Physical Therapist Assistant | Pierpont C&TC
Associate in Applied Science (AAS)

Curry, Erin

Interim PTA Program Coordinator
304.367.4043
Caperton Center
Program Purpose: 

The Physical Therapist Assistant program is designed to educate and prepare students to work under the supervision of a physical therapist to provide therapeutic treatments to patients who have lost functional ability because of illness or injury. The program prepares students to sit for a state licensing exam and graduates must pass this exam in order to work as a Physical Therapist Assistant.

Student Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of the PTA program, graduates will be able to do the following:

  • Implement a plan of care established by the physical therapist using appropriate technology.
  • Perform data collection through tests, measurements and observations and interpret results in compliance with the PTA role.
  • Communicate verbally and in writing with patients, clients, health care delivery personnel and peers in an effective, appropriate, and capable manner.
  • Demonstrate professional behavior that meets legal, ethical, responsible, and safe standards with respect for individuals and cultures.
  • Demonstrate the cognitive knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary to work as a physical therapist assistant.
Essential Functions:
To meet the learning outcomes, students must be able to:
  • obtain information during class time and outside of class from lecture, text, computer-based, and video formats.
  • obtain information from the medical record.
  • produce written responses to assignments.
  • compose progress notes for the medical record.
  • complete in-class small group assignments.
  • receive and transmit information to the instructors, classmates, supervising physical therapists, and patients.
  • perform physical therapy techniques in high (standing), medium (sitting), and low (squatting, stooping) body positions.
  • operate equipment with knobs, switches, touch pads, and touch screens.
  • lift and position classmates, patients, and equipment.
  • assist and guard classmates and patients while they practice standing, walking, and moving into and out of wheelchairs.
  • assist classmates and patients while they perform therapeutic exercises.
  • perform physical therapy techniques and move about the clinical facility for up to 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week.
  • assess the patient’s verbal and nonverbal response to treatment.
  • complete multi-step work assignments.
  • Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgment.
  • Be flexible to adapt to professional and technical change.
  • Follow attendance guidelines appropriate for an entry level healthcare provider.
  • Abide by the ethical and value based behavior defined by the Physical Therapy Profession.

Outcomes Data:

Class Number Graduated Number passing Board Exams Overall Board pass rate from graduating students in inital cohort
2014 15 13 87%
2015 15 15 100%
2016 11 11 100%
2017 11 11 100%
2018 10 10 100%
       
Total 62 60 97%

 

Graduation Rate:

Class Year Graduation Rate (%)
2016 55.6%
2017 78.6%
2018 71.4%

 

Employment Rate: Of the students who have graduated, passed their boards, and sought employment in the past 5 years, 100% were employed as a physical therapist assistant within 6 months of graduation.

Opportunities: 

Career opportunities for licensed PTAs can be found in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing care facilities, offices of physical therapists in private practice, and in home health care.

According to the US Department of Labor, employment of PTAs is expected to grow much faster than average for the next several years, and the average annual salary is over $40,000.

Many PTA graduates continue their education in a baccalaureate field such as Allied Health Administration or Exercise Science. PTAs who wish to become physical therapists must first earn a Bachelor’s degree in a field that satisfies the pre-requisites for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program they wish to attend.

Program Specific Admission Requirements: 
 

PTA Application Form

PTA Observation Form

Admission to the PTA program is competitive. A numerical score sheet is used to select 20 students for each class. Points are assigned for GPA, ACT scores, grades in algebra, physics, and certain other college courses. The students with the highest scores are chosen. To be considered for admission, applicants must:

  • Complete a Pierpont Community & Technical College application.
  • Have at least a 2.0 grade point average.
  • Have a score of 18 or higher on the English portion of the ACT; OR a C or better in English 1104.
  • Have grades of C or better in physics and algebra taken in high school or college. If Algebra I and physics were not completed successfully in high school, potential applicants should take Math 1207 and PHY 1004, Physics in Health Careers.
  • Complete a total of 10 volunteer/observation hours divided between at least 2 physical therapy practice settings.
  • Complete and submit a separate PTA program application, official high school and college transcripts, official ACT or SAT scores, and 2 volunteer/observation forms to the Director of Admissions by January 31 for the next entering class.

