FAQ - General
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Physical Therapist Assistant - PTE Program
No one is too old! However, Physical Therapy Assistant work is a physically demanding profession that requires stamina. You will be required to stand for long periods of time, sometimes without a break, you must be able to move quickly and lift objects. You must also have good eye sight (corrective lenses are fine), and good hearing.
There is a requirement for observation of physical therapy or work experience in and/or around physical therapy. Students who have never been exposed to physical therapy patient care must arrange for 16 hours of observation in a physical therapy care setting. The consortium colleges do not arrange this; it is the responsibility of the student. Students who have worked as a physical therapy aide, CNA, etc., or have been a physical therapy patient may have this requirement reduced or waived. Proof of observation or work hours is required.
Turning in your application in before the deadline does not account for extra points.
Students have found it difficult to hold a full-time (32-40 hour/wk) position and attend the program. For maximum performance in the program, we suggest no more than 15-20 hours per week.
Students will be granted a degree from the institution to which they have applied and received admission. For example, students applying to CSI will receive an AAS degree from CSI. This allows each student to pay local tuition and fees.
Note: The following courses may be taken prior to acceptance into the program or may be integrated while taking the PTA courses. Please see your advisor for help in planning your educational path:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology II (with lab)
- Communication (COMM 101)
- Psychology 101, or 205, or 211
If you transfer credit from an institution that operates on a quarter credit system, your credit hours will be converted to semester credits. For example, a three-credit course on the quarter system will transfer as two credits to a semester system. If a course has been evaluated as equivalent, you will not need to repeat it to make up deficiencies in credit. You will, however, be responsible for earning the minimum total hours required for graduation.
It is important to understand that achieving a physical therapist assistant A.A.S. degree does not prepare students to become physical therapists. These are two separate careers and the degree requirements are not the same.
The physical therapist degree is now rapidly becoming a Doctorate. Most schools in the U.S. have made the change, or are in the process of changing to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree or its equivalent. Colleges and universities that offer physical therapist degrees are the best sources for more information. A listing of schools that offer the DPT degree can be found at www.apta.org.
The program is a two-year program. There will be four semesters of coursework and two summer semesters of clinical affiliation. Each summer will have approximately one month of time where there isn’t any school or clinical commitments.
The Physical Therapist Assistance Program accepts 14 students per year.
A CLEP score indicates you have mastered the minimal knowledge required for a passing grade in that course. It is evaluated as a C.
If I have a few “C”s in my pre and co requisites will that negatively affect my chances of acceptance? Should I retake those classes for a higher grade?
You will be given points for GPA, the higher your GPA, the more points you will receive. Also, you will receive more points for A’s in pre-requisites than B’s of C’s. See application procedure.
Once accepted into the program, students will need to complete CPR certification and have blood tests and other related health screens. Also, expect drug screenings prior to, and during the PTA program. Drug screens are required by the program and its clinical education sites. These may be randomly administered while students are performing clinical education experiences or while enrolled in coursework.
Be aware that a criminal background check will be required upon acceptance. If there is a history of criminal activity (including, but not limited to, felony convictions) students will not be able to complete the program.
Once students are accepted into the program, further discussion including deadlines for the other requirements, will occur at the program's new student orientation.
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