2022-23 Virginia Western Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
    Jun 17, 2024  
2022-23 Virginia Western Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.A.S.

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Associate of Applied Science

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; phone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Effective November 2, 2021, Virginia Western Community College has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org). If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 540-857-6728 or email jtucker@virginiawestern.edu.

Candidate for Accreditation is an accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status does not assure that the program will be granted Initial Accreditation.

Purpose:  The curriculum is designed to prepare selected students to become part of a skilled allied health care team that will provide physical therapy services under the direction of a licensed Physical Therapist.  Students are prepared as generalists, allowing them to enter a variety of clinical settings following graduation and licensure. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to the take the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination.  A passing score on the examination is required to obtain a license to practice as a physical therapist assistant (PTA) and licensure is required in all 50 states to practice as a PTA.

Program Objectives: The program aims to empower students to become life-long learners and to graduate with the skills necessary to pursue a career as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to act as part of a healthcare team to provide skilled, high-quality, and compassionate care to the diverse population and community which they will serve. The program also aims to prepare students to successfully pass the National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs. 

Admission Requirements:  This is a restricted admissions program. Please see the program-specific admission requirements at https://www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/health-professions/physical-therapist-assistant/.

Placement Requirements: Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to credit-level coursework established by the college.

Applicants must receive an ENG 111 , ENG 111 /EDE 11*  placement recommendation, or have successfully completed EDE 10 .

Students who do not demonstrate readiness for the college-level math will be required to select appropriate MDE coursework in consultation with an advisor.

Program Notes:  Individuals who have any convictions on their background check may not be permitted to take the national licensure exam. For questions regarding this issue, call the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy at (804) 367-4674 (or State Board of Physical Therapy for the state in which the student plans to practice following graduation).

Clinical agencies may require that students have clear background checks and drug screenings completed at the student’s expense before beginning clinical rotations. A positive background check, drug screen, and/or felony conviction may dismiss the student from the program as the student may be unable to complete the required coursework.  Students will be expected to complete a background check and drug screen prior to completing the first clinical rotation in the third semester of the program.

Retention Policy: Satisfactory progress is demonstrated by achieving a grade of “C” or better in all curricular courses. Students will have the opportunity to petition for re-entry if withdrawn from the program due to academic failure. Students must complete BIO 142*  with a grade of “C” or better before progressing to the second semester of the program. Because curricular components build upon each other over the five semesters, students must complete courses with the “PTH” prefix in the order outlined in the curriculum. In semesters with clinical courses, students must successfully complete all didactic courses which precede the clinical rotation.

AAS degrees prepare students for direct employment upon completion of the degree. However, many programs may also transfer to four-year institutions. Students interested in transferring should verify program requirements with specific four-year institutions and with the program head for Physical Therapist Assistant.

Prior to First Semester^

^Courses below should be completed by the end of Summer Semester.  Please review all Admission Requirements for this Program.

Total Minimum Credits for Degree: 69

1 Must be completed within 5 years of beginning the program.

* This course has a requisite.


Note: Support courses (non-PTH courses) may be taken prior to entry.  BIO 142*  must be taken and passed with a “C” or better prior to entering the second semester. Because curricular components build upon each other, all PTH courses must be taken in the term and sequence listed.

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