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The University of Colorado Physical Therapy Pediatric Residency Program consists of planned post-professional clinical and didactic education for licensed physical therapists who have graduated from an accredited DPT program. The program is designed to significantly advance preparation of the physical therapist as a highly qualified provider of patient care services in multiple pediatric clinical practice settings. Potential as a future leader in pediatric physical therapy is developed through coursework, clinical, and related experiences during the 13-month Residency Program. In addition to clinical opportunities with structured mentorship, the program also includes participation in the MCHB-funded Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program through JFK Partners (, and access to the resources of the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program on the Anschutz Medical Campus (
  • ​Start date for the NEXT resident will be July 1, 2020. The application cycle will open October 2019 through RF-PTCAS.


The mission of the University of Colorado Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program is to provide a comprehensive program of didactic, clinical, and professional experiences to develop pediatric physical therapy specialists. Through clinical care experiences, educational excellence, exposure to research and active engagement in scholarship, teaching opportunities, professional and community service, and participation in collaborative teamwork, Residents will become future leaders in the profession.


 Program Overview

The University of Colorado Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program includes:

  • Clinical mentoring for development of pediatric physical therapy clinical skills in multiple settings
  • Participation on multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary teams
  • Experiences in an array of pediatric settings including Children’s Hospital Colorado (inpatient and outpatient), Cherry Creek School District, Denver RISE School, ENRICH early intervention program, and Adam’s Camp
  • Focus on teamwork, collaboration, and MCH leadership competencies
  • Graduate courses (~ 10 credits) with an interdisciplinary group of LEND Fellows focused on working with individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities and autism and their families
  • Teaching experiences in the University of Colorado PT Program (DPT)
  • Paid stipend of approximately $49,000/year and benefits as a full-time employee of the University of Colorado


 Program Specifics

This Residency Program uses a block system to organize and focus the clinical component. Some of the clinical settings continue across more than one block, for example: Early Intervention and School-based, while other clinical settings are focused within a specific block (eg, inpatient acute care and rehab). In addition to these ongoing clinical components, research and teaching are threaded into the modules at various points depending on opportunities and resident interest. The blocks are focused around:

  1. Outpatient Services (Early Intervention, School-based, and Outpatient clinic)
  2. Inpatient services (Hospital-based acute care and rehab)

    Overview of the schedule:

    • JFK Partners core curriculum classes: The Resident will attend JFK Partners core curriculum classes every Tuesday with other LEND trainees following a typical academic fall and spring semester schedule. In July, the Resident will participate in the Leadership class.
    • Early Intervention: The Resident will carry ~20% FTE early intervention caseload (4-5 patients) throughout the entire 13-month program. The Resident will also attend weekly ENRICH team meetings every Tuesday morning from 10:30-12.
    • School-Based: The Resident will spend 3/4 day per week in Cherry Creek School District during the school year (mid-August to end of May) and two half days per week at the RISE School of Denver from August through mid-December.
    • Outpatient: The Resident will provide outpatient services at Children's Hospital Colorado Therapy Care-Highlands Ranch two half days per week from August through April (approximately 8 months).
    • Inpatient: The Resident will begin observing and orienting to the Children’s Hospital Colorado inpatient and acute rehab settings in early May, and then will be responsible for a caseload of patients in one or more of the inpatient/acute CHCO floors/services throughout late May, June and July. 
    • Adam’s Camp and Other Experiences: The Resident will provide clinical services during one or more sessions of Adam's Camp.  The Resident may observe/participate in a variety of specialty clinics and the NICU at the Children’s Hospital Colorado. The Resident may participate in faculty directed research and conduct other projects as established in individual plans with the Residency Director.
    • Teaching Experience: The Resident will be a lab instructor in one or more entry-level DPT courses and may assist in other courses.
    • Mentoring:  The Program Director will meet with the Resident at least 1 hour/month. This time may include direct observation of the Resident, case discussion, or addressing other clinical or program activities and projects. Residency Clinical Faculty and/or PT Program teaching faculty will directly observe the Resident during patient care at least 1 hour weekly. Additional mentoring will occur in all clinical settings on a regular basis.
    • Throughout the Residency Program, the Resident will receive mentorship via 1) direct observation of Resident by mentor during patient care and 2) case discussion and review.  The Residency Director, PCS faculty member(s), and other clinical Residency faculty members will provide these forms of mentorship on a regular basis with formal and informal assessment and feedback.​
    • Independent Study: Independent Study time is included in the schedule for each module and varies with clinic schedules and other commitments. This time will be used by the Resident for: working on independent or group projects, completing homework for JFK Partners core curriculum courses, attending in-services, or participating in self-directed learning on pertinent topics related to patient care, pediatric physical therapy, healthcare topics, etc.
    • Professional Development: The Resident will have many opportunities to engage in professional development through on-campus Grand Rounds, conferences and workshops co-sponsored by JFK Partners, LEND Webinars, journal clubs, Colorado PSIG meetings and more. 

