The Physical Therapist Assistant Program provides a quality, comprehensive program of study that prepares ethical, competent entry-level physical therapist assistants (PTAs), who provide evidence-based interventions. This is accomplished through a supportive learning environment that integrates sequential instruction and full-time practical clinical experiences. Graduates are prepared to take the Physical Therapist Assistant National Physical Therapy Examination for State certification / licensure and to demonstrate values-based behavior while effectively and efficiently assisting physical therapists serving the diverse population of Montgomery County and surrounding communities. PTAs work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist and are employed in such settings as hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, rehabilitation centers, school systems, sports medicine facilities, and private practices.
The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program is composed of two related but distinct phases. The Pre-Technical Phase consists of thirty-nine (39) college credit courses followed by a Technical Phase which must be completed over the course of twelve (12) months. Admittance into the Pre-Technical Phase of the program requires only that a student be admitted to the College in the pre-PTA major, at which point an advisor is assigned to assist with course selection. Acceptance into the Technical Phase is competitive and based in part upon proven academic success in the program’s Pre-Technical Phase, an essay, and three letters of reference from three Pre-Technical college faculty or two from Pre-Technical college faculty and one from a physical therapist).
The concept of the Pre-Technical Phase and Technical Phase PTA program design is to offer students the opportunity to complete, at their own pace, the general education / foundational Pre-Technical Phase of the curriculum and then progress to the highly specialized, Technical / Clinical Phase. Completion of Pre-Technical coursework does not guarantee acceptance into Technical Phase of the PTA program.
Important message on the candidacy for accreditation
Admission to the Technical Phase component of the PTA program is very competitive and completion of minimum requirements does not guarantee admittance. After submitting the College application, applicants are advised to take the PTA program’s Pre-Technical courses listed under Semester I and Semester II of the Program of Study prior to submitting the online Petition for Admission. The online Petition for Admission demonstrates the applicant’s attainment of the PTA Special Admission Requirements and successful completion of at least BIO 131, HCP 224, BIO 132, MAT 106, PHY 115, ENG 101, ESW 222 and ESW 224. The Pre-Technical courses BIO 131, BIO 132, PHY 115, ESW 222 and ESW 224 must be completed over a period within five years before enrollment into the Technical Phase courses. If accepted into the program’s Technical Phase, the Pre-Technical courses listed under Semester III of the Program of Study (Core Goal #7 Elective, SPC 120, HCP/PHI 120 and PSY 206) must be successfully completed prior to Technical Phase course work. Admission to the program’s Technical Phase is based on a point system and ranking procedure. Points are awarded based on place of permanent residence, number of Pre-Technical Phase courses completed, courses completed at Montgomery County Community College, course grades, date of application, essay submitted and three letters of recommendation from Pre-Technical college faculty or two from Pre-Technical college faculty and one from a physical therapist.
A Total Point Score is derived for each applicant and used in ranking applicants who submit a completed online Petition for Admission during the established timeframe.
Progression in Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Candidates for the A.A.S. Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant may progress within the program’s Technical Phase and be recommended to the PA State Board of Physical Therapy for certification and eligibility to take the NPTE if the following requirements have been met:
- Minimum grade of “C” in all General Education / Foundational Pre-Technical Phase courses and in all PTA Technical Phase courses.
- Complete each phase of the PTA curriculum as identified under the Program of Study.
- Complete all courses within two years once admitted and enrolled in the program’s Technical Phase.
Note: A student who withdraws from the program’s Technical Phase and seeks readmission at a later date is eligible for readmission based upon space availability as well as meeting minimal specified requirements in effect when readmitted.
Licensure / Certification Considerations
The PA State Board of Physical Therapy may refuse, suspend or revoke the Physical Therapist Assistant certification of a person who has:
- Attempted to obtain or obtained registration by fraud or misrepresentation.
Been convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor which relates to the person’s suitability for registration as a Physical Therapist Assistant in a Federal, state, territorial or foreign court of competent jurisdiction.
- Convection as used in this paragraph includes a finding, or verdict of guilt, an admission of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere.
- Become addicted to alcohol or hallucinogenic, narcotic or other drugs which tend to impair judgment or coordination.
