The Department is housed in two separate instructional sites in Cullowhee and Biltmore Park. These sites are linked by an audio-visual bridge allowing for all courses to be delivered synchronously. Faculty members are preent at both locations for all lab sessions.
The instructional site in Cullowhee is housed in a four-story, 160,000 square foot Health and Human Sciences building (HHSB), which features state-of-the-art technology and labs and classrooms designed specifically for health-related teaching and learning. The building also has an atrium and rooftop garden where students can gather and enjoy beautiful mountain views.
The Biltmore Park Instructional site has housed WCU programs since 2012, and started being the instructional site for Physical Therapy in 2019. This facility also has state-of-the-art technology equipment allowing for equivalent learning opportunities at both sites.
Both locations have simulation labs that offer students hands-on and interdisciplinary experience using equipment common to inpatient clinical practice and enable students to master assessment techniques necessary for diagnosis and treatment. The simulation labs also serve as “mediated classrooms” providing the capacity for the use of a variety of technology-assisted instructional and learning strategies by instructors and students.
Both sites also have the student run Mountain Area Pro Bono Health Services (MAPHealth) clinic that provides high quality, effective, pro bono physical therapy, social work, speech therapy, and nutrition services to the under-served and under-insured population of western North Carolina. The mission of MAPHealth is to improve quality of life, health, and function of clients while serving the community and fostering student education.
The Human Movement Science (HMS) Lab, at the Health and Human Sciences Building in Cullowhee, has a 12-camera motion capture system, 2 force plates, electromyography (EMG), pressure mapping carpet, and a fully operation video studeo. The HMS lab is utilized to conduct research, educate students, and develop high quality video of human movement.
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students also have access to an expansive cadaver anatomy lab in the Health and Human Sciences building. DPT students also have an opportunity to teach PTA students utilizing the lab. Students have access to an anatomage table at both locations giving them the ability to study digital cadavers at any time.
The Balance and Fall Prevention Clinic at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, provides team-based evaluation, treatment, and consultation services for individuals who have fallen or are at risk for falling. The team, representing physical therapy and audiology, provide integrated care to help identify risk factors and other contributing factors associated with balance disorders.