 

Program Specific Enrollment Requirements: 

Students must have a “C” or better in every course that is part of the curriculum and at least a 75% test average in PTA courses to continue in the program.

Program Specific Accreditation: 

The Pierpont Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Pierpont Community and Technical College is accredited by:

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 706-3245
Email: accreditation@apta.org
Website:www.capteonline.org

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 304-367-4043 or email erin.curry@pierpont.edu.

Notice to Students: 

Program graduates must pass a state licensing exam (fee not included in tuition) in order to be employed as a Physical Therapist Assistant.

 

Program Prerequisite Courses:

Students must have grades of C or better in physics and algebra taken in either high school or college. If Algebra I and physics were not completed successfully in high school, potential applicants should take

MTH 1207

Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics 3|5 CH(s)

PHY 1004

Physics in Health Careers 3CH(s)

 

Program Total Credit Hours: 
65 CHs
Support Coursework: 
22 CHs

ENGL 1104

Written English I
3|4
CH(s)

ENGL 1108

Written English II
3
CH(s)

HLCA 1100

Medical Terminology
3
CH(s)

HLCA 1170

Human Anatomy and Physiology
3
CH(s)

HLCA 1171

Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory
1
CH(s)

MTH 1207

Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics
3|5
CH(s)

OFAD 1150

Computer Concepts and Applications
3
CH(s)

PSYG 1101

Introduction to Psychology
3
CH(s)

*ENGL 1109 may be substituted for ENGL 1108.

Program Specific Required Coursework: 
65 CHs

PHTA 1100

Introduction to Physical Therapy
2
CH(s)

PHTA 1101

Patient and Professional Relationship
2
CH(s)

PHTA 1102

Introduction to Patient Care
3
CH(s)

PHTA 1103

Physical Agents I
3
CH(s)

PHTA 1104

Physical Agents II
2
CH(s)

PHTA 1105

Kinesiology
3
CH(s)

PHTA 1106

Clinical Education I
1
CH(s)

PHTA 1108

Clinical Education II
2
CH(s)

PHTA 2200

Therapeutic Exercise
4
CH(s)

PHTA 2201

Orthopedics
3
CH(s)

PHTA 2202

Neurology
3
CH(s)

PHTA 2204

Clinical Education III
3
CH(s)

PHTA 2206

Clinical Education IV
5
CH(s)

PHTA 2207

Clinical Education IV
5
CH(s)

PHTA 2995

Capstone Seminar
2
CH(s)
Model Schedule
Fall Semester

ENGL 1104

Written English I
3|4
CH(s)

HLCA 1100

Medical Terminology
3
CH(s)

HLCA 1170

Human Anatomy and Physiology
3
CH(s)

HLCA 1171

Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory
1
CH(s)

OFAD 1150

Computer Concepts and Applications
3
CH(s)

PHTA 1100

Introduction to Physical Therapy
2
CH(s)

PSYG 1101

Introduction to Psychology
3
CH(s)
Total Credit Hours: 
18 CHs
Spring Semester

MTH 1207

Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics
3|5
CH(s)

PHTA 1101

Patient and Professional Relationship
2
CH(s)

PHTA 1102

Introduction to Patient Care
3
CH(s)

PHTA 1103

Physical Agents I
3
CH(s)

PHTA 1105

Kinesiology
3
CH(s)

PHTA 1106

Clinical Education I
1
CH(s)
Total Credit Hours: 
15 CHs
Summer Semester

PHTA 1104

Physical Agents II
2
CH(s)

PHTA 1108

Clinical Education II
2
CH(s)
Total Credit Hours: 
4 CHs
Fall Semester

ENGL 1108

Written English II
3
CH(s)

PHTA 2200

Therapeutic Exercise
4
CH(s)

PHTA 2201

Orthopedics
3
CH(s)

PHTA 2202

Neurology
3
CH(s)

PHTA 2204

Clinical Education III
3
CH(s)
Total Credit Hours: 
16 CHs
Spring Semester

PHTA 2206

Clinical Education IV
5
CH(s)

PHTA 2207

Clinical Education IV
5
CH(s)

PHTA 2995

Capstone Seminar
2
CH(s)
Total Credit Hours: 
12 CHs

 

 

Program Documents: 

If needed, a paper version of the application is available by request.  To request a paper application please call or email Student Services at 304-333-3684 or StudentServices@pierpont.edu

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