For a complete list of reasons that the PA State Board of Physical Therapy may refuse, suspend or revoke the Physical Therapist Assistant certification of a person, refer to the Pennsylvania Code, Chapter 40. State Board of Physical Therapy, Sub Chapter
C. Physical Therapist Assistants §40.181. Refusal, suspension or revocation of certification. All questions related to licensure / certification are to be directed to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State Board of Physical Therapy, and P.O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649.
Special Admission Requirements
Students who wish to be considered for admission to the Technical / Clinical Phase of the PTA program must present credentials in accordance with the following requirements:
- Submit a completed College application indicating Physical Therapist Assistant as the intended major (PTA.GS).
- Submit high school transcript or GED score. Applicants must have completed work equal to a standard high school course with a minimum of 16 units including:
- 2 units of mathematics (1 of which is algebra).
- 2 units of science (1 unit of biology and 1 unit of chemistry with a minimum grade of “C”) with related laboratory or equivalent. Applicants without high school biology and / or chemistry can satisfy this requirement by completing BIO 121 and/or CHE 121 with a grade of “C” or better.
- In addition, one of the following credentials must be submitted.
- ACT score composite of 18 or above, or
- SAT score of a minimum of 1,000 total, or
- Submit college transcript including 27 semester hours consisting of three 4 credit laboratory science courses and five 3 credit courses selected from the PTA Pre-Technical Phase curriculum. Grades for the eight courses must each be a “C” or better and result in a GPA of at least 2.5.
- All applicants must take College placement tests in English, Mathematics, and Reading and must place above the developmental level prior to enrolling in PTA courses.
- Submit official college transcript(s), for credit evaluation, if applicable.
- Submit an Online Petition for Admission to PTA program’s Technical Phase in January 2018 to be considered for the PTA Charter Class starting Summer 2018.
- College transcript including Pre-Technical Phase courses listed under the PTA program of study completed at the time of Petitioning for Admission to the Technical Phase of the PTA Program.
Note: Enrollment into the Technical Phase of the PTA program is conditioned on successful completion of all the Pre-Technical Phase courses prior to the start of the Technical Phase II courses. Due to class size limitations, the College does not guarantee acceptance into or continuous enrollment between the Pre-Technical Phase and Technical Phase courses
Upon acceptance into the program’s Technical Phase the student is required to:
- Attend the mandatory PTA Program Orientation.
- Demonstrate proof of computer literacy. Successful completion of one of the following will fulfill this requirement: demonstrate computer proficiency obtained through life experiences, demonstrate computer skills obtained at another academic institution including high school or acquired through on the job training, or complete a computer science course such as CIS 100.
- Purchase all required PTA textbooks, manuals and lab equipment kit.
- Adhere to the PTA Program Dress Code, which requires purchasing PTA uniforms. Note: no ear gauges, piercings other than a single post in the ear lobes, or visible tattoos are permitted while in uniform. If a clinical site has a dress code more restrictive than that of the PTA Program, students will adhere to the more restrictive code.
- Purchase student liability insurance annually.
- Submit application for Child Abuse History Clearance, FBI Clearance, and a PA Criminal Record Check. Note: a Child Abuse History will and a Criminal Record and/or FBI Record may exclude the student from participating in the Program.
- Assume all responsibility for transportation to and from all facilities used for educational experiences, including clinical agencies assigned.
- Maintain current CPR certification until the completion of clinical PTA courses by passing American Heart Association CPR for the Healthcare Provider. A copy of each student’s CPR certification will be kept on file by the program.
- Submit documentation of an Annual Influenza Vaccination.
- Have a comprehensive physical examination, which includes documentation of selected vaccinations and a urine drug screen within three months prior to entering the Physical Therapist Assistant Program clinical component.
Essential Functions and Program Specifications
Students are to familiarize themselves with these essential functions and their associated technical standards and determine whether or not they are able to perform the specified tasks.
The essential functions are:
- Affective/behavioral skills
- Cognitive skills
- Communication skills
- Observation skills
- Physical and emotional health
- Psychomotor skills
For a full description of the essential functions and program specifications, please review the detailed document, available as a printable PDF.
