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Physical Therapist Assistant

This program is offered at Clark State's Springfield location.

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program combines didactic and clinical learning experiences that are within the legal scope of responsibility of physical therapist assistants.

The physical therapist assistant delivers services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist who completes an initial examination and determines the appropriate treatment plan and goals for the patient. The physical therapist assistant shares the responsibility for administering treatments, instructing patients in exercises and activities of daily living, and documenting the patient’s response to therapy. Graduates will be prepared to function in their role to provide treatment in a variety of settings such as inpatient, outpatient, and home care services.

Upon successful completion of all aspects of the PTA program, graduates are eligible to take the state licensing examination. Licensure is mandatory for practice as a physical therapist assistant in the State of Ohio. The Ohio OTPTAT Board requires FBI and Ohio BCI criminal records checks as part of the Ohio licensing application process. Visit the Board website at http://otptat.ohio.gov for more information.

Program Mission
In accordance with the mission of Clark State Community College, the mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant program is to provide didactic and clinical learning experiences which are excellent in quality and reflective of evidence-based physical therapy practice, in order to prepare graduates to pass the state licensing examination and subsequently practice as competent and responsible physical therapist assistants within the scope of the law.

Program Goal
To provide a technical program that gives students the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to become successfully employed as a physical therapist assistant.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of an Associate of Applied Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant, a graduate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficient entry-level knowledge and skill in implementing treatment practices appropriate to the plan of care established by the physical therapist.
  • Demonstrate proficient entry-level knowledge and skill in utilizing testing and measurement techniques appropriate to the plan of care established by the physical therapist.
  • Communicate effectively with patients, families, colleagues, and other healthcare providers.
  • Demonstrate behavior that reflects respect for and sensitivity to individual differences when working with patients, families, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Adhere to ethical and legal standards throughout the provision of physical therapy services.
  • Provide patient care in a safe manner that minimizes risk to patient, self, and others.
  • Practice physical therapy in an effective manner making judgments consistent with the physical therapist's plan of care and the role of the physical therapist assistant.
  • Practice lifelong learning that reflects social responsibility and career development.

Technical Standards
All applicants accepted into the Physical Therapist Assistant program must be able to meet the essential functions, skills, and abilities required to provide safe patient practice with or without reasonable accommodations. The essential functions, skills, and abilities are listed on pages 13 and 14 of the PTA Application Handbook which is linked to this program page on the College's website. Applicants are required to sign a form indicating they have reviewed these essesntial functions, skills, and abilities and submit that form as part of the program application process.

Course Format
Most PTA courses are composed of two components, an online lecture component and an onsite lab component, which may be taught at the Leffel Lane campus or other College approved site. Onsite labs are currently only offered in Springfield and Columbus, Ohio. Directed practices are in clinical facilities in the greater Springfield, Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati, Ohio regions. The College has national contracts with several organizations and can consider clinical placements outside of these regions.

Program Admission Requirements
The Physical Therapist Assistant program must restrict the number of students accepted into the program each year due to the limited availability of clinical sites. The program is currently able to accept a maximum of 36 students each year; (26 students in Springfield and 10 students in Columbus.)  Acceptance into the PTA program is a competitive process and application does not guarantee admission.*

In addition to completing the standard procedures for admission to the College, students must apply to the PTA program. The PTA program application process, criteria, selection process, and time line are provided in the PTA Application Handbook which is linked to this PTA program page on the College's website and is also available from the Admissions Office and the Health, Human, and Public Services Division Office. Abbreviated information about this admission process is also provided here.

