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Physical Therapist Assistant

This is a 69-credit Associate in Applied Science degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. It is designed to prepare individuals for employment in physical therapy settings under the supervision of a Physical Therapist. Graduates are eligible to take the national licensure examination necessary for practice as a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA).
Course work prepares the student to perform basic physical therapy procedures and should not be considered as a direct vehicle of study towards an entry-level physical therapy academic program. The program demands that students attend classes full-time during the day. Hours for clinical practice may vary and travel to the clinical setting is the responsibility of the student.
Specific goals of the program:
  • To prepare individuals for employment in physical therapy settings under the supervision of a Physical therapist.
  • To work under the supervision of a physical therapist in an ethical, legal, safe and effective manner.
  • To provide, in addition to general education and basic science courses, a combination of didactic and clinical learning experiences offered in an integrated and sequential manner to assure entry level proficiency.
The specific objectives of this program are that the graduate must be able to demonstrate:
  • The ability to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills in the health care setting using appropriate measurement and assessment techniques using the knowledge of indications and contraindications of the disease process.
  • The ability to appropriately observe and report important patient responses by recognizing abnormal and normal responses to interventions and by recognizing the need for intervention modification in response to observations.
  • The ability to understand the rights and responsibilities of returning the individual with a disability as a functioning member within the community, using knowledge of the federal regulations regarding Americans with Disabilities.
  • Basic competency in carrying out interventions by obtaining necessary medical information, organizing the intervention programs, altering the interventions appropriately, and by demonstrating knowledge of indications and contraindications in the patient care.
  • The ability to communicate effectively with the supervising therapist, appropriate medical personnel, families and patients, using appropriate oral and written medical terminology and recording this information in the patient record.
  • The awareness of the current social, political and economic aspects of health care by demonstrating appropriate assessment of the treatment plan’s effectiveness and timely recommendation for the reevaluation of the patient by the physical therapist.
  • The ability to perform appropriate measure­ment and assessment techniques within the knowledge and limits of practice to assist the supervising physical therapists in monitoring and modifying the plan of care.
  • To be critical consumers of the literature through critical analyzes and discussion.
  • To be an active contributor in the health care system and community.
  • To accept responsibility for continuous professional development.
Students enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program will be required to submit to criminal background checks, health clearance, CPR certification, and possible drug screen at their own expense. All expenses for health clearance, criminal background checks, and CPR certification are the responsibility of the student. Adverse results may disqualify students from clinical participation in which case the student will be unable to complete program requirements. These students must withdraw from the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.

Note: Students are responsible for the accuracy of information they provide on their program admissions application.

Licensure Passage Rate
CAPTE Criteria Required Percent
Class of 2013
Class of 2014
Class of 2015

Graduation Rate: Results indicate an average retention rate for 2013, 2014, and 2015 of 70%.
Employment Rate: Survey results for 2010, and 2011 indicate that 100% of program graduates who seek employment are employed working as PTA.
Commission on Accreditation in Physical therapy Education
American Physical Therapy Association
1111 Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Go to the Physical Therapist Assistant Homepage.
Search for courses in the online course catalog.


Prerequisite Course Work

ENG 101 - English Composition I*
BIO 105 - Anatomy and Physiology I*
MAT 119 - Algebra*
PSY 101 - General Psychology*
PSY 212 - Psychology of Adulthood and Aging*

Clinical Phase

First Semester (Spring)

PTA 115 - Functional Anatomy
PTA 130 - PT Procedures I
PTA 251 - Independent Living

Summer Session I

ENG 102 - English Composition II**
PTA 140 - PT Procedures II

Summer Session II

BIO 106 - Anatomy and Physiology II

Second Semester (Fall)

PTA 217 - Clinical Seminar and Practice I
PTA 220 - PT Procedures III
PTA 221 - PT Procedures IV

Third Semester (Spring)

PTA 223 - Clinical Seminar II
PTA 224 - Clinical Practice II

Total Program Credits (including all prerequisite course work) 69

* Prerequisite (pre-clinical phase) course work must be passed with a grade of “C” or higher.
** English 102 may be completed during the winter session [before first semester (Spring)]. English 102 must be completed prior to beginning the second semester (Fall).
Students will only be permitted to take BIO 105 or BIO 106 two times. Students who are not able to pass these courses with a “C” or better on the second attempt, will not be eligible to register for the clinical phase of the program.
All course work in the clinical phase of the PTA program must be passed with a grade of “C+” or better.

Career Options

Graduates are eligible to take the Licensure Examination necessary for practice as a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. There is a limit to the number of seats available in the clinical phase of the PTA program. All students must complete a PTA Program Entrance Form prior to starting the clinical phase of the program. All students must complete 25 hours of volunteer work or work-related experience and must obtain a reference on the PTA Program Reference Form. Both of these forms are available in August from the Program Coordinator or the Health Technology Department Secretary, and must be returned no later than October 31.

Please note that it is always beneficial for students to complete additional non-clinical courses prior to the first semester of the clinical phase, thereby making the summer course load more manageable. Please meet with an advisor in Student Services for advising on course selection.

If necessary, the Program Coordinator and the PTA Program Admissions Committee will make the final determination for admission to the program based on the professional reference and a written essay or interview.

Program Information

Type of Program: Associate in Applied Science Degree

Continue to Online Application

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