Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)

The associate in applied science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is designed to provide general education and physical therapy courses. Physical Therapist Assistant courses are designed to apply learning acquired in the general education courses and to provide knowledge and skills that fulfill the objectives of the PTA program.

The program is designed to be completed in five terms. Coursework is progressive, requiring a grade of C or higher in each PTA and required general education course. The College requires a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in all coursework to graduate from any program.

Clinical experiences are a critical part of the PTA curriculum and as such are integrated into the didactic portion of the program. Clinical experiences are provided in a variety of settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, private offices, rehabilitation agencies, and schools. Faculty members consider each student’s educational needs as well as personal factors in making clinical assignments.

On successful completion of the program, students are awarded an associate in applied science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant and are eligible to apply for the national licensing examination, which must be passed before being eligible to practice. The licensing process in some states may also include a specific test on jurisprudence issues for that state.

PTA students are required to comply with legal, moral, and legislative standards in accordance with the Alabama State Board of Physical Therapy Administrative Code, which states the following:

(1) "Unbecoming Conduct" is defined as incompetent, illegal, unethical, unprofessional, or dishonorable conduct which violates those standards which have become accepted as obligations reasonable necessary for the protection of the public interest and for professional accountability. (2) Certain Conduct Specifically Prohibited. While the statements of conduct apply universally, the application or interpretations are usually based on specific individual circumstances. The determination as to what constitutes unbecoming conduct shall be solely within the judgment of the Board of Physical Therapy. 

It is important for PTA students to be knowledgeable of all Alabama Board of Physical Therapy regulations regarding the review of candidates for eligibility both for initial and continuing licensure. Questions on the application for licensure address these rules. Application to take the examination may be denied on the basis of this review. Although these policies refer specifically to Alabama, other states have similar stipulations regarding licensure.

Students must comply with the Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook section of this catalog and the PTA Student Handbook. Failure to comply with any of the stipulations above while enrolled in the PTA program will constitute grounds for dismissal from the program.

ACCREDITATION

The PTA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education. (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, VA, 22305, (800) 999-2782, accreditation@apta.org, www.capteonline.org. Accreditation was initially granted in May of 1997. Current accreditation extends through December 2024.

ASSOCIATE IN APPLIED SCIENCE DEGREE

A student who completes all courses in the curriculum will be awarded an associate in applied science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant.

ADMISSION

Program requirements for health programs offered within the Alabama Community College System may be reviewed and revised between publication deadlines for this and future College Catalog and Student Handbook document. Admission requirements below were in effect at the time this document was published and may or may not be current. Prospective students should contact the program office to obtain requirement updates.

Students are admitted to the PTA program without discrimination regarding race, sexual orientation, age, creed, gender, marital status, religion, national origin, or disability. Applicants must meet College and program requirements for admission. Admission packets for the program are available in March of each year and may be accessed online through the program’s web page. Applicants will be ranked for admission based on grades earned in academic courses required for the program and scores earned on the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills, (ATI TEAS). The applicant will incur the cost of the ATI TEAS. Scores received on the ATI TEAS are good for three years from the testing date. Additional points are awarded for previously earned Associates or higher degrees from regionally accredited institutions. Wallace Community College complies with The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Students who have a disability and require accommodation in taking the ATI TEAS examination should contact Disability Support Services on the Wallace Campus in Dothan. If accommodation is not requested in advance, on-site availability cannot be guaranteed.

To be eligible for acceptance into the PTA program, applicants must be eligible for enrollment in or have already completed BIO 201. Applicants enrolled in courses prerequisite to the above may receive conditional acceptance. Failure to complete prerequisite courses will result in withdrawal of acceptance. All general education courses must be taken in the order outlined by the program or be completed prior to admission.

Applicants must submit a complete application packet by the established deadline in order to be considered for admission to the program. Further information regarding admission is provided in the Physical Therapist Assistant program admission packet.

After conditional admission into the program, students must submit evidence of a physical examination that includes required immunizations and tests and documents their ability to perform all essential functions identified for this program. A copy of the essential functions is available from the PTA program office and published on the College website, www.wallace.edu. Reasonable accommodations will be considered. Students must meet ALL deadlines for the admission process; otherwise, applications will not be considered.

Contractual agreements between the College and clinical agencies impose additional requirements on students enrolled in health programs. These requirements may include, but are not limited to, the areas of attire, confidentiality, criminal background check, liability insurance, and substance abuse screening. Health insurance coverage is strongly recommended as the expense for treatment of injury suffered during training is the responsibility of the student. Any student denied clinical privileges or having clinical privileges revoked by a healthcare facility due to positive background findings or clinical misconduct is not eligible for program admission or readmission.

PROGRESSION

Students are allowed to progress in the PTA program only if they satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Maintain a C or higher in all general education, orientation, and field of concentration courses in the PTA degree curriculum.
     