Students must have completed the following academic requirements to be eligible to apply to the Physical Therapist Assistant program:

  • A minimum COMPASS reading score of 75. If the student does not obtain a 75, he/she is required to take and pass with a grade of C or better the appropriate college preparatory course (CPE 0100 and/or CPE 0200). Students are excused from taking COMPASS reading exam if reading score on the recent (within three years) ACT or SAT exam is greater than or equal to 21 on ACT and 450 on SAT.
  • A minimum COMPASS writing score of 70. If the student does not obtain a 70, he/she is required to take and pass with a grade of C or better the appropriate college preparatory course (CPE 0300 and/or CPE 0400). Students are excused from taking COMPASS writing exam if writing score on recent (within three years) ACT or SAT exam is equal to or greater than 18 on ACT or 430 on the SAT.
  • Students are excused from taking the reading and writing placement tests if they have obtained a C or better in a college-level English course.
  • A minimum COMPASS score of 47 on pre-algebra and 45 on the developmental algebra test. If the student does not obtain the required scores, he/she must take and pass with a grade of C or better the appropriate college preparatory course(s) (CPE 0500 and/or CPE 0600). Students are excused from taking the pre-algebra and algebra placement test if they have taken and received a C or better in a college-level math or physics course within the past ten years. Students are excused from taking the pre-algebra and algebra placement test if they have taken the ACT or SAT exam within the last three years and received math scores of greater than or equal to 22 on the ACT and 520 on the SAT. Students are excused from taking the algebra placement test if they opt for and pass the PTA Physics Proficiency.

Students must have completed or be enrolled in courses to complete the following academic requirements to be eligible to apply to the Physical Therapist Assistant Program:

  • A grade of C or better in either high school physics (within the past five years) or a college physics course (PHY 1110 Fundamentals of Physics or its equivalent within the past ten years) or passing of the PTA Physics Proficiency (within the past year) or licensure as an athletic trainer.
  • A grade of C or better in either high school chemistry or a college chemistry course (CHM 1150 or the equivalent), within the past five years, and a grade of C or better in either high school biology or a college level biology course (BIO 1410 or the equivalent) within the past five years, or completion of BIO 2121, Anatomy and Physiology I (or the equivalent) with a C or better within the past ten years.
  • GPA of 2.5 in the required curricular courses; the GPA includes chemistry and physics ONLY when no other courses in the PTA curriculum have been taken.

In order to be accepted into the physical therapist assistant courses, students must maintain the required cumulative grade point average in the required courses in the curriculum. College preparatory courses and other courses, which are not listed as part of the curriculum, are not included in calculating the GPA. However, a minimum grade of C is required in the prerequisite and college preparatory courses (CPE). Please refer to the PTA Application Handbook for additional information on courses in which a C is required. While students are waiting to be admitted they may take any of the non-core PTA courses in the curriculum. (Muscle Anatomy and Biomechanics BIO 1118 is considered a core PTA course).

In addition to the academic requirements listed above, students must complete a total of 60 hours of observation/volunteer/paid work experience in three different settings under the supervision of a PT or PTA within five years and have the supervising PT/PTA at each setting complete the observation evaluation form.  Twenty hours are required in an in-patient/hospital setting, 20 hours are required in an out-patient setting, and 20 hours are required in a third setting of the student's choosing. Students are advised to begin their Observation/Volunteer/Paid Work Experience hours while working on their application requirements. All 60 hours must be completed at the time of application.

Applications will begin being accepted each year on December 1. The application deadline for any given year is February 1. All application materials must be received on or before Februar 1 of each year. If February 1 falls on a weekend, the packet must be received by the next business day. Any application materials received after this date will be classified as late and will not be processed for the class beginning in that year. In addition, the Admissions Committee must be able to verify that the applicant has made application to Clark State, and that official transcripts from other institutions have been received by February 1. Transfer students should submit their Clark State applications and official transcripts early enough to avoid this problem.

Notification of acceptance into the program will not occur before the end of March or Early April. Once accepted, the student must maintain the required GPA. 

Graduation Requirements
A 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale and grades of C or better in the major courses in the PTA curriculum are required to graduate.  Refer to the PTA Application Handbook for a list of courses that require a grade of C or better.

