Internships Prepare Students for Success

Chad Lapointe, Erath, a senior health and human performance major at McNeese State University, knew the medical field would provide him with a meaningful career but he also wanted to know his patients on a personal level. He found the best of both worlds in the pre-physical therapy program in the H.C. Drew School of Health and Human Performance.

“My first introduction to the university was actually through my high school band,” Lapointe explains. “Former director of bands Jay Jacobs visited our school to discuss the music opportunities at McNeese. He encouraged me to schedule a campus tour and that experience is where I could really envision myself on campus.”

Lapointe was a member of the Pride of McNeese Marching Band, pep band and wind ensemble his freshman year.

“I’m also a member of Theta Chi Fraternity and my big brother is the son of former health and human performance department head Dr. Michael Soileau,” he says. “I talked with Dr. Soileau about my interests and career goals and he suggested that I might find what I was looking for in physical therapy.”

Lapointe is now completing an internship with Hope Therapy Center in Lake Charles and is applying his classroom knowledge to the real world.

“I mostly work with patients who are recovering from a stroke,” he says. “I have also helped support pediatric and adolescent patients with disabilities. Each patient is different and needs specialized care. I am helping these patients develop their strength and independence while also getting to know them as people with unique personalities. I am excited to get to work every day.”

Lapointe says that the mentorship and expert knowledge of his faculty members have prepared him for professional school and beyond.

“The faculty at McNeese bring their own experiences to the classroom to provide examples and scenarios that we might encounter,” he says. “From day one students are gaining valuable experience that will enhance their knowledge of the human body and how to provide the best possible care to their patients.”

For more information on McNeese’s health and human performance degree, visit

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