipping points for professional advancement. Understand how to pave your own path through confident, ambitious, and proactive actions. Become clear on why only those who choose to participate and engage the facts have the authority to provide an opinion. And, discuss the importance of receiving education, challenging policy, and shaping the Early Career movement within APTA.

    Financial Management 

    Education is a highly prized economic asset and tool which adds value when properly financed and managed. For most, financing a physical therapy education represents one of the largest single expenses in their lives. Arguably, for the typically indebted PTA, PT or DPT, there is nothing more important to your future financial well-being and success than the informed understanding, use and management of debt and future earnings.

    Student loan debt can be a magnificent investment providing for phenomenal returns or the basis of long-term financial disaster. Determining which are a matter of financial literacy and competency; understanding affordability and astutely understanding and managing debt, income, assets and liabilities in relationship with your unique personal goals and the adaptation of fundamental and prudent financial principals, behaviors and habits.

    This session has been created to inform, educate, possibly inspire and bridge the knowledge, behavior and attitude divide between financial reality, mystique, ignorance and intuition. This session will demonstrate how the financial decisions you make today significantly impacts your quality of life for the rest of your life. The session is designed to aid APTA members take immediate control of your finances and future and do the unthinkable; manage debt, build wealth, achieve goals, and be successful and happy. Failure to understand and informatively manage these elements is a near certain plan for personal and professional disappointment, anguish, unhappiness and financial catastrophe. 

    Unleash Your Leadership Potential to Transform Your Path 
    (More details on this session will be posted here as it becomes available.) 

    What's Next: An Interactive Guide to the National Boards, Job Hunting and Becoming a New Professional
    What's Next is a course designed for students planning the next or "first steps" in their careers. The course begins discussing the National Board Exam, both for PTAs and PTs. Study tips, exam guides and tips such as how to apply will be discussed with participants. In addition, participants will learn about the changes made to exams and be prepared to study updated course details. Next, participants will learn about applying for their professional license. This course is unique in the fact that this discussion will be regionally based and specific for each student. In addition, students will learn job searching skills based on their field of interest, such as gerontology, pediatrics, military and more. In a highly competitive job market, students will garner advice on how to stand out among the crowd. Finally, participants will be introduced to the APTA's New Professionals and will have a chance to learn about Career Starter Dues, opportunities to join the APTA and how to enter the professional world. What's Next is a must for any student preparing to graduate that wants more information about what happenings following graduation for their physical therapy program and how to be prepared for it. Course Objectives: Participants will learn valuable tips for the national licensure exam that will make them prepared to study, apply for and take the exam; Participants will be aware of changes to the exam format and be aware of how to best guide their study time; Participants will learn job searching skills that will help guide their focus of search, improve their resume and what to expect upon interview; Participants will learn about the resources available to New Professionals and the opportunities available to APTA members; Participants will be prepared for the steps following graduation including licensure and job hunting

    2:40 pm-3:40 pm

    Post-Graduation Track II* (Choose 1)

    3:40 pm-4:00 pm


    4:00 pm-5:00 pm

    Post-Graduation Track III* (Choose 1) 

    5:15 pm-6:15 pm

    Closing Session To Inspire and Motivate!
    In this highly engaging, motivational, inspirational, and informative keynote presentation, Scott will help you, help yourself, make the deepest connections with your patients so that they can not only survive in the real world, but thrive in the face of it! Through effective strategies and proven techniques for transitioning in the face of changes, Scott will take you on a journey of self-discovery or self-recovery in which you will not only be compelled to begin working on with your patients, but trying out for yourself as well. Having spent the last 29 years of living life to its fullest from a wheelchair, Scott will share with you his insights and experiences that will take you through the realities, joys and challenges, of daily living with a disability…physically, mentally, and emotionally. As Scott always says, "the only place a true disability can reside is in one's attitude…and that is a choice!"

    6:30 pm-7:00 pm

    Swearing-In of New Officers
    Find out the election results for your new Student Assembly Board.

    *Indicates programming for both PT and PTA students