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CACEF transitions to IPTA’s CESIG

Wednesday, September 26, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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CACEF transitions to IPTA’s CESIG

As the oldest physical therapy clinical education consortium in the United States, the Chicago Area Clinical Educators Forum (CACEF) has been serving the clinical education community for nearly 40 years.

The CACEF was established in 1979 as a non-profit organization consisting of local physical therapy educators, from both the classroom and clinic, who were dedicated to the pursuit of quality clinical education. The purpose of the forum was to support educational programming, networking, discussions about current issues in clinical education, clinical education research activities, clinical education advocacy, and encouraged resource sharing and problem solving amongst its members. The CACEF also served as a conduit for communication amongst its members and the greater clinical education community.

Service to the Chicagoland clinical education community took on many forms. On a monthly basis, the CACEF provided continuing education in-services for its membership on topics such as “CI preparation and orientation: What is an entry-level CI?” When members of the CACEF faced challenges related to clinical education, the CACEF served as a resource and facilitated problem solving. The CACEF also promoted education research by providing grants for clinical education related research such as a study on professionalism in physical therapy education.

Promotion of excellence in physical therapy clinical education as well as the profession of physical therapy itself were also priorities for the group. The CACEF established an Outstanding Clinical Instructor Recognition Program. This program offered physical therapy students the opportunity to nominate clinical instructors who demonstrated an enthusiasm for clinical education, the capacity to foster clinical reasoning, and an ability to serve as a role model of professionalism and life-long learning. The CACEF also initiated the IPTA Outstanding Clinical Educator Award. The profession of physical therapy was promoted by sponsoring members to attend APTA conferences as well as disseminating information on topics in clinical education such as the outcomes of the Clinical Education Summit in 2014. Promotion of student involvement in clinical education has also been encouraged. Since 2013, the leadership of the CACEF has mentored and collaborated with the leadership of the Illinois Physical Therapy Association (IPTA) Student Special Interest Group to host a joint educational session for physical therapy students. The student leaders of the IPTA SSIG have presented on topics such as "Talking to your CI: How to handle differences in clinical reasoning."

The CACEF has been driven by a passion for physical therapy clinical education as well as service to the clinical education community and profession of physical therapy alike.

Members of the CACEF have embraced all those who were interested in physical therapy clinical education in Chicagoland. However, the membership had a desire to grow the forum and engage the larger audience of clinical educators in the state of Illinois. The CACEF leadership, with the support of their membership, put forth a proposal to establish the Illinois Clinical Education Special Interest Group (CESIG) within the IPTA and that proposal was accepted by the IPTA Board of Directors in August of 2018!

The purpose of the Illinois CESIG is to serve as a resource, forum, and voice for members who have a common interest in clinical education for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.


- Cori Zook-Arquines, PT, MHPE, CLT
Interim CESIG Chair

With the support of Linda Griffith of the IPTA, the interim CESIG Executive Board will move this mission forward by setting goals for the transitional year. The interim Executive board includes Cori Zook-Arquines as Chair, Patrick Withrow as Academic Vice-Chair, Seth Kress as Clinical Vice-Chair, and Carol Miller as Secretary/Treasurer. The interim board will complete their service on June 1, 2019 at which time the newly elected Executive Board will assume their duties.

The Illinois CESIG is looking forward to having new members from throughout the state who have fresh perspectives and ideas about clinical education. Understanding the needs of physical therapy clinical educators across the state will allow the CESIG to advance the agenda of service to the community of clinical educators and the profession. The CESIG encourages all Illinois clinical educators to join this effort by becoming members of the CESIG and/or serving in leadership roles. The first election for the CESIG Executive Board be conducted concurrent with the 2019 Chapter Elections.

The future of physical therapy clinical education is in our hands! Be involved, be a resource, and let your voice be heard!

Together we can advance the pursuit of excellence in physical therapy clinical education in Illinois!



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