Working a physical therapist assistant gives you the opportunity to help patients regain strength and confidence after injury or illness. Our program combines classroom knowledge with hands-on training, giving you the chance to participate in four clinical education experiences to ensure readiness for any professional situation. Our program also prepares you for the PTA licensure examination, which is required to practice in most states.
This Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assisting (PTA) program is a 1+1 curriculum design. One year of prerequisites must be completed prior to applying for this competitive entry program. Once in the technical phase of the PTA program, it can be completed in one year plus one 5 week summer session.
This program will prepare students to sit for the national PTA licensure examination, which is required to practice in most states. In addition, this program prepares students to work in a variety of physical therapy settings including but not limited to: acute care, outpatient, orthopedics, skilled nursing, rehabilitation center, and nursing home.
The PTA program at Blue Ridge CTC is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. Telephone: (703) 706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: http://www.capteonline.org
The Physical Therapist Assisting (PTA) program is a 1 + 1 program. One year of prerequisites must be completed prior to starting the Fall semester of the technical phase. Because students apply on March 1st each year, students may be enrolled in prerequisites during the Spring semester and still apply. The midterm grades for those spring semester courses will be used to determine acceptance. Acceptance would be contingent upon the successful completion of those spring courses. If prerequisites are still left over to compete during any summer term, those students will NOT be considered for acceptance until the following year. In ALL prerequisite coursework, each student must earn a C or better. Once in the technical phase of this PTA program, it will last one year plus one 5 week summer session. Once in the program, each student must maintain at least a 75% test average in order to keep their spot in the program. Admission to the PTA program is competitive, and twenty students will be admitted to the PTA program each Fall.
A numerical score sheet is used to select 20 students for each class. Points are assigned for placement test scores, grades in all prerequisite courses, volunteer experience, and the brief narrative written on the application. For students who use EDGE credits for any of the prerequisite courses, a grade of "B" will be assigned. Students who have previously earned an associate's or a bachelor's degree qualify for additional points. Degrees earned at the end of the spring semester of which the student has applied to the technical phase, WILL still allow the student to earn the extra points for the degree. Acceptance would be contingent upon the student actually earning the degree. Students who perform more than 50 hours beyond the minimum requirement (a total of 70 hours) for volunteer hours may also receive additional points. Placement tests (ACT, SAT, Accuplacer) are utilized on the score sheet for acceptance. The reading and math sections will be the only scores used. The total score for the PTA score sheet for acceptance is composed of: 30% letter grades in prerequisite courses, 38% placement test scores, 8% volunteer hours, 8% written essay on application, and 16% past degrees obtained. The students with the highest scores are chosen.
To be considered for admission, applicants must have grades of C or better in all prerequisites. Applicants are also required to complete a minimum of 20 volunteer/observation hours divided between at least 2 distinctly different physical therapy practice settings. The completed application packet must be submitted to the program coordinator by March 1st for the next entering class. Late applications are accepted only if space allows.
This program will prepare students to sit for the national PTA licensure examination, which is required to practice in most states. This program will also prepare the PTA students to work in a variety of physical therapy settings including; acute care, outpatient orthopedics, skilled nursing, rehabilitation center, and nursing home.
The students will have a total of 4 clinical education experiences. Each of these experiences will occur in a different setting so that the PTA student will be well rounded and prepared to work in any setting after graduation. The students will be evaluated by their clinical instructors while in the clinic or hospital.
During the first two years of this program's existence, it was considered an expansion program of Pierpont Community and Technical College. The following information refers to our enrollment, graduation and licensure statistics of those two classes. During 2010-2011, 14 qualified applicants applied, with an 85% graduation rate, and a 91% exam pass rate. 91% (10 of the 11 students) are now working as PTAs. During 2011-2012, 17 qualified applicants applied, with an 82% graduation rate. That class now has a 71.4% exam pass rate. That same class also has a 71.4% employment rate. The four students who have not yet passed the examination are not working as PTAs.
The first class that has been considered a part of BRCTC, is 2012-2013 class. 20 students were accepted out of the 27 that applied, giving us a 74% admission rate. That Class had a 95% graduation rate, and, so far, they have a 78% exam pass rate. Employment statistics are not available for that class yet. The 2013-2014 class had 49 applicants. 20 of those were accepted, for an admission rate of 43%. Graduation rate, exam pass rate statistics and employment statistics are not available for that class yet.
Dr. Chrystal McDonald is the program coordinator. You can reach her at 304-260-4380, ext 3408 with any questions or complaints about the PTA program. Michele Sheely is the clinical coordinator, and she can be reached at 304-260-4380, ext 3313.
Observation form for current students
As a physical therapist assistant, you'll work alongside a physical therapist, helping patients recovering from injuries and other health conditions regain their ability to move and thrive.