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Physical Therapist Assistant - PTE Program

Is the Physical Therapist Assistant program accredited?

This program is seeking accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Va. 22314; phone; 703.706.3245; [email protected]). The program has submitted an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. 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 professional/technical phase of the physical therapy program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional or technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status does not assure that the program will be granted Accreditation. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the national physical therapy exam.

Is the Physical Therapist Assistant program full-time? Is it during the day, night, and online?

The program is a full-time course of study.  Theory courses are held during the day.  Clinical courses are also mostly held during the day, but may have evening or weekend requirements.  Students are admitted as a cohort taking courses in sequential order throughout the program.

Is the PTA Program A “Selective Admissions” Program?

Yes. Students must apply to the program to be considered for admission. Just like medicine, nursing, and other health care programs, there are prerequisite courses (see below), minimum grades, and other criteria that determine who gets into the program.

PTA courses cannot be taken a little at a time according to a student’s desires. It is important to understand that students are accepted as a group into a program. The group is accepted and starts at the same time, stays together for all courses, and graduates together when all courses have been taken and passed.

Is there a wait-list to get into the program?

There is not a wait list. However, we receive a large amount of applicants per year and only accept 14.  You are welcome to apply as many times as you wish. 

Is There Licensure For PTAs In Idaho?

Yes. In order to receive a license to practice, an individual must graduate from an accredited PTA program and pass the State license examination.

It has been 15+ years since I was in college. Will everything transfer?

Transcripts will be evaluated on an individual basis; if you took Anatomy and Physiology or Medical Terminology over 5 years ago, and have not used them in your line of work, we may require that they be retaken.

NIC’s Program Is A “Consortium” Program. What Does That Mean?

NIC has joined with the College of Southern Idaho, the College of Western Idaho, and Lewis Clark State College to form a single PTA program. Classes will be taught through inter-video conferencing and by part-time instructors in labs on each campus. Clinical education will take place in various places but will occur mainly near a student’s “home campus”.

Other than the required 50 hours of observation or experience in physical therapy, what other types of healthcare experience should I document on my application?

The Physical Therapy Assistant program looks at all types of healthcare experience.  We are looking for experience that has the applicant interacting with patients, patient families, and multiple healthcare providers.

What Courses Must Be Completed Prior To Acceptance Into The PTA Consortium Program?
  • Anatomy and Physiology I (with lab)
  • English Composition
  • Math (MATH 123 or higher)
  • Medical Terminology
What Degree Will I Earn?

Once the PTA program is accredited, students will earn the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree. The degree will allow graduates to sit for the state board examination and become licensed to practice.

What Is The Demand For PTAs? What Will I Earn When I’m Done?

As with all professions, health care worker demand goes up and down. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states, however that the PTA profession is to, “…increase much faster than average…” and that job prospects are, “…very good.” The median wage throughout the country is approximately $44,000.00/year.

What kind of grades do I need to maintain to pass?

For continued progression within the program:  a “C” or above is required in every theory course and a “Pass” is required in every lab and/or clinical course.  You may not move onto the next semester without passing all courses for that semester.

What prerequisites do I need before applying to the Physical Therapist Assistant program?

The only four pre-requisites are English 101, Medical Terminology - ALLH 101, BIOL 227 and a General Education Math course.

Where Does A PTA Work?

PTAs usually work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, schools, home health – actually, anywhere that physical therapists work. They only work with physical therapists – this is exclusive and required by professional ethics, codes of conduct, and by law.