    Below are sample schedules for each block. Please be aware that these may be subject to change. It is assumed that the Resident will have a lunch break around the noon hour every day, though this is not explicitly shown on the weekly sample schedules.

    Sample Weekly Schedules 

    Throughout the Residency Program, the Resident will receive mentorship via 1) direct observation of Resident by mentor during patient care (a minimum of 150 hours total) and 2) case discussion and review.  The Residency Director, PCS faculty member(s), and other clinical Residency faculty members will provide these forms of mentorship. 


 Application Process / Information

  • Qualified applicants MUST meet one of the following:
    • Hold a current PT license in the state of Colorado OR hold licensure in another state and apply for licensure by endorsement in Colorado within 5 days of accepting the position.
    • Be eligible and planning to take the NPTE (and pass) no later than April 2020. 
  • Applicants must have graduated from a fully-accredited DPT program in the US or Canada, or be set to graduate by June 2020.​
  • All applications for the 2020-21 Residency experience must be submitted through RF-PTCAS (common application system). Applications must be complete and submitted to RF-PTCAS by January 1, 2020.  All applications must be verified in RF-PTCAS by January 15, 2020 to be considered for an interview and move forward in the process. Since the verification process can take longer than two weeks, we suggest that serious applicants have their full application submitted much earlier than the stated deadline. 
    • Complete application via RF-PTCAS - Review the RF-​PTCAS datasheet for our program. While completing your application via RF-PTCAS, please adhere to all the supplemental application requests related to this residency program.
    • Your RF-PTCAS Application will not be made available to the University of Colorado Pediatric Physical Therapy Program until after you submit your completed application AND pay the RF-PTCAS Application Fee.  Please plan to submit all components of your application well ahead of the due date as RF-PTCAS will need time to process your application and verify transcripts.
    • ​Pay the University of Colorado Pediatric Physical Therapy Program Supplemental Application fee.  Instructions for payment will be in the RF-PTCAS instructions and updated here by October 2020.
  • All complete and verified applications will be reviewed by a committee, and invitations to complete an initial interview using Zoom (computer audio and video) will be issued in January 2020 to the top pool of candidates. A second interview will be conducted ONSITE for the top 3-5 applicants in early March 2020. (This onsite interview is required to be considered in the final admission decision.)​ ​​​​

 Contact Information

Please carefully read and review this website. If you would like additional information, you may contact:

Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD,
Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the APTA
Pediatric PT Residency Program Director

13121 E. 17th Ave, C244
Aurora, CO 80045
Phone: 303/724-9148

Meghan Hernandez, PT, DPT, PCS

Instructor, Physical Therapy Program
Early Intervention PT Provider
Residency Graduate 2012



The University of Colorado Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program was re-accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency & Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) as a postprofessional residency program for physical therapists in pediatrics on May 31, 2018. The Current reaccreditation will continue for a period of ten (10) years until May 31, 2028.​


 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should I consider applying to a pediatric physical therapy residency program?
A: The purpose of a physical therapy residency program is to significantly advance the knowledge and skill set of a licensed physical therapist who wants to specialize in a specific area of physical therapy. It is not just an opportunity to gain more experience. Therefore, our residency program is intended for those individuals who want to become clinical specialists in pediatric physical therapy.

Q: How long does the University of Colorado Pediatric PT Residency Program take to complete?
A: This residency program is 13-months long beginning on July 1 and ending July 31 the following year.

