» Dr. Sara J. Gilliland
Assistant Professor

Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences; Department of Physical Therapy
Dr. Sara J. Gilliland
Office Location:
Rinker Health Science Campus 230
Phone:
(714) 744-7821
Email:
Education
William Marsh Rice University, Bachelor of Arts
University of California, Irvine, Master of Science in Education
Chapman University, Doctor of Physical Therapy in Physical Therapy
Biography

Dr. Gilliland’s clinical practice combines her interests in orthopedic and neurologic physical therapy with her passion for fitness and wellness. Dr. Gilliland’s research investigates how physical therapist students develop their clinical reasoning capacities. She is a member of the Clinical Reasoning Research and Curricula Consortia of the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT). Her research has been supported in part by Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) scholarships from the Foundation for Physical Therapy, Inc. and the Section for Education of the American Physical Therapy Association. Dr. Gilliland is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine. While completing her physical therapy education at Chapman University, Dr. Gilliland worked as a graduate assistant and tutor for the anatomy and neuroanatomy courses. She joined the faculty in 2008. Dr. Gilliland’s passion in teaching is helping students understand the applications of basic science foundations to clinical problem solving in physical therapy practice. She enjoys supporting students in community involvement including service opportunities and professional association activities. Dr. Gilliland currently works as the Chapman coordinator for the Special Olympics FUNfitness volunteers.

Licensure Information / Registration Number:
Physical Therapist: State of California (#35135)

Certification

APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor – 7/2010-present
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) - 2004 - present
USA Triathlon Level I Coaching Certification - 2003 - present
American Heart Association BLS for healthcare providers (CPR) - valid to 2013
Red Cross Standard First Aid

Teaching

PT 510 Functional Human Anatomy I
PT 510L Functional Human Anatomy I Lab
PT 527 Clinical Pathology Neurology
PT 748 Wellness and Complementary Medicine
PTT 748 Wellness and Complementary Medicine (transitional DPT)

Research Activity

Professional Development and Clinical Reasoning in Physical Therapy Students
This study investigates how physical therapy students conceptualize the practice and role of the physical therapist and how these perspectives change through the students’ educational experiences. My dissertation study builds on this work examining the relationship between physical therapy students’ conceptualizations of practice and their clinical reasoning and decision-making.

Clinical Reasoning in Physical Therapy Students
My current research explores problem solving strategies of entry-level physical therapy students, and the impact of physical therapy coursework on the development of clinical reasoning skills.

Educational Program Evaluation
I am assisting Judith Sandholtz, PhD in completing a program evaluation of the undergraduate Minor in Education at UC Irvine. This project entailed development of learning outcomes, development of methods of assessment and preliminary assessment of learning outcomes. My work on this is funded through a Training in Research Fellowship from UC Irvine.
September 2011 – present

Professional Development in Physical Therapy
This study investigates how physical therapy students conceptualize the practice and role of the physical therapist and how these perspectives change through the students’ educational experiences.
Students June 2011 – present

Clinical Reasoning in Physical Therapy Students
My current research explores problem solving strategies of entry-level physical therapy students, and the impact of physical therapy coursework on the development of clinical reasoning skills.
October 2010 - present