Getting involved in your association and profession doesn't have to be time-consuming or a heavy lift. Find an involvement opportunity that fits your interests and busy schedule.
Click on the links below to jump to area of interest.
- Advocate on behalf of your profession via APTA's Legislative Action Center (1-5 minutes)
APTA's online Legislative Action Center (LAC) allows you to send prewritten letters to legislators on issues important to our patients and profession, find out who your legislators are, and provides current information about important legislation that's affecting the profession. It's as simple as selecting "Take Action."
- Download and advocate via APTA Action app (1-5 minutes)
Similar to LAC, the APTA Action app allows you to advocate for your profession in just a few clicks. Download it by searching "APTA Action" in your mobile app store.
- National Advocacy Dinners (1-5 hours)
If you want to learn more about the why and how of advocacy in a casual environment, National Advocacy Dinners are for you. Hosted by students in cities across the country, dinners typically occur each spring in the weeks leading up to APTA's annual Federal Advocacy Forum. Each National Advocacy Dinner is unique, but all of them provide opportunities to discuss the top legislative issues affecting your future profession and patients, and how you can get involved and make a difference.
- Arrange a legislator's visit to your program (1-5 hours)
APTA encourages members—including students—to invite their legislators to their clinics and educational programs. It is through these in-person interactions that legislators come to appreciate the needs of our patients and how we are positioned to help. To coordinate a visit, contact APTA staff, who will guide you through the process.
- Flash Action Strategy (1-2 days)
The Flash Action Strategy is an annual student-led advocacy campaign conducted in collaboration with APTA. To participate, you can post to social media or use LAC or APTA Action app within a defined 2-day window.
- State PT legislative day (1-2 days)
Each APTA state chapter hosts a physical therapy legislative day at their state capitals. Members learn about legislative issues and meet state legislators. Contact your state chapter to ask about upcoming opportunities.
- Attend APTA's Federal Advocacy Forum (2+ days)
This annual event held in Washington, DC, trains PTs, PTAs, and students to advocate on legislation and then sends them to Capitol Hill to have meetings with their elected representatives.
- Attend APTA's State Policy and Payment Forum (2+ days)
This annual event is designed to increase engagement in state legislation, including scope of practice and payment issues.
- APTA Student Assembly core ambassador (up to 1 year)
Core ambassadors are APTA student members who serve 1-year terms and act as a liaison between APTA, the Student Assembly Board of Directors, and students in their states. The position involves relaying important information, coordinating and hosting gatherings and events, and encouraging student engagement.
- APTA Student Assembly Project Committee (up to 1 year)
The Student Assembly Project Committee members serve 1-year terms collaborating with peers on specific interest areas that align with the Student Assembly strategic plan such as advocacy, community service, and global health. Project committee tasks are overseen by APTA's Student Assembly Board of Directors, and the time commitment varies.
- Student Special Interest Groups (SSIGs) (1+ year)
Some APTA chapters and sections have student special interest groups (SSIGs) that offer unique student involvement and engagement opportunities at the local or more specialized level. Contact your chapter or section to ask about SSIGs
- APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors (1+ year)
The Student Assembly Board of Directors is elected annually by APTA student members at National Student Conclave from a slate of candidates developed every August. These 10 elected students serve in a volunteer capacity as APTA ambassadors who attend events and functions, encourage association involvement, and represent student members.
- Attend your state's student conclave (1-2 days)
In conjunction with APTA chapter SSIGs, some states host student conclave meetings. Similar in structure and nature to APTA's National Student Conclave, the programming and activities are designed by and intended for physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students. These meetings are a great way to meet students in your state and engage on a more local level. Check out your state chapter's website or contact them for more information.
- Attend your state's chapter meetings (1-2 days)
If attending a national meeting seems daunting, try attending your state chapter meeting. Here, you will meet chapter leaders and visionaries who also happen to be your neighbors and future colleagues. Just by showing up, you are taking a crucial step toward engagement and involvement, and we guarantee that you'll meet some great people along the way. Check out your state chapter's website or contact them for more information.
