Dec 03, 2021  
Course/Program Inventory 
    
Course/Program Inventory

Physical Therapist Assistant


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Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in
Physical Therapist Assistant 

 

Institution/s with this A.A.S. Degree:

Walters State Community College

Roane State Community College

Chattanooga State Community College

Southwest Tennessee Community College

Volunteer State Community College

Jackson State Community College

 

Institution/s with a concentration using this title under a different A.A.S. degree: (include the degree for which the concentration is listed, such as a Concentration in Computer Information Technology within the A.A.S. in Business)

- None

 

Institution/s with Technical Certificate: (include the name of any related Technical Certificates and the required SCH)

- None

 

Proposed Academic Program Inventory Title: 

A.A.S. Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant 

 

CIP Code

31.51.0806.00

 

SOC Code/s:

SOC 1:     31. 2021 Physical Therapist Assistant

SOC 2:     31. 2020 Physical Therapist Assistants and Aids (there is no relationship between PTA educational programming and the occupation of PT Aide so we are unsure of this wording)

SOC 3:

 

Introduction:  

 

Physical Therapist Assistant educational programming is intended to provide general education courses, physical therapy technical courses, and clinical courses that prepare students for licensure as a Physical Therapist Assistant.  A PTA program combines general education courses and physical therapy courses, as well as clinical education experiences that occur in area healthcare facilities. The PTA educational curriculum is a comprehensive program of study that prepares graduates for taking the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants and entering the field of physical therapy with the required knowledge, skills, and behaviors for a PTA. 

 

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are licensed healthcare providers who deliver 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, sports facilities, and more. 

 

Program Description:

 

Physical therapist assistant (PTA) programs in Tennessee’s state community college system are accredited two-year associate degree programs that prepare graduates to perform selected components of patient treatment and assessment under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist  in an ethical, legal, safe, and effective manner.  These PTA programs combine general education courses, physical therapy lecture and laboratory courses, and clinical education to produce competent, caring, quality oriented physical therapist assistants who are prepared for taking the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and for entering the field of physical therapy with the required knowledge, skills, and behaviors of an entry-level PTA.  

 

Program Outcomes:

Physical Therapist Assistant Graduates of Tennessee’s state community college system will:

  1. Support the diverse physical therapy healthcare needs of Tennessee communities through employment as physical therapist assistants working under the supervision of physical therapists.
  2. Demonstrate entry-level competence as physical therapist assistants as evidenced by successful completion of the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and qualification for state licensure.   
  3. Identify career development and lifelong learning opportunities as physical therapist assistants in contemporary physical therapy practice.  

 

Professional Accrediting Body: 

Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education

 

State Agency/Entity Oversight: 

None.  The TN Board of Physical Therapy licenses PTA graduates once they successfully complete PTA educational programming and the required National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs but the state board office does not have any authority over PTA programming.  Graduates may apply for licensure in any state.  

 

Applicable Certification/License or Industry-recognized Certificates to Be Awarded: 

Graduates are prepared and eligible for the National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs and subsequent licensure per the applicable state’s physical therapy practice laws.

There is not a certificate process for PTAs in any state.  

 

Articulation with Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT): (Which courses are projected to align with TCAT programs?)  None

General Education Requirements*


Additional Approved Courses


(This list includes the courses identified in the previous section for the Professional Core Course Requirements, i.e., Major Field Core, followed by ALL other courses from which TBR institutions can choose to develop this same program, but with appropriate flexibility to address local and regional workforce needs or unique concerns of an institution.  If a certificate program is embedded within this degree, all courses required for the certificate will have to be included in this Library.)

(Rubrics are assigned with 4 alpha letters and 4 digits.  The first digit is assigned based upon the course level (1st year or 2nd year).  The second digit is the number of semester credit hours (SCH) assigned to the course.  The last two digits are to be used for course sequencing.)
 

Note:  Courses that may be used for special needs, but not required for the degree should also be considered in this section.  However, an asterisk (*) may be used to identify the unique need, such as, but not limited to, a bridge or transition course to validate competencies from work experience or from the TCATS.

 

Addendum


Perspective:

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) educational programming may occur in one of the following curricular formats, per the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE):

  • In a 1+1 model, students complete pre-requisites and general education courses in the first (freshman) year before enrolling in the technical education courses. 
  • In a .5 + 2 model, students complete a semester of prerequisites and then complete two years of integrated coursework (general education and technical courses).
  • In an integrated two-year (0+2) design, students are enrolled in prerequisite, general education and technical education courses in the first (freshman) year and may be enrolled in general education and technical education courses during part or all of the second (sophomore) year (CAPTE, 2016).

 

It is important to note that the Tennessee Board of Regents’ (TBR) state community college system currently includes 3 PTA programs that utilize the 1+1 model and 3 programs that utilize the integrated two-year model.  

 

CAPTE requires that all general education, pre-requisites, and technical education courses required for the degree, can be completed in no more than 5 semesters OR 80 academic weeks OR 104 calendar weeks, including 520 - 720 hours of clinical education all of which culminates into an associate degree (CAPTE, 2016).  CAPTE does not, however, dictate a minimum or maximum number of total semester credit hours for PTA programming.  Determined through data extracted from the Annual Accreditation Reports provided by all PTA programs as well as from other assessment methods, CAPTE reported in the 2016 - 2017 Fact Sheets for Physical Therapist Assistant Education Programs that the average total semester credit hours for 1+1 programs is 80.3 hours and 77.7 hours for Integrated 2-year programs (Fact Sheet, 2017). The average total semester credit hours for all currently accredited PTA programs accredited by CAPTE is 78 hours.   

 

Findings and Results:

As the result of the Statewide Curriculum Alignment initiatives, the PTA Program Directors, composing the PTA Common Course Curriculum Committee representing the six Physical Therapist Assistant programs that are located within the TBR community college system, have determined the aforementioned alignment for PTA programming.  The Committee has also determined that the total semester credit hours that are necessary for this alignment is 67 to 70 credit hours.  This range of total semester credit hours that exceeds TBR’s 60 hour expectation was determined to be necessary because 1) 3 of TBR’s accredited PTA programs utilize the 1+1 curricular format and 3 use the 2-year integrated format, 2) PTA educational programming has specialized and specific curricular content, which includes extensive clinical education hours, that is mandated by CAPTE, and 3) current PTA educational programming generally averages greater than 60 total semester credit hours.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information for Program Directors and Faculty at Accredited Programs. (2016, November). Retrieved from http://www.capteonline.org/Faculty/AccreditedPrograms/ 

 

 

2016 - 2017 Fact Sheet Physical Therapist Assistant Education Programs. (2017, April). Retrieved from http://www.capteonline.org/uploadedFiles/CAPTEorg/About_CAPTE/Resources/Aggregate_Program_Data/AggregateProgramData_PTAPrograms.pdf 

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