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Physical Therapist Assistant

The physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a skilled health care professional who works under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. The assistant participates as a team member, contributing to total patient care by performing a variety of activities designed to restore physical function and prevent disability of patients of all ages. The program is accredited by the Commission of Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Program graduates find employment in a variety of settings including long-term care facilities, hospitals, school system, outpatient clinics, and home care agencies.

The Mission
The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant program is to provide the curriculum and clinical education experiences to enable graduates to attain entry-level skills for the practice of physical therapy under the supervision and direction of a physical therapist.

Faculty members believe that educational opportunities should be provided in the preparation of PTAs for entry level positions. The curriculum for the Associate of Applied Science degree in physical therapy is designed to meet the standards of the Commission of Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and to provide a foundation of general education courses for personal growth. Additionally, the curriculum is designed to support and integrate the college philosophy of learning.

Educational objectives are developed to provide an atmosphere that combines didactic instruction in the technical aspects of physical therapy with appropriate clinical education experiences. As the student progresses through the educational program, opportunities are provided which allow for increased patient care responsibilities under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. Achievement of program goals and learning outcomes are assessed using a variety of methods to ensure effective student success with the licensure exam and career as a physical therapist assistant.

Program graduates are expected to ethically respond to the needs of their patients with technical competence and compassion. They are aware of the need to update their knowledge and skill through active participation in professional societies, continuing education activities, and lifelong learning.

Program Goals

  • To provide quality education in the preparation of physical therapist assistants for entry level positions.
  • To prepare the student to meet the requirements established for state boards.
  • To develop the student's ability to function as an active member of the health care team.
  • To foster problem-solving skills and lifelong learning.
  • To ensure program quality with an assessment program to measure achievement of program goals, of learning outcomes, CAPTE Standards for program completion, state boards success, job placement, and employer satisfaction of graduates.

Program Outcomes
Upon completion of the program, the graduate will be able to:

  • Participate as a member of the health care team.
  • Competently perform technical entry-level skills as a physical therapist assistant.
  • Understand the role of the physical therapist assistant in the delivery of physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.
  • Assume responsibility in professional judgment and ethics.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills.
  • Assume responsibility for provision of quality physical therapy services.
  • Accept responsibility for professional and personal growth.
  • Meet the college's requirements for the Associate's in Applied Science degree.

Student Outcomes
For years 2010-2012, program statistics are as follows (3-year average):

  • Graduation rate = 83.5%
  • Licensure exam pass rate = 98%
  • Employment rate (after 6 months of passing licensure exam) = 100%

Comments regarding the PTA program should be directed to the Health Careers Department at (309) 999-4600.

For more information, please contact:

Health Career Department (309) 999-4600