June 21, 2016, Blue Bell, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will introduce a new Physical Therapist Assistant program starting summer 2017. The 70-credit Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) program will prepare graduates for employment as entry-level physical therapist assistants.
The program will integrate classroom and laboratory instruction with full-time practical clinical experiences. Graduates will be prepared to take the Physical Therapist Assistant National Physical Therapy Examination for state certification and licensure.
According to Robert Cullen, Physical Therapist Assistant program director, the program is composed of two distinct phases. During the Pre-Technical Phase, students complete their general education and foundational requirements at their own pace. Students who successfully complete the first phase may then apply for admission into the highly specialized and competitive full-time Technical/Clinical Phase.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists physical therapist assistant third among the 20 fastest growing occupations nationwide, and employment of physical therapist assistants is projected to grow 41 percent through 2024. Locally, physical therapist assistant is identified as a High Priority Occupation for Montgomery County and the surrounding four-county region.
Physical therapist assistants work under the direction and supervision of licensed physical therapists in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, rehabilitation centers, school systems, sports medicine facilities and private practice.
The Physical Therapist Assistant degree program will be offered at MCCC’s Central Campus in Blue Bell in the new Health Sciences Center, an integrated and active learning environment. Slated for completion in January 2017, the expansion will add 91,000 square feet to the existing 69,000 square-foot Physical Education Center.
The mission of the Health Sciences Center is to position MCCC as the regional leader in health and wellness education to be the catalyst that transforms lives. The center will house MCCC’s athletics programs and wellness center, as well its existing Health Sciences programs—Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Medical Laboratory Technician, Medical Assisting, Phlebotomy, Radiography, Surgical Technology, Exercise Science and Wellness, Health and Fitness Professional, and Personal Training, among others. A certificate program in Massage Therapy is also being developed.
To learn more about MCCC’s Health Sciences programming, visit mc3.edu/academics/areas-of-study/health-sciences.
Montgomery County Community College is seeking accreditation of the new physical therapist assistant education program from CAPTE. The College will submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on March 1, 2017. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the Technical Phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in PTA courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted CAPTE accreditation.
- Alana J. Mauger