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    Springfield Technical Community College
   
 
  Sep 23, 2017
 
 
    
2015-16 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapist Assistant - PTAS.AS


The STCC Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program is one of the oldest accredited programs in the country. It is housed in the spacious ground floor clinic area of Building 20. The program prepares men and women for employment as physical therapist assistants (PTAs). The job market across the country is strong. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in their Occupational Outlook Handbook, predicts that the demand for physical therapist assistants will grow by 46% between now and 2020. The graduate PTA is a technical health care provider who works under the supervision of a physical therapist. The PTA performs movement-related activities and therapeutic techniques for patients with burns, amputations, spinal cord injuries, and cardiac, neurologic and orthopedic injuries. Such techniques include therapeutic exercise; gait training; heat and cold applications; massage; and the use of assistive, prosthetic, orthotic, and electrical devices that improve the independence of people with congenital, traumatic or disease-related processes. The two-year curriculum leading to an associate degree follows the guidelines established by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The curriculum is designed to develop technical and clinical knowledge and skills combining anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, disease processes, psychological and interpersonal relations. Emphasis is placed on ethical and legal considerations. Approximately one semester of the program is supervised practice in selected clinical settings. In addition, students have an opportunity to enhance learned skills under faculty supervision in the Campus Rehabilitation Clinic at STCC.

CAPTE Accreditation

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Springfield Technical Community College is accredited
by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org

Vision

The STCC PTA Program will develop a group of diverse men and women into outstanding Physical Therapist Assistants who pass the national licensure exam on first attempt. This program will be recognized by peer programs as the regional model in PTA education.

Mission

The PTA Program trains, educates, and cultivates entry-level physical therapist assistant students through a dedicated community-engaging academic curriculum committed to the development and achievement of the following:

  • clinical and personal critical thinking
  • ethical and professional decision making
  • effective personal and professional communication skills
  • a life long commitment to learning

Philosophy

The Physical Therapist Assistant program establishes small, personalized learning environments designed to facilitate the development of clinical skill sets, professional engagement between faculty and students, and accomplishment of personal and professional growth. A foundation of biological sciences and the integration of social sciences enable the student to develop the requisite physical therapy skill proficiencies and intellectual abilities to engage the demands of the contemporary healthcare system successfully as a physical therapist assistant.

Minimum Grade Requirement: The Physical Therapist Assistant student must obtain a minimum grade of “C” (73%) in all required courses. In didactic-laboratory courses, students must first have achieved a weighted passing average in the academic component of the course (examination grades), and then have passed the laboratory and additional components. In order to be eligible for graduation, the student must have earned a minimum of 66 credits with a cumulative quality point average of 2.0. Without exception, failed courses in the PTA curriculum require that the student is withdrawn from the program. The student must then petition to be re-admitted, following the Re-Admission Policy of the School of Health & Patient Simulation (https://stcc.acalogadmin.com/mime/media/12/711/SPHS+Readmission+Process.pdf ). This privilege may be used only once, and is based on available space. Proof of satisfactory completion of the PTA program, with diploma, is required for clinical practice. The graduate PTA may apply to sit for the national licensure examination. Successfully passing this exam is a requirement for licensure in Massachusetts, Connecticut and in most other states.

Transfer to Physical Therapy Programs Occasionally, graduates of the STCC PTA program may be interested in expanding their education to the Physical Therapist level. While most PTA skills courses will not transfer as comparable PT courses, some programs offer exceptional credit to the experienced PTA. Two programs, leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, are located in the Springfield area. STCC currently has an articulation agreement with American International College’s Physical Therapy program.

Technical Standards PTA  

Upon the successful completion of the requirements for this program, the degree of Associate in Science in Physical Therapist Assistant will be awarded.

Applying to this Program


All applications for consideration for acceptance into the program should be sent to and received by the Admissions Office no later than April 1 of the application year.   All required materials must be completed and sent to the Admissions Office by that date Applicants who send materials to other locations, other than the Admissions Office, will not be considered for admission.

The PTA program is a competitive academic program with rigorous standards. To be admitted to the program, an applicant must:

  1. Have a high school diploma or GED.
  2. Demonstrate competency in English through one of the following:
    • 4 years of high school English with no grade lower than a “C”; or
    • Placement examination at ENG-101  level; or
    • Successful completion of ENG-101  or its challenge exam through the Testing Center.
  3. Have completed algebra 2 level math, with a “B” grade or higher (high school level or higher).
  4. Have completed biology with lab, with a “B” grade or higher (high school level or higher).
  5. Have completed college level “Anatomy & Physiology 1 ” (4 credits) with a grade of “C” within the last 3 years;
  6. Demonstrate competency in medical terminology, determined by:
    • Successful completion of a suitable course; or
    • Successfully passing a medical terminology challenge exam in the Testing Center; or
    • Waiving of this requirement by the department chair with evidence of a healthcare background.
  7. Demonstrate competency in basic computer skills, determined by:
    • Successful completion of CMP-106 ; or
    • Successful passing the computer skills challenge exam in the Testing Center
  8. Demonstrate competency in basic research skills, determined by (beginning with the incoming class of fall 2014):
    • Successful completion of RCH-100 ; or
    • Successful passing of the library skills challenge exam in the Testing Center; or
    • Waiving of this requirement by the department chair with evidence of a college background
  9. Exhibit an understanding of an commitment to physical therapy by documenting a total 12 hours of observation in at least two different physical therapy settings, or through related work experience, approved by the department chairperson; signed verification forms to be submitted to Admissions.
  10. Have scored around 450 on each (verbal and math) section of the SAT1 exam. Candidates can waive the SAT criteria if they can document a 3.0 or better QPA in at least 15 college credits, including English Composition, with no grade lower than a “C.”

