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Physical Therapist Assistant Technology - A.A.S. PDFDownload to print

Regional College

East Liverpool
Regional College

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Physical Therapist Assistant Technology (PTST) provides students with the knowledge, skills and behaviors necessary to become licensed or certified as a physical therapist assistant (PTA). Licensure or certification in most states requires graduation from an accredited PTA program, background clearances, and passing the National Physical Therapy Examination.

The integrated curriculum includes lecture, lecture/lab, seminar and practicum courses. Core Physical Therapist Assistant Technology course content is cumulative and taught in five sequential semesters in a two year cycle. The Technical Study curriculum requires student to be on campus or in the clinic three to five days per week each term.

Three practicum courses require students to complete a minimum of 640 off-campus clinical education hours under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. Under certain circumstances, students in practicum courses are required to attend clinicals on days outside of the academic calendar. These circumstances may occur on scheduled or unscheduled campus closures or on days when classes are cancelled. Examples include: certain holidays, spring recess, snow days and/or prior to the start of semesters. Students are notified in advance of the clinical education schedule.

Contracted clinical education sites normally require students to demonstrate both medical and background clearances, as well as the ability to perform the core tasks and essential job functions of a physical therapist assistant. Students who are unable to perform the core tasks and essential job functions, or who cannot demonstrate medical and background clearance may not be able to complete the requirements for the Physical Therapist Assistant Technology.

Students who are Board Certified Athletic Trainers may be admitted to the Athletic Trainers Transition (ATT) concentration. This concentration adds the skills and knowledge of a physical therapist assistant to the Certified Athletic Trainers knowledge and skill competency. The ATT concentration is primarily online, requires six 3-day lab weekends on the Ashtabula campus, and can be completed in as little as 15 months. All ATT concentration students must complete a minimum of 640 hours of clinical education, which can be arranged anywhere in the country.

Career Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor and Statistics gives the physical therapist assistant (PTA) career outlook their fastest growing ranking ("much faster than average") and projects that between the years 2010-2020, the need for PTAs and physical therapy aids will increase by 41% in response to the healthcare needs of a growing elderly population.

Nationally, O-Net Online projects the market for PTAs to have a "Bright Outlook" with 45,000 projected job openings over the 10 year period ending in 2022. O-Net Online also reports the median wages for PTAs in 2012 at $53,361 annually, with a mean hourly wage of $25.65. Pay rates for skilled nursing facilities and casual call therapists tend to be higher due to the high demand for personnel in these positions. While the national job outlook is strong, local demand for PTAs may vary.

Admission Requirements

Admission is open to anyone with a high school diploma or its equivalent. Admission to the Athletic Trainers Transition (ATT) concentration is open to students who are Board Certified Athletic Trainers.

For more information on admissions, visit the Admissions website for new freshmen. For more information about admission criteria for transfer, transitioning and former students, please visit the admissions website.

Progression Requirements

Acceptance to Technical Study is a selective process. Acceptance requires the following actions:

  1. Submit an application with essay to the department
  2. Complete observation hours in a Physical Therapy clinic
  3. Have a minimum 2.7 cumulative GPA from the most recent academic experience of 12 credit hours or more.
  4. Have completed essential academic preparation with a letter grade of C or better in: High school or college level physics; High school or college level biology; Qualifying test score or completion of MATH 00023, ENG 01001 and US 00006.


Graduation Requirements

Minimum 66 credit hours and a grade of C or better in all required courses. Minimum 2.000 cumulative and major GPA.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Provide appropriate and effective physical therapy interventions within the plan of care established by a physical therapist.
  2. Effectively communicate with others, teaching or instructing when appropriate.
  3. Produce legal and ethical documentation to meet professional expectations and the needs of third party payers.
  4. Ethically manage fiscal and human resources to provide high-quality, efficient and cost-effective Physical Therapy services.
  5. Consistently demonstrate the value-based behaviors of a PTA: Altruism, Caring and Compassion, Continuing Competence, Duty, Integrity, PT/PTA Collaboration, Responsibility and Social Responsibility.

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education 
1111 N. Fairfax St.
Alexandria, VA 22314