Andrea Wamsley-Barr (PT, DPT, ATC), Physical Therapist Assistant Program Coordinator
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
3030 Potomac Ave, Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22305-3084
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.
Admission into the Physical Therapist Assistant, A.A.S. program is based upon the following criteria:
- Apply to Pierpont Community and Technical College for the term you want to begin the program and meet the general admission requirements or be a current student
- First-time students should select “Health Sciences: Physical Therapist Assistant” as their educational goal on their application.
- Complete the PTA application ($20 fee). Applications and supporting documentation are due to the Admission’s Office by March 1. Applicants who are not admitted must reapply if they wish to be considered for the next academic year.
- Submit all required documents (Official ACT or SAT scores; High School Equivalency Exam or high school transcripts; any college transcripts, clinical observations forms, and a letter of recommendation from a licensed PT/PTA or Director of Therapy Operations/Manager [A letter from a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) or Occupational Therapist is also acceptable.] and observations forms) to the Admission’s Office prior to the PTA application deadline.
- Have a high school and/or college GPA of 2.0 or better or passing score on High School Equivalency Exam. GPA will be evaluated based on high school transcripts or passing score on High School Equivalency Exam for students with less than 10 hours of college credit.
- Have a score of 18 or better on the English portion of the ACT (or SAT score of 480, or completion of English 1104 with a “C” or higher)
- Complete at least 10 hours of observation under a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in two different clinical sites (outpatient, acute care, inpatient, rehabilitation, skilled nursing, school system, home health, etc.) Observation forms must be completed and submitted to the Admission’s Office.
- Successfully completed a course in Physics in high school or college with a “C” or higher. Physics is a prerequisite and must be completed prior to the beginning the PTA program.
Qualified students are accepted into the program until capacity is met.
*Students can begin the program in the fall semester.
Admission to the PTA program is competitive and selective. A numerical score sheet is used to assign points to applicants for ACT/SAT scores taken with five years of application, grades in physics, grades in any support courses (ENGL 1104 , ENGL 1108 , HLCA 1100 , BIOY 1170 , BIOY 1171 , OFAD 1150 , PSYG 1101 and MTH 1207 ).The GPA for admission into the program must be a 2.0 or higher. The program looks to admit a cohort of qualified applicants until capacity is met.
- Students must pass a criminal background clearance check, meet health and immunization requirements, and drug testing.
- Students must be able to meet the essential functions of the program and classes, with or without accommodations.
- Students will need to provide their own transportation to assigned clinical sites.
Students must complete each course in the PTA program model schedule with a grade of “C” or higher and maintain an overall 2.0 GPA to remain in the program. Exam averages must be maintained at least a 75% in PTA courses. Any classes accepted as substitutes for curricular classes also require a grade of “C” or higher. Failure to meet any of these requirements will result in dismissal from the program. Students who have been dismissed may reapply to the program and their credentials will be reevaluated.
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
- Demonstrate the cognitive knowledge basic to physical therapy intervention
- Demonstrate competence in data collection through tests, measurements, and observations
- Use verbal, non-verbal, and written communication in an effective and appropriate manner
- Exhibit conduct that reflects practice standards that are legal, ethical, and safe
- Exhibit professional behavior through integrity, service, and the ability to assume appropriate responsibility
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 (2012-2022), and the median annual salary for WV is over $44,000.
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.
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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.
PTA Essential Functions
PTA Student Handbook 2022-2023