FAQ - General
Physical Therapist Assistant - PTE Program
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.
No. The consortium program has not been granted Candidacy for Accreditation, the first step in the process of accreditation. Here are important points regarding program Candidacy:
- Candidacy grants a program the ability to start. Students cannot be accepted into, or take classes in a new program until Candidacy is granted.
- A great deal of effort is going into the achievement of Candidacy and a decision regarding this will be made no later than early December 2013.
- If Candidacy is granted in early December 2013, PTA program classes will start in the spring semester, January 2014. Only students who have been accepted into the program will be allowed to take PTA courses.
- The PTA consortium program and the colleges represented make no guarantee, expressed or implied that Candidacy will be achieved. Rest assured that every effort is being made to achieve this first step.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes. In order to receive a license to practice, an individual must graduate from an accredited PTA program and pass the State license examination.
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 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.
- Anatomy and Physiology I (with lab)
- English Composition
- Math (MATH 123 or higher)
- Medical Terminology
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.
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.
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.
The only four pre-requisites are English 101, Medical Terminology - ALLH 101, BIOL 227 and a General Education Math course.
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