Clinical Requirements
Prior to the second year, a physical exam, a two-step Mantoux test, Hepatitis B immunization or waiver, a health history including record of childhood immunizations or adult titers, a flu shot, professional CPR, and First Aid training are required. A criminal records check must be completed within the three months immediately prior to entry into clinical courses in the second year. At a minimum, a civilian (BCI) background check is required. A federal (FBI) background check may be required. Additional medical tests and other requirements may be necessary depending upon clinical site placement.

Liability Insurance
Students will be billed for liability insurance for the academic year of directed practice courses.

Accreditation
The PTA Program at Clark State Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone 703.706.3245; e-mail: accreditation@apta.org; website:  http://www.capteonline.org. Validation of current program accreditation is available on Clark State's Accreditation & Approvals page.

Graduate Statistics
Information reported is from the December 2013 Annual Assessment Report to CAPTE and includes the graduating classes of 2010, 2011, and 2012. Additional information about graduation rates can be requested from the program coordinator.

  • Graduation rate*: 69.5%

          *Graduation rate as defined by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is completion of the program within 150 percent of the length of the program.

  • Licensure Pass Rate **: 98.5%

          **Program Ultimate Pass rate as reported by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

  • Employment rate***: 97.7%

          ***Reflects employment rate of graduates who were eligible for and sought employment as a PTA within six months of graduation.

Transfer Options
Students enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant degree are preparing for employment upon graduation from the program. However, at some point many of these students are also interested in completing a bachelor's degree. A number of college or universities have designed bachelor's completion programs for students completing applied degrees. Local programs include:

  • Franklin University Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management
  • Urbana University Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management
  • Antioch University Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness

See the transfer section of the catalog for more information.

Comments and Suggestions

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program engages in continuing assessment and improvements. Comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism from students and the public are welcome and are part of this process. Comments must be submitted in writing to the PTA program coordinator at the following address.

          Clark State Community College
          Physical Therapist Assistant Program Coordinator
          P.O. Box 570
          570 East Leffel Lane
          Springfield, OH  45505

The PTA program coordinator will respond to all written comments that include the name and contact information for the individual submitting the comments within ten (10) business days.

Curriculum Plan

The program plan that follows is designed for full-time students who have completed all prerequisites and who have no college preparatory recommendations. Many individuals, especially part-time students and those taking college preparatory courses, will require additional semesters of study. Students who plan to continue to work are strongly encouraged to complete all or most non-core PTA courses prior to starting the program. Students should consult their academic advisor for help in planning their schedules.

Course Title Credits
Fall
PTA 1110 PTA Survey * 2
PTA 1120 PTA Procedures I ** 4
BIO 1118 Muscle Anatomy and Biomechanics ** 4
BIO 2121 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
ENG 1111 English I 3
MST 1105 Medical Terminology 2
 
Spring
PTA 1146 PTA Procedures II ** 6
PTA 1160 PTA Rehabilitation I ** 6
BIO 2122 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
ENG 1112 English II 3
 
Summer
PTA 2241 PTA Procedures III ** 5
PTA 2245 PTA First Year Capstone ** 1
 
Fall
PTA 2260 PTA Rehabilitation II ** 6
PTA 2270 PTA Trends and Issues (first 8 weeks)** 1
PTA 2281 PTA Directed Practice I (second 8 weeks)** 2
PTA 2291 PTA Seminar I (second 8 weeks)** 1
PSY 1111 Introduction to Psychology 3
MTH -- Math Elective*** 3
 
Spring
PTA 2275 PTA Special Topics (first 8 weeks)** 1
PTA 2282 PTA Directed Practice II (first 8 weeks)** 2
PTA 2292 PTA Seminar II (first 8 weeks)** 1
PTA 2283 PTA Directed Practice III (second 8 weeks)** 3
PTA 2293 PTA Seminar III (second 8 weeks)** 1
PSY 2223 Lifespan Human Growth and Development 3
 
  Total Credit Hours 71

* Students may take within two year of acceptance into the program although no sooner than one year is preferred. If the course was completed more than 24 months prior to when starting the program, the course will need to be repeated.

** Students must be accepted into the PTA program to take classes that are starred.

*** Students may choose from any college level math or statistics course.