Physical Therapist Assistant
Program Mission Statement
The mission of the five-semester Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Degree program at Johnson College is to prepare students to be competent and caring entry-level physical therapist assistants who work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist in a variety of settings. Students will be committed to developing and continuing professional competence, demonstrating lifelong learning, and adhering to the behavioral expectations outlined in the APTA Guide for Conduct and Standards of Ethical Conduct for the PTA.
What do Physical Therapist Assistants do?
Physical therapy plays a vital role in helping individuals achieve their optimal level of mobility and independence. Physical therapist assistants work under the direction and supervision of licensed physical therapists and work directly with patients to help improve quality of life. Physical therapist assistants must be well educated and personable.
Clinical education is a significant part of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. Prior to the clinical education experiences, students must complete criminal background checks, fingerprinting, child abuse clearance, and drug testing. Students must satisfy the clinical requirements for both Johnson College and the clinical sites in order to successfully complete the program.
Watch the video below to learn why the Physical Therapist Assistant program might be right for you.
Johnson College’s President & CEO, Dr. Katie Leonard, visits industry partner, Pivot Physical Therapy.
Physical Therapist Assistant Student Handbook
Physical Therapist Assistant students are responsible for reading and abiding by all policies and procedures in the Physical Therapist Assistant Student Handbook and Clinical Packet. View the handbook here.
In addition to tuition and program fees, students are responsible for the cost of all clearances and additional drug tests. Students are also required to join the American Physical Therapy Association as student PTA members.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Johnson College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, American Physical Therapy Association, 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 570-702-8987 or email email@example.com.
Program Effectiveness for Johnson College Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program
Johnson College PTA program adheres to standards set forth by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). CAPTE requires accredited programs to make program data and effectiveness related to graduation rate, NPTE pass rate, and job placement rate available to the general public.
According to CAPTE, the graduation rate is equivalent to the percentage of students who are matriculated in the first technical course in the program after the add/drop period and who complete the program. Graduation rates are required to be over 60% when averaged over two years.
Johnson’s PTA Program Graduation Rate
|Graduation Year||Graduation Rate|
|2 Year Average (2020 & 2021)||90.3%|
NPTE Pass Rate
CAPTE requires ultimate licensure pass rates are at least 85%, averaged over two years.
Johnson College PTA Program NPTE Pass Rates
|Year||1st Time Pass Rate||Ultimate Pass Rate|
|2021||Not yet stabilized||Not yet stabilized|
|2 Year Average (2019 & 2020)
*Cohort directly impacted by COVID restrictions
Job Placement Rate
CAPTE requires employment rates of at least 90%, averaged over two years based on the last two academic years for each cohort based on the number of graduates who sought employment and the number of graduates employed within one year of graduation.
Johnson’s PTA Program Job Placement Rate
|2021||Not yet stabilized|
|2 Year Average (2019 & 2020)
Important Note for Prospective Students:
If you are considering a degree program that leads to a professional license or certification in a state other than Pennsylvania, it is highly recommended that you first seek guidance from the appropriate licensing agency in your home state BEFORE enrolling in an academic program or course at Johnson College.
Johnson College will not be held liable if you have not contacted your appropriate state agency prior to enrollment.
Physical therapy is a very rewarding and diverse profession. Practicing physical therapist assistants have the option to work in a variety of settings, including: hospitals, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings, skilled nursing facilities, private practices, home health, and schools. PTAs can also teach in physical therapist assistant programs or if they choose, can further their education in a variety of related fields.
Program Learning Goals
Program Goals/Student Learning Outcomes
The goals of the Johnson College Physical Therapist Assistant Program are as follows:
1. To prepare graduates to meet the professional and licensure requirements necessary to function as entry-level PTA’s under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist in a variety of clinical settings.
Outcome #1: Students/graduates will demonstrate competence implementing interventions identified in the plan of care under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist.
Outcome #2: Students/graduates will demonstrate competency performing components of data collection skills under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist.
Outcome #3: Students/graduates will complete thorough, accurate, logical, concise, timely, and legible documentation that meets the requirements of the facility.
Outcome #4: Graduates will pass the NPTAE at a rate consistent with CAPTE requirements within one year of graduation.
Outcome #5: Graduates who seek employment will be employed in the field within one year of graduation.
2. To ensure students are prepared to meet the needs and expectations of members of society who seek physical therapy services.
Outcome #1: Students/graduates will exhibit conduct that reflects practice standards that are legal, ethical, and safe.
Outcome #2: Students/graduates will communicate effectively with other health care providers and with patients, family members, and caregivers in order to achieve patient outcomes based on the physical therapy plan of care.
Outcome #3: Students/graduates will respect and act with consideration for individual differences, values, and preferences of peers and patients.
3. To ensure students are able to use problem solving and critical thinking skills to respond appropriately to clinical situations they may encounter as a physical therapist assistant.
Outcome #1: Students/graduates will recognize when interventions should be modified or not provided due to changes in the patient’s status or due to violations in practice guidelines and report this to the supervising physical therapist.
Outcome #2: Students/graduates will implement risk management strategies during all lab and clinical activities to ensure the safety of themselves and others.
4. To ensure students understand the value of volunteerism, leadership, and continued competence as physical therapist assistants.
Outcome #1: Students/graduates will develop a plan for continuing competence as a PTA.
Outcome #2: Students/graduates will participate in volunteer opportunities for professional and/or community organizations.
The goals of the Johnson College Physical Therapist Assistant Department are as follows:
1. To ensure that educators of the program, both didactic and clinical provide instruction and guidance that meets the needs of the students and the program.
