At Northwestern University, we believe critical thinking skills are crucial to successful clinical practice. All courses in our curriculum are designed to actively engage students in investigation and critical thinking. In addition, all students participate in the Synthesis Project that extends throughout the curriculum. In small faculty-directed groups, students investigate an emerging topic of personal interest and professional importance through quantitative or qualitative research techniques, or by developing an educational or advocacy intervention. Students thoroughly investigate a topic in the process of formulating one or more key empirical hypotheses or propositions. Data are collected, analyzed and used to test and draw conclusions about the hypothesis or proposition. The project culminates with a formal public presentation of the results. The synthesis project offers the student the opportunity to integrate new information with existing knowledge and to develop the ability to investigate and communicate about professional matters.
Hilliard et al. APTA Annual Conference 2010
Yao et al. Synthesis Project 2012
Salzman, Hilliard et al. CSM 2012