Physical Therapist Assistant
The Physical Therapist Assistant program prepares students for entry-level positions in a variety of clinical settings. Graduates will be prepared to take the National Physical Therapy Exam for Physical Therapist Assistants.
Program Mission Statement
The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant 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.
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 Handbook.
In addition to tuition and program fees, students are responsible for the cost of physical exams and immunizations. 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 (CAPTE)
1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245;
Licensure Exam Pass Rate
Number of Candidates
|Number of Passing Candidates||
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
Goal 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.
Student Learning Outcomes – Students will:
- Students/graduates will exhibit conduct that reflects practice standards that are legal, ethical, and safe and that reflects a commitment to meet the expectations of members of society and members of the profession of physical therapy.
- Students/graduates will demonstrate competence implementing interventions identified in the plan of care under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist.
- Students/graduates will demonstrate competency performing components of data collection skills under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist.
- 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.
- 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.
- Students/graduates will implement risk management strategies during all lab and clinical activities to ensure the safety of themselves and others.
- Students/graduates will complete thorough, accurate, logical, concise, timely, and legible documentation that meets the requirements of the facility.
- Graduates will pass the NPTAE at a rate consistent with CAPTE requirements within one year of graduation.
- Graduates who seek employment will be employed in the field within one year of graduation.
Goal 2: 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.
- Faculty will maintain current licensure in PA.
- Faculty will participate in continuing professional competence related to teaching responsibilities.
- Faculty will utilize effective instructional methods during didactic, laboratory, and clinical courses.
Goal 3: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Students are required to show both didactic and clinical progression each semester in order to progress through the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.
- The student MUST PASS each Physical Therapist Assistant didactic course, as well as related courses MTR 100, BIO 107, BIO 108, BIO 109, and BIO 110 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 lecture and lab portion of the course
- receive an overall grade of a 76% or higher
- achieve a written exam average (written exams + final exam) of 76% or higher
- complete all skill checklists
- pass each Practical Exam with a 76% or higher
- demonstrate appropriate professional behaviors as assessed by the Professional Behavior Assessment Form.
If any of the above criteria are not met, students may Fail the course and will not be able to progress in the PTA program. If students do not obtain a 76 written exam average, but meet all of the other criteria, the students’ grade will be based on the written exam average. A student who fails the practical will receive an F in the course.
- The student MUST PASS each of the three clinical education courses (PTA 270, PTA 280, and PTA 290).
- The student MUST PASS all laboratory practical exams, with a grade of at least a C+ (76%) or better.(Refer to Lab Practical Policy)
- The student MUST demonstrate competency for all skills checklists for all PTA classes. (Refer to Skills Check Policy)
- The student MUST maintain a GPA each semester of 2.33 or higher.
- The student MUST demonstrate appropriate Professional Behaviors
Please refer to the Physical Therapist Assistant Student Handbook for further information.
Special Enrollment Requirements
Prior to admission, students must complete 15 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 work force 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
- Accuplacer Scores of 70 on each section
- GPA 3.0 or higher*
- 1 year of Algebra with a “C+” or higher*
- 2 years of English with a “C+” or higher*
- 1 year of Biology with a “C+” or higher*
- Recommended: 1 year of an additional life or physical science with a “C+” of higher*
- Observation/Volunteer/Work at a Physical Therapy Clinic for a minimum of 15 hours (Recommended at both inpatient and outpatient facilities)
- PTA Admissions Questionnaire
- 2 Recommendations (1 from a Physical therapist or physical therapist assistant)
(*denotes pre-requisites 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 pre-requisites, the admissions representative will send the file to the program director for review.
- An interview will follow if applicant meets the minimum requirements. Students who meet all of the academic requirements (a.- g.) except for one may still be considered for acceptance if the student meets the rubric score requirement listed below.
- The applicant will be scored based on the rubric which can be found on the program website.
- Acceptance will be based on the following scores:
- Rubric Score of 19 – 31: automatic acceptance into the program based on rolling acceptance beginning November 1st of the academic year prior to the anticipated year of matriculation
- Rubric Score of 10 – 18: decision for acceptance will be made after May 1st based on pool of applicants
- Rubric Score of < 10: not accepted
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/6wks)||5|
|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|
General Education (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||69|
For course descriptions, please visit the Course Catalog.