Q: What do you look for in an ideal applicant?
A: We are looking for individuals with strong leadership skills who have the desire to specialize in pediatric physical therapy. Due to the nature of our program, and the need to participate in many clinical settings, successful residents need to be flexible, reliable, hard-working, and able to advocate for themselves and their patients.

Q: How much pediatric experience do I need to be considered for this residency program?
A: Pediatric experience (such as a longer clinical education experience while obtaining your DPT) is recommended though we understand that frequently it is hard to secure pediatric experiences as a student and as a new professional following graduation. Therefore, pediatric experience is not required, but you need to have a clear reason and vision for why you want to pursue a pediatric specialization at this stage of your professional career. You will be given the opportunity to explain why you want to specialize in pediatric PT and complete a residency program in your application to our program.

Q: What kind of supervision and/or mentorship will I receive in this program?
A: It is important to understand that in a residency program, you are no longer a student and do not require direct supervision. Instead, as a licensed physical therapist working towards clinical specialization, you will receive at least 150 hours of mentorship from our clinical mentors in order to help prepare you as a highly qualified provider of patient care services in multiple pediatric clinical practice areas. You are expected to independently manage pediatric patients in a variety of settings, and the clinical mentors will offer guidance and direction through formal and informal mentoring opportunities.

Q: How much does the residency program cost?
A: There is NO tuition cost for Colorado residents. Any participant in the Residency Program who is NOT a Colorado resident, and wants to receive graduate credit, will be required to pay the tuition differential ~ $500/credit. Otherwise, courses will be taken as a program requirement without graduate credit.

Q: Will I get paid as a Resident?
A: Yes, the Resident is hired as a university employee and pay is based on the NIH pay scale as a DPT. (In 2019-20  the Resident salary was ~$49,000 plus benefits.) Benefits (health, life, disability) are provided as a full-time employee of the University of Colorado.

Q: How many people typically apply to this program and how many are applicants are accepted?
A: The pool of applicants continues to increase each year as the interest in residency programs continues to grow. Currently, our program is only accepting 1 resident per year.

Q: How many of your past Residents have taken the specialist exam and become Pediatric Certified Specialists?
A:  To date, all of our Resident graduates have taken and passed the PCS exam to become credentialed Pediatric Clinical Specialists.

Q: When will your application become available?
A: Our application will become available through RF-PTCAS (the centralized web-based application) in early fall of 2019. A direct link to the application on RF-PTCAS will be posted on our website when the application cycle becomes available. Please continue to check our website until that time. We also require a supplemental fee in addition to the application and fees through RF-PTCAS.

Q: What happens after I apply?
A: The application deadline is January 1, 2020 for the July 1, 2020 start date. In order to be considered as an applicant, the RF-PTCAS application must be complete and verified, including submission of all additional materials and fees. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications will be reviewed by a committee, and invitations to complete an initial interview using Zoom (computer audio and video) will be issued in January 2020 to the top pool of candidates. A second interview will be conducted ONSITE for the top 3-5 applicants in early March 2020. An onsite interview is required in order to be considered for the residency. Final decisions will be made and offers of admission will be announced in accordance with the Pediatric Residency Uniform Announcement date in March 2020.

Q: Can I be considered if I am currently a DPT student and will not taking the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) until July 2020?
A: As part of our application, you will be asked whether you are currently licensed or when you plan to take the NPTE. The April 2020 test date is the latest option for an applicant who is completing their DPT degree during the application cycle. If you are not able to test and pass the exam by April 2020, you will not be eligible to apply in this cycle and will need to wait until the next application cycle to apply to our Residency program.

Q: Who should I contact if I have any other questions after carefully reviewing the web site?
A:  For specific questions regarding Resident experiences in this program, you may also contact:

    2016-2017 Resident: Maria Larson, PT, DPT, PCS at

   2017-2018 Resident: Anne Ziegltrum, PT, DPT, PCS at

   2018-2019 Resident: Samantha Sawade, PT, DPT at

   2019-20 Resident: Darby Leavengood, PT, DPT at​

You may also contact Mary Jane Rapport, Residency Program Director, at​.

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