Physical Therapist Assistant (9365)

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapist services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs implement components of patient care, obtain data related to the treatments provided, and collaborate with the physical therapist. PTAs assist the physical therapist in the treatment of individuals of all ages, from newborns to people at the end of life. Many patients have injuries, disabilities, or other health conditions that need treatment; however, PTAs also care for people who simply want to become healthier and to prevent future problems.

PTAs work in a variety of settings which include hospitals, nursing homes, school systems, outpatient centers, private practices of physical therapists, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities.

Lakeland's Physical Therapist Assistant degree program prepares students to be competent entry-level PTAs.  Upon satisfactory completion of the program requirements, graduates are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Licensure Examination (NPTE) for PTAs, which is necessary for state licensure.  Students convicted of any felony or misdemeanor may be prohibited from applying for the NPTE.

Students must be admitted to the Physical Therapist Assistant program to enroll in PTAS courses.  The Physical Therapist Assistant program consists of five semesters, the first of which consists of prerequisites which students must complete before being admitted into the program.  Other general education courses may be taken prior to admission to the program.

All students enrolled in a nursing or allied health program/certificate must complete a criminal background check.  In accordance with clinical site requirements, students with a criminal record may be ineligible to participate in a clinical education experience course.  Delays, for any reason, in obtaining background results may cause an interruption in the clinical rotation sequence or inability to complete program requirements.  Additional background screening may be required by individual facilities.

Drug testing may be requested in accordance with clinical affiliation requirements and/or for patient/ student health and safety.

A minimum GPA of 2.0 and a "C" grade or higher is required in all physical therapist assistant and general education courses as listed in the curriculum guide for the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Physical Therapist Assisting. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades may not be used to fulfill health program requirements.

PTA PROGRAM ACCREDITATION STATEMENT

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone; 703.706.3245; accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states. Lakeland Community College is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist assistant education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on June 1, 2021.  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 technical 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 accreditation.

Admission Procedures

Students must meet specific admission requirements for this program. Listed below are requirements for admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant program:

Option 1: High School Option

This option is for current high school seniors or high school graduates who apply to the program within two years of high school graduation.

  • Complete college application(s).
  • Composite score of 21 or higher on the American College Test (ACT) or combined score of 940 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
  • Place into MATH 1330 Statistics for the Health Sciences or higher or pass MATH 0850 Beginning Algebra
  • Complete high school algebra, chemistry, and biology with a "C" grade or higher.
  • An overall high school GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent.
  • Meet with a counselor to review program prerequisites and requirements.
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours of observation in a physical therapy department under the supervision of a licensed PT or PTA. The hours must be in a minimum of two different physical therapy settings, ten hours at each site. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact a physical therapy department to arrange for this observation. It is advisable to begin your observation experiences as soon as possible to ensure this career path is the most appropriate for you.

Upon successful completion of the above criteria, the applicant will be admitted into the program. Students must complete HLTH 1215 Medical Terminology for Health Professions and BIOL 2210 Anatomy and Physiology I with a "C" grade or higher prior to enrolling in their first physical therapist assisting course, as well as completeENGL 1110 English Composition I (A), FYEX 1000 First Year Experience, PSYC 1500 Introduction to Psychology, and HLTH 1500 Ethics and Legal Issues for Health Professionals in order to qualify for admission into the PTA program.

Option 2: College Option

This option is for students who do not qualify for admission under Option 1.

  • Complete college application(s).
  • Submit high school transcript as well as any college transcript(s).
  • Successful passing score on the required program pre-admission test.
  • Meet with a counselor to review program prerequisites and requirements.
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours of observation in a physical therapy department under the supervision of a licensed PT or PTA. The hours must be in a minimum of two different physical therapy settings, ten hours at each site. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact a physical therapy department to arrange for this observation. It is advisable to begin your observation experiences as soon as possible to ensure this career path is the most appropriate for you.
  • The following courses, or equivalent courses from other regionally accredited colleges, must be completed with a “C” grade or higher and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher:

NOTE:  Students must meet one of these requirements to take BIOL 2210 Anatomy and Physiology I with a "C" or higher:

  1. High school biology within last five years and high school chemistry.
  2. High school biology within last five years and CHEM 1100 Elementary Chemistry
  3. BIOL 1200 Fundamentals of Biology for the Health Technologies

Students are required to take the Math Placement Test and be placed into MATH 1330 Statistics for the Health Sciences or higher or complete MATH 0850 Beginning Algebra with a "C" grade or higher.

Students must also complete the following courses with at least a 2.0 overall GPA in order to qualify for admission into the PTA program:

  1. ENGL 1110 English Composition I (A) or ENGL 1111 English Composition I (B)
  2. FYEX 1000 First Year Experience 
  3. PSYC 1500 Introduction to Psychology
  4. HLTH 1500 Ethics and Legal Issues for Health Professionals 

Option 3: Advanced Education Option

Students pursuing this option must have an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing or Allied Health, Bachelor of Science Degree in a natural science, or an Associate of Science Degree to be waived from the preadmission testing. All other Option 2 requirements apply.

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
BIOL 2210 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
ENGL 1110
English Composition I (A) 1
or English Composition I (B)
3
FYEX 1000 First Year Experience 1
HLTH 1215 Medical Terminology for Health Professions 3
HLTH 1500 Ethics and Legal Issues for Health Professionals 2
PSYC 1500 Introduction to Psychology 3
 Credit Hours16
Second Semester
BIOL 2220 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
MATH 1330 Statistics for the Health Sciences 2 3
PTAS 1200 Introduction to Physical Therapist Assisting 2
PTAS 1210 Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology for the PTA 4
PTAS 1220 PTA Interventions I 4
 Credit Hours17
Third Semester
HLTH 2100 Pathophysiology 3
PTAS 1300 PTA Interventions II 4
 Credit Hours7
Fourth Semester
HLTH 1600 Basic Pharmacology 2
PSYC 2700 Abnormal Psychology 3
PTAS 2110 PTA Interventions III 3
PTAS 2120 Pediatric and Geriatric Physical Therapy 3
PTAS 2130 Rehabilitation 3
2nd 8 weeks  
PTAS 2140 Clinical Education I 2
 Credit Hours16
Fifth Semester
PTAS 2200 PTA Seminar 2
PTAS 2210 Clinical Education II 2
PTAS 2220 Clinical Education III 3
 Credit Hours7
 Total Credit Hours63
1

English course selection is based on placement test results (ENGL 1111 English Composition I (B) is 4 credits, only 3 credits apply to the degree).

2

Students planning to transfer to a four-year college should take a sequence of math as advised by their counselor.

Technical course
This course is designated as a technical course in the program. Students must earn a "C" grade or higher in the course to fulfill the college's graduation requirements policy.