Effective Fall 2022

The Physical Therapist Assistant program is intended to prepare students to provide physical therapy interventions under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.  Students will be prepared to perform select therapeutic interventions, assess patient response, document responses to interventions and make recommendations for modifications to ensure patient/client safety.  Students learn to provide care to people who have had strokes, spinal cord injuries, head injuries, orthopedic and sports injuries amongst others.  They are prepared to communicate with the supervising physical therapist, interact with patients, families and caregivers, and work collaboratively with other health care providers.  Students provide care in keeping with the ethical standards of the profession, to individuals of all ages with recognition of individual, cultural and economic differences.  Health and wellness promotion as a component of injury and disease prevention is incorporated.  Students participate in a student-led Physical Therapy Assistant organization for completion of a service project.  Because of the advancements in medicine and in the physical therapy profession, students are taught to appreciate the need for life-long learning for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of the profession.

Career Opportunities

Employment settings for physical therapist assistants are varied and include acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation hospitals, and outpatient orthopedic settings primarily.  Job opportunities are present in urban and suburban settings; however, they are projected to be most favorable in rural settings like north central Pennsylvania and southern New York in coming years.

Special Admissions Requirements

Anyone desiring entrance into this major must first gain admission to Penn College. Acceptance into this selective admission major is based upon additional requirements beyond College admission. Details are available on the Selective Admission Criteria and Process webpage.

Special Equipment Needs

Students will be required to purchase a PTA tool kit and designated Penn College polo shirts at the College Store. Refer to the Tools, Uniforms and Supplies sheet for a complete list of expenses. 

Laptop Computer Required  

  • Windows 10 or higher, macOS 11 or higher (recommended). 
  • Intel Core i5 or i7 (generation 10 or higher) processor (recommended). 
  • 8+ GB RAM (recommended).  
  • 250+ GB Solid State Disk (SSD) drive (recommended). 
  • Laptop must include a webcam and microphone (required). 
  • Laptop must include a wireless network card (required). 
  • Broadband Internet connection when working off campus (required). 
  • Additional plug-ins may be required (Information Technology Services Service Desk available for assistance). 
  • Chromebooks and other devices running ChromeOS are prohibited

Remediation Strategies

All incoming students must meet placement requirements in math. Students are expected to remediate any deficiencies as explained in the College Catalog (see https://www.pct.edu/catalog/admissions-policy).

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:
  • demonstrate the knowledge, skill, and professional behaviors needed to provide entry-level care to patients in an ethical, legal, and safe manner.
  • work collaboratively and effectively under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist to provide care for patients across the lifespan.
  • select and provide effective physical therapy interventions and data collection measures within the established plan of care.
  • demonstrate effective oral, written, and nonverbal communication in a culturally competent manner with a diverse population of patients, family, caregivers, and other healthcare professionals.
  • demonstrate a commitment to professional growth and lifelong learning to promote contemporary evidence-based practice.

Performance Standards

Students enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant major must earn at least a “C” (2.0) in an applicable math course (MTH123 or higher), ENL111, MTR100, BIO115, PSY111, and all PTA courses.

The following grading system is applied to all PTA courses (there is no rounding of grades):
A = 90-100
B = 80-89.99
C = 75-79.99
F = 74.99 and below

Curriculum

First SemesterCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
FYE101First Year Experience 1.50 1.50 SREQ
BIO115Human Anatomy & Physiology I 43 3 SREQ
ENL111English Composition I 33 SREQ
MTR100Medical Terminology Survey 11 SREQ
MNAMath Elective (MTH123 or Higher) 3 SMNA
PSY111General Psychology 33 SREQ
TOTAL CREDITS 15
Second SemesterCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
BIO125Human Anatomy & Physiology II 43 3 SREQ
FITFitness & Wellness Elective 1 SFIT
PTA100Introduction to Physical Therapy 33 MREQ
PTA121Clinical Kinesiology 42 6 MREQ
PTA130PT Procedures I 42 6 MREQ
TOTAL CREDITS 16
Summer SessionCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
PTA210Pathology for the PTA 22 MREQ
SPC201Interpersonal Communication 33 SREQ
CSC124Information, Technology & Society 33 SREQ
TOTAL CREDITS 8
Third SemesterCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
PTA215Level 1 Clinical Experience 2 MREQ
PTA220Therapeutic Exercise 32 3 MREQ
PTA230Clinical Neurology 43 3 MREQ
PTA226Physical Agents 32 3 MREQ
TOTAL CREDITS 12
Fourth SemesterCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
PTA250PT Procedures II 32 3 MREQ
PTA260Rehabilitation 32 3 MREQ
PTA265Orthopedics & Sports in PT 32 3 MREQ
PTA240Ethics & Law for the PTA 22 MREQ
PTA245PTA Professional Seminar 11 MREQ
TOTAL CREDITS 12
Summer SessionCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
PTA270Level 2A Clinical Experience 3 MREQ
PTA275Level 2B Clinical Experience 3 MREQ
TOTAL CREDITS 6

Notice of Conviction

Child abuse clearance and criminal background checks are required by agencies involved in clinical education experiences.  Agencies can bar students from their sites if a criminal record exists or a positive drug test is noted.  By virtue of contract for Penn College students to be at clinical sites, drug testing is required for admission and students will be subject to random drug testing while in the Physical Therapy Assistant Program.  The Pennsylvania State Board of Education and Licensure and APTA advise that a drug-related conviction and/or conviction of a felonious act may result in denial and/or revocation of a license to practice physical therapy.  Inability to gain clinical education experiences results in inability to meet program objectives and outcomes, and will have a negative impact on a student's ability to progress through the curriculum.  For additional clarification, students should speak with their program director.

Penn College complies with the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. Pursuant to this Act, all forms of marijuana, including medical marijuana, are classified as prohibited controlled substances. Additionally, alcohol, illegal drugs, and legal drugs obtained without a prescription or which may impair a student’s ability to perform his/her educational responsibilities are strictly prohibited. Students are subject to drug screening at various phases of the program. Please note that a positive drug screening for marijuana will be deemed a positive test and will result in a student being dismissed from the program, even if the student has been lawfully certified to use medical marijuana and/or possesses a valid medical marijuana identification card issued in accordance with applicable state law.

Accreditation

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Pennsylvania College of Technology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 570-320-4439 or email pta@pct.edu.