  2. Comply with clinical affiliates and PTA program regulations, policies, and procedures.

  3. Achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in all coursework prior to graduation.

READMISSION

If, for any reason, program progression is interrupted during a student’s first semester of study, the student must reapply for admission to the program during the next application period.  The student is not guaranteed acceptance into the program a second time.

If program progression is interrupted during any semester other than the first, the student can request readmission the following year for the point in the program in which the interruption occurred.  Written notification of the intent to return to the program must be received by the Program Director between the first day and midterm of the semester prior to that which the student wishes to reenter.  (i.e. If the student failed to progress during Spring Semester 2022 and wants to re-enter the Program in Spring Semester 2023, the notice must be received between the first day and midterm of Fall Semester 2022). Admission will be determined by the PTA Faculty based on availability of space in the next class and priority. Priority will be determined by cumulative GPA for completed PTA courses.

Students who wish to re-enter the Program will be required to enroll in PTA 293, Directed Study for PTA, during their first semester of returning to the Program.  This course is designed to increase students’ opportunities for successful completion of the curriculum.  Course content will be determined by Program faculty based upon the point in the Program that the interruption in program progression occurred. If program progression is interrupted for more than one year or, if a student fails to meet Program progression guidelines a second time, the student will be required to reapply for admission as a new student to the program during the next application period. The student is not guaranteed acceptance into the program a second time. If accepted as a new student, the student must take or retake all PTA program courses.

A student who has been unsuccessful in the PTA Program two times, due to grade deficiencies or withdrawal, will be ineligible for re-enrollment unless the Program Director determines there were extenuating circumstances impacting the reason(s) for unsuccessful completion.

AUDIT

Effective September 12, 2012 there shall be no auditing allowed for any Health Science classes.

TRANSFER STUDENTS

Transfer students previously enrolled in other PTA programs are evaluated on an individual basis by the PTA faculty and the Office of Admissions and Records to determine appropriate placement. Validation examinations may be required. Transfer students must apply no later than mid-term prior to the term in which they expect to enroll. Acceptance may be limited by availability of openings.

All PTA courses apply only to requirements of the AAS degree in Physical Therapist Assistant, not AA or AS degrees.

GRADING SCALE

PTA-prefix courses will be evaluated using the following grading
scale:

A 90-100

B 80-89

C 75-79

D 60-74

F 59 and below

DEGREE CURRICULUM

NOTE:  Before completing this program, students must prove competency in computer applications. Students who fail to demonstrate adequate competency in Computer Science by passing a computer competency exam must successfully complete CIS 146 with a grade of C or higher.

NOTE:  Certification in Basic Cardiopulmonary Life Support (BCLS) at the health care provider level is required prior to the fourth week of semester one. This may be obtained at the College by enrollment in EMS 100 or at any other approved agency or facility. A copy of successful completion must be presented, and certification must remain current during the entire program of study. On-line certification without hands-on skills sessions is not acceptable. 

Tuberculin skin test requirements must be updated annually.

This curriculum will be as follows:

Area I: Written Composition

Item #
Title
Credits
Sub-Total Credits
3

Area II: Humanities and Fine Arts

Item #
Title
Credits
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective  +
3
Sub-Total Credits
6

Area III: Natural Sciences and Mathematics

*Prerequisite for BIO 201 and BIO 202: BIO 103 with a grade of C or higher, or satisfactory placement on the Alabama Community College System Biology Placement Exam. 

Item #
Title
Credits
Sub-Total Credits
11

Area IV: History, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Item #
Title
Credits
Sub-Total Credits
6
Total credits:
74

Course Sequencing

Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science Degree Suggested Course Sequence—Year One FIRST SEMESTER

*ORI 101 or ORI 105 or transfer credit for an orientation to college course is required for all students. 

*EMS 100 OR current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the health care provider level. Online certification without hands-on skills session is not acceptable. 

*Prerequisite for BIO 201 and BIO 202: BIO 103 with a grade of C or higher, or satisfactory placement on the Alabama Community College System Biology Placement Exam. 

Item #
Title
Credits
Sub-Total Credits
20-22

Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science Degree Suggested Course Sequence—Year One SECOND SEMESTER

Item #
Title
Credits
Sub-Total Credits
16

Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science Degree Suggested Course Sequence—Year One THIRD SEMESTER

*CIS 146 OR competency in Computer Science by passing a computer competency exam. Students who fail to demonstrate competency must successfully complete CIS 146 with a grade of C or higher. 

Item #
Title
Credits
Sub-Total Credits
12

Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science Degree Suggested Course Sequence—Year Two FIRST SEMESTER

Item #
Title
Credits
Sub-Total Credits
13

Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science Degree Suggested Course Sequence—Year Two SECOND SEMESTER

Item #
Title
Credits
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective  +
3
Sub-Total Credits
14

Overview

Program

Type

Associate in Applied Science

Location

Wallace Campus