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Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistant

This program is available at the Springfield - Leffel Lane 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 for more information.

Applications will be accepted each year begining December 1, and the application deadline for any given year is February 1. All application materials must be received on or before February 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. 

Program Mission
In accordance with the mission of Clark State 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.

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 in the PTA Application Handbook which is linked to the program page on the College's website. Applicants are required to sign a form indicating they have reviewed these essential 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 another 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 may consider clinical placements outside of these regions.

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

Graduate Statistics

Information reported is from the December 2022 Annual Assessment Report to CAPTE. Additional information about graduation rates can be requested from the program coordinator.

  • Graduation rate*: 81.15%

          *Graduation rate includes the graduating classes of 2021 and 2022.  Graduation rate is defined by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) as the percentage of students who matriculated in the first term after the drop/add period and who completed the program.

  • First time Licensure Pass Rate **: 71.87%
  • Ultimate Licensure pass rate**:  88.1%

             **Licensure pass rates include the graduating class of 2020 and 2021 as reported by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Ultimate pass rate is defined by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) as the percentage of graduates who take and pass the National Physical Therapist Assistant Exam, regardless of the number of attempts.

  • Employment rate***: 100%

          ***Employment rate includes the graduating class of 2020 and 2021 and reflects employment rate of graduates who were eligible for and sought employment as a PTA within one year of graduation.

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 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.

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Outcomes and Curriculum

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 health care providers.
  • Demonstrate behavior that reflects respect for and sensitivity to individual differences when working with patients, families, colleagues, and other health care 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 plan of care and the role of the physical therapist assistant.
  • Practice lifelong learning that reflects social responsibility and career development.
Course Title Credits
PTA 1112 PTA Survey * 1
PTA 1122 PTA Procedures I ** 3
BIO 1119 Muscle Anatomy and Biomechanics ** 3
BIO 2121 Anatomy and Physiology I *** 4
ENG 1111 English I 3
FYE 1101 College Success 1
MST 1105 Medical Terminology 2
PTA 1148 PTA Procedures II ** 5
PTA 1162 PTA Rehabilitation I ** 5
BIO 2122 Anatomy and Physiology II *** 4
ENG 1112 English II 3
PTA 2231 PTA Directed Practice I 2
PTA 2243 PTA Procedures III first 8 weeks** 4
PTA 2291 PTA Seminar I (last 4 weeks)** 1
PTA 2262 PTA Rehabilitation II ** 5
PTA 2270 PTA Trends and Issues ** 1
PSY 1111 Introduction to Psychology 3
MTH -- Math Elective^ 3
PTA 2232 PTA Directed Practice II 3
PTA 2292 PTA Seminar II (First 4 weeks)** 1
PTA 2275 PTA Special Topics (second 4 weeks)** 1
PTA 2233 PTA Directed Practice III 3
PTA 2293 PTA Seminar III (last 8 weeks)** 1
PSY 2223 Lifespan Human Growth and Development 3
  Total credit hours 65
*May be taken within two years of acceptance into the program although no sooner than one year is preferred. If the course was completed more than 24 months prior to starting the program, the course will need to be repeated.

**Must be accepted into the PTA program to take these classes

***Must be completed with a C or better within 5 years of acceptance to the program. If older than 5 years, the course must be repeated.

^Choose from any college level math or statistics course.

NOTE: MST 1105 and all courses with a BIO or PTA course code must be completed with a C or better.

The program plan 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.

Academic Requirements

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 separately. The PTA program application process, criteria, selection process and time line are provided in the PTA Application Handbook; a print copy of this handbook is available from the School of Health, Human and Public Services Office in the Applied Science Center. 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:

  • An ACCUPLACER reading score indicating college ready reading skills. If the student does not obtain an appropriate score he/she is required to take and pass ENG 0850 with a grade of C or higher. Students are excused from taking placement reading exam if reading score on a recent (within three years) ACT or SAT exam is greater than or equal to 21 on ACT and 450 on SAT.
  • An ACCUPLACER writing score indicating college ready writing skills. If the student does not obtain a appropriate score, he/she is required to take and pass the appropriate college preparatory course ENG 0900 with a grade of C or higher. Students are excused from taking placement 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 higher in a college-level English course. Recent high school graduates who completed a senior level English course may also be excused from placement testing dependent on the grade in the high school course.
  • An ACCUPLACER math score indicating eligibility to take a 1000 or higher college level math course and PHY 1110, Fundamentals of Physics, if the course is needed to meet program application requirements. 

Students must have completed or be enrolled in courses in spring semester of the application year 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 1100 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 high school biology and chemistry within the past five years, or a college level biology course (BIO 1410 or the equivalent) with a grade of C or better 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 five years.
  • GPA of 2.5 in the required curricular courses; the GPA includes fundamentals of biology 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. 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. (BIO 1119, Muscle Anatomy and Biomechanics, 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.

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 summer between the first and 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 summer semester. At a minimum, a civilian (BCI) background check is required. A federal (FBI) background check may be required. Additional medical tests, including drug screens, and other requirements may be necessary depending upon clinical site

Program Costs


The PTA Program at Clark State College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potamac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone 703.706.3245; e-mail:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 937.328.6102 or

Validation of current program accreditation is available on Clark State's Accreditation and Approvals page.

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Terri Dinsmore Professor Health Technologies