The PACEC was initially formed in 1981 as the Philadelphia Consortium of Academic Coordinators of Clinical Education with representatives from the Physical Therapy Programs of Hahnemann University and Temple University.
Their first joint task was a workshop for clinical educators. As physical therapy programs were created at Beaver College, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, and Thomas Jefferson University, they also joined the Consortium. The group adopted a uniform clinical performance evaluation tool as well as planning an annual workshop for clinical sites. Through the years, other area physical therapy and physical therapist assistant programs joined the consortium. To reflect the growing geography of the members, the name was changed to the Philadelphia Area Clinical Education Consortium in 2012.