BILL ANALYSIS Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair 2382 (Blumenfield) Hearing Date: 08/02/2010 Amended: 07/15/2010 Consultant: Dan Troy Policy Vote: ED 6-0 _________________________________________________________________ ____ BILL SUMMARY: This bill authorizes the California State University (CSU) to award a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), establishes constraints on the funding and fees for these degree programs, and requires their joint evaluation by the CSU, Department of Finance (DOF) and the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) by January 1, 2015, as specified. _________________________________________________________________ ____ Fiscal Impact (in thousands) Major Provisions 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 Fund CSU/DPT New costs to convert Master's General level program to Doctorate, offset by higher fees (see analysis) _________________________________________________________________ ____ STAFF COMMENTS: Current law defines the primary mission of CSU as providing undergraduate instruction and graduate instruction through the master's degree level. Current law also provides that CSU may offer doctoral programs jointly with the University of California or independent postsecondary institutions with the approval of the California Postsecondary Education Commission. CSU is currently authorized to offer a Doctor of Education degree focused on preparing administrative leaders for K-14 public schools. According to the California Physical Therapy Association, a DPT is a clinically based, professional doctoral degree, and as such, is distinguished from doctoral degrees conferred by the UC that are research or academically based. According to information provided by the sponsor, the programs currently in place at the CSU require no additional funding to convert to a DPT and have the faculty, expertise, equipment and labs prepared to train physical therapists at the doctoral level. The Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) as the entity for accrediting entry-level physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs, revised its accreditation standards in 2009 to require the DPT as the terminal degree instead of the Master's degree, requiring PT Master's degree programs to convert to DPT programs by December 30, 2015. Programs that do not meet this criterion by that date will be required to come into compliance no later than December 31, 2017, or lose accreditation. Prospective PTs must have graduated from a CAPTE-accredited program in order to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination, which is required for licensure. Page 2 AB 2382 (Blumenfield) CSU's Master's degree programs in audiology faced a similar situation a few years ago when the national accrediting body for audiology increased the terminal degree requirement to the doctorate. As a result, CSU's audiology programs lost accreditation and are no longer offered. The Legislature appears to face a similar choice with regard to Physical Therapy. Should the state allow private professional association dictate what programs to offer? Of the 14 physical therapy education programs within California, nine are offered by private institutions, culminate in a DPT and range in cost from about $73,000 to $122,000. Of the five programs offered by public institutions, only the UCSF/SFSU Joint program offers a DPT and CSU Fresno, CSU Long Beach, CSU Northridge and CSU Sacramento offer a masters degree and range in cost from $15,000-$38,000. While doctorate programs are more costly to operate than master's level programs, CSU believes that the costs will be offset by fee increases. The bill would permit students in a CSU DPT to be charged fees no higher than those charged for students other state-supported DPY programs at UC, including those offered jointly by CSU and UC. Since the master's level programs already exist, CSU contends that conversion costs would be minimal. The programs would need to add a few new faculty positions and develop curricula. Assuming annual fees of $14,500 student (similar to fees charged for the EdD program), CSU estimates average per campus revenues will grow $773,000 while costs will only increase by $343,000. The bill also requires CSU, the Department of Finance, and the Legislative Analyst's Office to conduct a joint evaluation of the new programs, to be reported by January 1, 2015. The evaluation would consider the number of new programs created, the extent to which the programs are fulfilling needs for PTs, information on the subsequent job placements of students, program costs and fund sources used to finance the programs, and the cost for students. Costs to complete the evaluation should be minor. AB 867 (Nava, 2009) would authorize CSU to award a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. That bill was held on this committee's suspense file.