Upon successful completion of the Physical Therapist Assistant program, the graduates will be able to:
- Demonstrate proficient entry-level knowledge and skills in safely, effectively and efficiently implementing a physical therapist established comprehensive plan of care.
- Adhere to the legal, ethical and professional regulations and standards that determine the scope of practice of physical therapy and perform physical therapy duties within the PTA scope of practice.
- Communicate effectively with sensitivity and awareness of individual differences with patients, families, colleagues, and other healthcare providers.
- Exhibit observable behaviors that indicate a commitment to PTA values-based behaviors.
Sequence of Courses
Courses in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program Pre- Technical Phase and Technical Phase are listed in sequential order. All Pre-Technical courses must be completed before enrollment into the Technical Phase courses. The Pre-Technical courses BIO 131, BIO 132, PHY 115, ESW 222 and ESW 224 must be completed within five years before enrollment into the Technical Phase courses. The PTA Technical Phase is a twelve month, continuous phase consisting of three sequential semesters. Students are admitted to the Technical Phase Physical Therapist Assistant Program for the summer each year.
Program of Study
First Semester (Summer) 2017 or Before
|BIO 131||Human Anatomy & Physiology I (1st 6 weeks)||4|
|HCP 224||Medical Terminology (1st 6 weeks)||3|
|BIO 132||Human Anatomy & Physiology II (2nd 6 weeks)||4|
|MAT 106||Math Applications (2nd 6 weeks)||3|
(14 Credit Hours)
Second Semester (Fall) 2017 or Before
|PHY 115||Technical Physics||4|
|ENG 101||English Composition I||3|
|ESW 222||Applied Kinesiology (offered Fall only)||3|
|ESW 224||Exercise Physiology (offered Fall only)||3|
(13 Credit Hours)
Petition for Admission to the Charter Class expected to be open the month of January 2018.
Third Semester (Spring) 2018 or Before
|Elective||Core Goal #7: Aesthetic Sensibility and the Arts *||3|
|SPC 120||Public Speaking||3|
|HCP/PHI 120||Ethical Issues Affecting Consumers and the Health Care Professions||3|
|PSY 206||Human Development – A Life-Span Approach||3|
(12 Credit Hours)
(Petition for Admission and Program acceptance required)
Fourth Semester (Summer) 2018 Charter Class Accepted
|PTA 100||Fundamentals of Physical Therapist Assisting and Data Collection (1st 7 weeks)||3|
|PTA 110||Therapeutic Modalities in Physical Therapy (1st 7 weeks)||3|
|PTA 200||Pathology & Rehabilitation of Orthopedic Conditions Across the Lifespan and Continuum of Care (2nd 7 weeks)||5|
|PTA 201||Physical Therapist Assistant Roles, Relationships and Responsibilities Seminar I (2nd 7 weeks)||2|
(13 Credit Hours)
Fifth Semester (Fall) 2018 Charter Class Accepted
|PTA 221||Clinical Education I (1st 7 weeks)||2|
|PTA 202||Physical Therapist Assistant Roles, Relationships and Responsibilities Seminar II (1st 7 weeks)||1|
|PTA 210||Pathology & Rehabilitation of Neurological Conditions Across the Lifespan and Continuum of Care (2nd 7 weeks)||5|
|PTA 220||Pathology & Rehabilitation of Special Populations & Conditions Across the Lifespan and Continuum of Care (2nd 7 weeks)||4|
(12 Credit Hours)
Sixth Semester (Spring) 2019 Charter Class Accepted
|PTA 222||Clinical Education I (1st 7 weeks)||2|
|PTA 203||Physical Therapist Assistant Roles, Relationships and Responsibilities Seminar III (1st 7 weeks)||1|
|PTA 223||Clinical Education III (2nd 7 weeks)||2|
|PTA 204||Physical Therapist Assistant Roles, Relationships and Responsibilities Seminar IV (2nd 7 weeks)||1|
(6 Credit Hours)
TOTAL SEMESTER HOURS CREDIT: 70
* Recommend DAN 102 Fundamentals of Modern Dance l