* If an applicant has earned a “B” in college Anatomy & Physiology 1 (​4 credits), “C” grade in biology (in high school or higher) will be accepted and the applicant will not be required to re-take these courses.

 *For admission in the Fall of 2016, Chemistry will no longer be required.

  • All Anatomy & Physiology courses over three years old by start of program must be repeated.
  • Applicants strengthen their candidacy by achieving high SAT1 scores, maintaining high grades in high school or high QPAs in college courses, successfully completing college courses in related academic areas prior to application, and providing documentation of related observation or work in the field.
  • Applicants to the PTA program should be aware that this is a physically demanding occupation, often requiring lifting and supporting of heavy patients. Good communication skills, both oral and written, are essential to satisfactory functioning as a physical therapist assistant.
  • Additional information may be obtained by attending a Physical Therapist Assistant Information Session.
  • All accepted students must undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information or other check. Depending on the results, the student may not be allowed to continue in this program of study.
  • Some clinical facilities may require more frequent and, hence, updated CORI/SORI checks, or even additional kinds of pre-clinical tests. The student assigned to such a site will be informed of these tests and may be responsible for assuming the cost of such reports.
  • The College reserves the right to withdraw any student at any time from his/her program in Health who cannot be placed in a cooperating agency because of failure of the student to meet or comply with the terms of the affiliation agreement, college or school policy, and/or achieve the behavioral objectives/competencies of the educative events. For further information, contact the office of the Dean of the School of Health & Patient Simulation (Building 20, Room 252).

Applying for Re-Admission to this Program


Students who leave this health program before completing it may apply for re-admission.  Click here  for information about the re-admission policy and process.

Program Goals


The Physical Therapist Assistant program will cultivate and advance graduates whom:

  1. Understand their role and the scope of practice as responsible physical therapist assistants, adhering to appropriate ethical, legal, and regulatory standards.
  2. Cultivate skill competence and engage in evidence-based practice, responding to the dynamics of a changing health care system.
  3. Integrate the principles of the physical, biological and behavioral sciences with the clinical practice of physical therapy.
  4. Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, families and other members of the health care team.
  5. Commit to a lifelong process of self-improvement and learning.
  6. Achieve an effective transition from this educational program to a physical therapist assistant career.

The objective of this program is to prepare men and women for employment in the physical therapy field. The graduate physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a technical health care provider who works under the supervision of a physical therapist. The PTA performs related activities and therapeutic techniques for patients with burns, amputations, spinal cord injuries, and cardiac, neurologic and orthopedic injuries. Such techniques include therapeutic exercise; gait training; heat and cold applications; massage; and the use of assistive, prosthetic, orthotic, and electrical devices. The two-year curriculum leading to an Associate Degree follows the guidelines adopted by the American Physical Therapy Association. The curriculum is designed to develop technical knowledge and skills for understanding in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, disease processes, psychological and interpersonal relations. In addition, emphasis is placed on ethical and legal aspects. Approximately one semester of the program is supervised practice in selected clinical settings. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association through June, 2018.

Program Outcomes


The design of the curriculum and activities undertaken by the faculty of the PTA Program should achieve the following outcomes:

  1. Produce safe, competent, caring graduates who possess entry-level skills.
  2. The three year passing rate of the graduates who choose to take the Physical Therapist Assistant licensure examination will be at least 90%.
  3. 100% of the graduates who seek employment as a physical therapist assistant will attain a position within six months of passing the national licensure examination.

The STCC PTA program admits 18 students each fall semester out of an average applicant pool of 120; the acceptance rate is generally 16%. The average graduation rate over the past three years is 65%. Of the graduates who took the National PTA Licensure Examination in the past three years, 100% have passed.

The program administers student clinical performance assessments, graduate opinion surveys, employer surveys and aggregate data from the National PTA Licensure Examination to assess the effectiveness of the program. For the calendar years 2012 - 2014, 100% of the graduates who sought employment have reported they were able to secure a position within six months of graduation. Some graduates choose to continue their education and do not seek employment.

Class of:

Graduation rate

Licensure Examination pass rate

Employment rate

2012

84.2%

100%

100%

2013

68.4%

100%

100%

2014

84.2%

100%

100%

 

 

 

(PTAS.AS) Curriculum


Total: 17 credits


Total: 15 credits


Total: 6 credits


Total: 15 credits


Total: 13 credits


Total (PTAS.AS) Curriculum Program Credits: 66


Notice to the Public: Complaints Policy:


Complaints that fall outside of the college’s internal due process are directed to the Administrator under whom the complaint falls. Any complaint lodged against the PTA Program is directed to and investigated by the Dean of the School of Health & Patient Simulation. The Dean will consult with the Program Director, if appropriate, and then determine what action is to be taken according to college policy. Final documentation of the complaint, the plan for improvement and its outcomes is filed in the Dean’s office.

Department Personnel


Name Title Office Phone Email
Renae Gorman Faculty and ACCE 20/302I 413-755-4844 rgorman@stcc.edu
Meg Woble-Valenski Faculty and Program Director 20/302M 413-755-4880 woble-valenski@stcc.edu