Outcome #1: Faculty will maintain current licensure in PA.
Outcome #2: Faculty will participate in continuing professional competence related to teaching responsibilities.
Outcome #3: Faculty will utilize effective instructional methods during didactic, laboratory, and clinical courses.
2. To provide students with a curriculum and resources that are current and in compliance with standards set forth by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), by the PA Physical Therapy state practice act, and by the institution.
Outcome #1: The curriculum will be reviewed annually by the Program Director, core faculty, and the Program Advisory Committee to ensure it is aligned with current requirements and practice trends.
Outcome #2: The program resources will be reviewed annually by the Program Director, core faculty, and the Program Advisory Committee to ensure adequacy to meet the needs of the program.
Academic Progression (within PTA Program)
Students are required to show both didactic and clinical progression each semester in order to progress through the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.
- In order to start the technical phase of the program (3rd semester), students must meet the following requirements:
- Students must have a 2.67 minimum GPA in general education courses
- The student MUST PASS MTR 100, BIO 107, BIO 108, BIO 109, and BIO 110 with a grade of at least a B- (80%) or higher
- Students must pass Anatomy modules on the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems with a minimum score of 80% prior to starting technical courses
- The student MUST PASS each Physical Therapist Assistant didactic course with a grade of at least a C+ (76) or higher.
- In order to successfully pass each PTA course and progress through the program, students must:
- receive a 76% or higher in each PTA course
- meet requirements indicated in Written Exam Policy, Skills Checklist Policy, Practical Exam Policy, and Professional Behavior Policy
- The student MUST PASS each of the three clinical education courses (PTA 270, PTA 280, and PTA 290).
- The student MUST maintain a GPA each semester (each semester and cumulative) of 2.67 or higher.
If any of the above requirements are not met, the student will not be allowed to progress in the PTA program.
Special Enrollment Requirements
Prior to admission, students must complete 16 hours of observation in a physical therapy clinic with a Physical Therapist Assistant or a Physical Therapist and provide verification and complete the program admissions questionnaire.
Special Admissions Requirements
Admittance to the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Johnson College is based on a selective admission process that has been developed to ensure that students who are admitted to the Johnson College PTA Program are prepared to succeed in the program and enter the workforce as competent entry-level physical therapist assistants. Students are admitted based on their merit without being discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, non-job related disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Current enrollment is limited to 12 new students per year based on the number of applicants who meet the admission criteria and qualifications.
The procedure for applicants who desire to seek acceptance into the PTA program is as follows:
Applicants must contact the Johnson College enrollment staff to initiate the application process, which includes submitting an application
Students must meet the following minimum requirements:
- SAT scores of 900 (combined math and verbal with not less than 450 on either section) or above or ACT scores 18 or above or If SAT/ACT test were never taken, an online exam will be provided by the Recruitment Advisor. A score of 21 or above is required for English and 18 or above for Math.
- GPA 2.67 or higher*
- 1 year of Algebra with a “B-” or higher*
- 2 years of English with a “B-” or higher*
- 1 year of Biology with a “B-” or higher*
- Recommended: 1 year of an additional life or physical science with a “B-” of higher*
- PTA Admissions Questionnaire
- 2 Recommendations (1 from a Physical therapist or physical therapist assistant)
- 16 hours of observation ( ½ inpatient setting, ½ outpatient setting)
(*denotes prerequisites that can be completed in high school or college; college level courses will be weighted more in the scoring process)
Once the applicant has completed all of the above prerequisites, the admissions representative will send the file to the program director for review.
Major Courses (46 credits)
|PTA 103||Intro. to Physical Therapy for the Physical Therapist Asst.||2|
|PTA 151||Patient Care||2|
|PTA 152||Patient Care Lab||1|
|PTA 153||Physical Therapy Procedures||2|
|PTA 154||Physical Therapy Procedures Lab||1|
|PTA 155||Principles of Therapeutic Exercise||1|
|PTA 156||Principles of Therapeutic Exercise Lab||1|
|PTA 223||Applied Kinesiology||3|
|PTA 224||Applied Kinesiology Lab||1|
|PTA 255||Interventions in Musculoskeletal||3|
|PTA 256||Interventions in Musculoskeletal Lab||1|
|PTA 257||Interventions in Neurology||3|
|PTA 258||Interventions in Neurology Lab||1|
|PTA 259||Topics in Rehabilitation||3|
|PTA 260||Topics in Rehabilitation Lab||1|
|PTA 270||Clinical Experience I (8 hours/15wks)||2|
|PTA 280||Clinical Experience II (40hrs/6wks)||5|
|PTA 290||Clinical Experience III (40hrs/8wks)||6|
|PTA 295||Professional Seminar||1|
|BIO 109*||Human Anatomy & Physiology II||3|
|BIO 110*||Human Anatomy & Physiology Lab II||1|
|MTR 100*||Medical Terminology||1|
Core Career Courses (23 credits)
|ART ###||Art Elective||3|
|BIO 107||Human Anatomy & Physiology I||3|
|BIO 108||Human Anatomy & Physiology I Lab||1|
|COM 212||Public Speaking||3|
|CPT 101||Microcomputer I||3|
|ENG 101||English Composition I||3|
|MAT 121||Introduction to Statistics||3|
|PSY 101||General Psychology||3|
|SSS 101||Student Success Seminar||1|
|Minimum Credits to Graduate||70|
*Are pre-requisite courses and must be completed prior to the start of PTA courses.
For course descriptions, please visit the Course Catalog.