Caitlin Rudd 2018
Major: Natural Science
Minors: Exercise Science and Sport Studies, Psychology
Hometown: Proctor, Minnesota
Why study pre-PT at a liberal arts college?
Studying natural science and physical therapy at a liberal arts college has allowed me to take courses outside of the science field, expanding my perspective and thinking. I have been taught to look at an issue or subject such as physical therapy through different lenses. In writing courses, I have learned to write and think like a clinician. Ethics has taught me about the complex ethical decisions in the health care field and psychology has taught me about the mental side of injuries and development.
What makes the pre-PT program at CSB/SJU unique?
This program is different than other pre-PT programs because there is no set major or course path. I am a natural science major which gave me freedom to take the courses I was interested in while still fulfilling Physical Therapy School requirements. As I mentioned, I was able to take a variety of classes that I otherwise would not have taken in a set PT program such as clinical writing and history. CSB/SJU allows you to prepare for graduate school while still getting a liberal arts experience and taking interesting classes.
What has your experience with the CSB/SJU pre-PT program faculty been like?
I have had a great experience with the faculty at CSB/SJU. My first-year seminar professor did not know much about the different science fields. So, my first semester here she referred me to see Don Fischer, the head of the Exercise Science and Sports Studies Department. He immediately introduced me to different majors that would support my interest in PT and fulfill graduate school requirements. I have met with him every semester since to create class schedules and make sure I was on track to apply to PT schools.
What has been one of the greatest challenges you have faced?
My greatest challenge has been balance. During my time here I have been on the dance team, a Health Advocate, a teaching assistant and tutor, and a STEP Force Volunteer at Centra-Care. Balancing all of these roles along with being a student, shadowing physical therapists, applying for schools, and still having time with friends was a huge challenge during my first year here. After some time juggling my roles, I found a balance. I was able to turn to many faculty members for advice and guidance along with friends and family.
What advice do you have for student considering the pre-PT program?
Explore different career paths early. I was undecided on what my major would be during my first year at CSB/SJU. I knew I was interested in the medical field, but unsure of anything specific. I volunteered at a hospital and had the opportunity to study many different health professions before making a choice on what I wanted to study. Once I found PT, I was hooked. From that point on I was able to find all the necessary classes without wasting time or money on a major that I wasn’t sure about.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to attend the DPT program at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.