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Outstanding Clinical Instructor Award


The purpose for this award is to recognize an outstanding clinical instructor who demonstrates exceptional skills in teaching, communication, interpersonal relationships, professional competence, mentoring, modeling, and professionalism. 


Recipient is a licensed physical therapist (PT) or physical therapist assistant (PTA) currently practicing in the US and its territories with at least one-year of experience as a clinical educator / instructor for PT or PTA students.  The PT or PTA must also meet the following criteria:

  1. Member of the APTA
  2. Supervised a minimum of 3 full-time PT/PTA students
  3. Level 1 Credentialed Clinical Instructor 


  1. Recipient distinguishes themselves as an outstanding clinical educator through the demonstration of qualities as a clinical educator/instructor, based on established APTA criteria including mentoring, modeling, clinical competence, communication/interpersonal skills, teaching/instructional skills, supervisory and evaluation skills, and professionalism.
  2. The outstanding qualities will be documented through information obtained from student or colleague recommendation forms.
  3. Evidence of life-long learning and commitment to advancing the profession.
  4. Documentation will distinguish and support the “outstanding” qualities of the nominee as compared to that of other clinical educators/instructors. 

Individuals who are current members of the Academy of Education Board of Directors, the APTA Board of Directors, or APTA Staff are not eligible for the award and may not participate in the nomination process.


Nominations may be initiated by a student in the final year of a PT or PTA program or an SCCE.

  1. The Outstanding Clinical Instructor Award Nomination Online Form requires the following:
    1. Why are you recommending this Clinical Instructor for this award? Be specific, citing examples to differentiate this outstanding CI from others.
    2. Creative or innovative techniques used by this CI to promote student growth and professional independence.
    3. Other characteristics this CI possesses that might be helpful in the selection process.
  2. Two letters of support from Association members. These individuals can be a colleague, a supervisor, a faculty member, etc. The letter should carefully document the ways in which the nominee fulfills the criteria noted above and provide a personal account of the teaching activities that distinguish the nominee. The authors of the support letters must include their APTA membership number.
  3. Following submission of the online nomination, the Clinical Instructor Information Form will be emailed to the nominee and nominator.  The nominee must submit this Clinical Instructor Information Form and submit as a pdf document to academy@aptaeducation.org with “Outstanding Clinical Instructor" in the Subject heading of the email by Wednesday, November 8.

If a nominee was not selected for the award, the nominator may re-submit the same nomination one time only in the next year with the option of updating supporting documents. If the nomination is submitted in subsequent years, the packet must be completely updated.

Any additional materials that accompany the nomination will not be considered by the selection committee.