- Attend APTA's CSM, NEXT, or NSC conferences (2+ days)
APTA hosts 3 national conferences a year. The Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) is the largest in attendance, as it is hosted in conjunction with APTA's 18 special-interest sections. NEXT Conference and Exposition includes the prestigious McMillan and Maley lectures, and the crowd favorite Oxford Debate. National Student Conclave (NSC) is designed by and for physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students, with programming tailored specifically for students.
- Attend APTA's House of Delegates meeting (2+ days)
The House of Delegates (House) is the association's policy-making body comprised of nearly 400 voting chapter delegates, nonvoting delegates, and consultants. The House meets annually for 3 successive days each summer, during which time delegates debate and make decisions on issues that may have far-reaching implications for the association and for the physical therapy profession. Current physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students have the opportunity to watch the governing body at work by sitting in the gallery. Students can serve as ushers! (See next item.)
- Serve as an APTA House of Delegates usher (2+ days)
Students are eligible to volunteer as ushers during the annual House of Delegates meeting. Ushers serve an important role in the efficiency of the House by operating as messengers and door monitors. It's a great way to get close to the action!
- Serve as a conference volunteer (2+ days)
Want to attend a national conference, but funds are tight? Consider volunteering while at conference and APTA will cover part of your registration cost. Our members often reference conference attendance as one of their favorite aspects of membership—it's where they meet their #PTFam. Check out NEXT conference volunteer information | CSM volunteer information.
- Lunch and learn (up to 1 hour)
Want to learn a little more about APTA engagement or involvement? Want to hear about your classmate's experiences with APTA? Attend or arrange a lunch-and-learn at your program where classmates and faculty can gather to discuss these topics and more.
- Participate in the Foundation's Marquette Challenge fundraiser (1-5 hours)
Every year schools compete to raise funds through the Foundation for Physical Therapy's Marquette Challenge. Students are encouraged to get creative with their challenge fundraisers. Participate in a fundraiser with your classmates to help advance physical therapy research.
- PT Pub Night (1-5 hours)
Join classmates and professionals in your region for drinks and conversation. PT Pub Nights are casual meet-ups with physical therapists and students to share ideas, conversation, and more.
- Follow APTA, sections, and chapters on social media (1-5 minutes)
If you want to connect with your profession on social media, start by following and engaging with APTA, sections, and chapters. You'll instantly find content related to the profession, and you'll find professionals ready to engage and connect as well.
- Read the monthly issue of the Student Assembly Pulse, or any APTA communications (1-5 minutes)
Did you know that APTA has a blog dedicated to physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students? The Student Assembly Pulse blog features content for and by today's student, sharing practical advice and tips, while also sharing stories and experiences.
- Engage with your colleagues on social media (1-5 minutes)
One of the easiest ways to get involved and connect with your profession is on social media. Members of the physical therapy profession hold regular social media chats, network, and find mentorship through various platforms (eg, Hashtags: #DPTstudent, #PTAstudent, #FreshPT, #XchangeSA, #APTAvalue, #APTAmember, #PTTransforms, #ChoosePT #PTfam).
- Participate in an APTA Student Assembly #XchangeSA chat (up to 1 hour)
Once a month the APTA Student Assembly hosts Facebook live discussions with topic experts discussing clinical and nonclinical topics of interest for PT and PTA students. Students are encouraged to ask questions and participate in the conversation.
- Contribute to the Student Assembly Pulse blog (1-5 hours)
Interested in contributing to APTA's Student Assembly Pulse blog? Send us an email at email@example.com.
Want to learn more about getting involved and other opportunities large and small? Ask the APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors, APTA chapter and section members, or even APTA staff. We're happy to help you find ways to get excited about APTA and the physical therapy profession.