Physical Therapist Assistant
Why study Physical Therapist Assistant?
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. PTAs help people of all ages who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTAs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health, nursing homes, schools and sports facilities. PTAs may also measure changes in the patient's performance as a result of the physical therapy, along with providing selected standardized tests per the PTs request.
Care provided by a PTA may include teaching patients/clients exercises for mobility, strength and coordination, training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes or walkers, massage, and the use of physical agents and electrotherapy such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation. See the American Physical Therapy Association website.
This program is open to all students with a high school diploma or GED and the desire to succeed in college. Although admission is open, students accepted into the program must meet the academic standards of the program to advance to upper levels of study. The program is a two-phased process of education over two years; the first year or phase is composed of nine prerequisite courses. The second year or phase begins in the Summer term after an applicant has been accepted into the core PTA cohort. This phase contains the in-depth PTA academic and clinical coursework required to graduate from the program and sit for the national PTA license exam.
Although admission to the major is open, students are accepted into the core program via a selective admission process and must continue to meet the academic standards of the program to advance to upper levels of study.
Phase One Specifics:
As a first-year student, you will need to take an English and mathematics placement test if you have not obtained the minimum ACT/SAT score required for exemption. These tests do not affect your admission; however, the results are essential for your proper placement in classes. You must complete placement tests before you register for English or mathematics courses. All placement tests are given free of charge.
Admission to the physical therapist assistant technical core is on an annual and competitive basis, requiring a minimum overall college GPA of at least 3.0. The most heavily weighted component in the process is performance on a standardized health sciences aptitude exam, followed by GPA and science course performance. Admission to the physical therapist assistant major does not guarantee acceptance into the technical core curriculum.
Phase Two Specifics:
Admission to the second-year technical core is a selective admission process and requires a separate application during November-December of your first year. Information sessions and application assistance nights are held during the Fall term in order to guide and assist students through the application process, which is generally open Nov. 1st of each year.
Once admitted to the technical core, you will also be required to submit a criminal background check and approved BLS Provider CPR certification, physical examination, two-step or Quantiferon TB test and proof of current immunizations. Some clinics require standard panel drug screenings and/or recent proof of TB testing (within 90 days of clinical rotation).
If you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, please contact the state licensing authority in the state in which you hope to be licensed before beginning training in the PTA program to determine if your conviction would prohibit you from practicing as a physical therapist assistant. Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana all require background checks as part of their standard licensing application process.
The Physical Therapist Assistant program is designed to train students in the various exercises, techniques and uses of equipment necessary for the physical rehabilitation of a patient. The physical therapist assistant works under the supervision and direction of a licensed physical therapist. The vision of the physical therapy profession is to transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience. The goal of physical therapy is to improve or restore a patient’s function following injury, illness or disease. In order to do so, the therapist employs techniques such as heat and cold treatments, ultrasound, massage, and prescribed exercise programs which may involve the use of mechanical equipment. The physical therapist assistant performs many of the functions of this process: monitoring patient progress, instructing patients in the use of therapy aids and assisting in the performance of prescribed exercises while considering age, diagnosis, psychosocial needs and the human movement system.
Physical Therapist Assistants are employed in a variety of settings including private, federal, state, or city hospitals and clinics, voluntary health agencies, public health agencies, home health care associations, skilled nursing facilities and school systems.
You may also find it helpful to review essential program-related functions and other important information available on our website. To become a successful PTA student and entry-level clinician, one must be focused and have an interest and aptitude for learning a variety of skills.
The American Physical Therapy Association reports that the federal government has forecasted very good job prospects for PTAs and an unemployment rate of less than 3.9 percent. In 2016, the Health Collaborative (formerly the GCHC) quoted a vacancy rate of just 4-5 percent among local major hospitals.
Projections by JobsEQ®, a product of Chmura Economics & Analytics, predict a 2.2 percent annual increased need for new PTA’s over the next five years within the Greater Cincinnati tri-state area. The projections are a 37 percent increase in the need for new PTA positions in Ohio in order to replace those workers in the attrition stage and to grow over the next 10 years.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is expected to grow much faster than average because of increasing demand for physical therapy services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics site displays a 32-percent increase in PTA demand from 2020-2030, with 14,700 annual openings per year.
For details on program graduation rates, employment rates, examination passing rates and other outcome statistics, visit the Program Outcomes page.
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UC Clermont students have access to free tutoring and academic support services through a collaboration with UC’s Learning Commons. The Learning Commons provides centralized academic support for all University of Cincinnati students by bringing together faculty, best-practices in teaching and learning, and hundreds of outstanding peer educators to create flexible academic success programming. Free services available to UC Clermont students include academic coaching, success skills workshops, and tutoring in writing, math, science and more. Services are available on-campus or virtually. Visit the Learning Commons webpage for more information or schedule an appointment online.
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Math Placement Test Workshop – Offered to prospective and current UC students who want to brush up on their math skills before taking the Math Placement Test. The free synchronous online workshop is led by a UC Clermont professional tutor. The three-week workshop series is offered monthly except in January. It is recommended that students sign up for all three weeks to get the maximum benefit from these workshops.
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In order to graduate from UC Clermont, a student must:
- Complete all required course work and program requirements.
- Obtain at least a 2.0 university grade point average.
- Be in good academic standing; that is, not on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension.
- Meet the college's residency requirement of 20 semester credit hours.
- File formal application for the degree by the posted semester of graduation deadline.
While UC Clermont accepts transfer applications all year long, admission to the second-year technical core is a selective admission process and requires a separate application during November-December of your first year.
The program offers special informational sessions often to assist students in their transition. These are announced college wide and are available on the PTA Website. Please be aware admission to the PTA cohort happens ONLY once per year.
If you have not taken college-level mathematics or English, you will need to take the placement test.
Other UC students may transfer into Clermont College by completing an application for change in college and program. The college recommends you see your advisor before transferring into a different major to minimize any impact on your degree progress.
Admission to the second-year technical core is a selective admission process and requires a separate application during November-December of your first year.
You must demonstrate English proficiency. You must also meet admissions deadlines and visa requirements, and provide documentation of sufficient funds before we can complete your admission. Please call the International Admissions Office (513) 556-2069 for details or email with questions.
Learn more about becoming an international student at UC Clermont.
For specific deadline information, visit the Admissions webpage.
Traditional, non-transfer students should plan to start their Physical Therapist Assistant coursework in the Fall semester, because the basic series of foundation courses required for this program starts in the fall and continues sequentially through the spring. Those courses are required for review of your application into the technical core year. You must also apply separately for admission into the technical core at the end of your first semester. Deadlines are posted in the PTA Application and the PTA Applications Community.
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To confirm the current CAPTE accreditation status for the program, please visit the program website.
The program has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands secondary to its accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education based upon the following: Accreditation of a physical therapist or physical therapists assistant program by CAPTE satisfies state educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thus students graduating from CAPTE Accredited physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, please refer to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.
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Program Code: 34ASC-PTA-AAS