May 30, 2023  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog

Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistant, AAS

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Purpose: The two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant is designed to prepare selected students to qualify as contributing members of the health care team, providing direct patient care as entry-level PTAs working under the supervision of a physical therapist in a variety of medical settings. The profession of physical therapy meets the needs of the public through many methods including, but not limited to, improving patient mobility, relieving pain, decreasing functional limitations, health and wellness promotion, public education, and injury/disability prevention. Patients may range in age from newborn to the elderly and employment settings may include hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care and skilled care facilities, rehabilitation centers, home health care agencies, school systems, and others. 

Potential Certification: Upon successful completion of the curriculum, students will be eligible to apply to take the National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs leading to licensure as a PTA, which is required to practice in each state. A student who graduates from the Physical Therapist Assistant program must comply with the licensure and National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) requirements for the state in which the student intends to practice.

Program Learning Outcomes:  Graduates will be able to:

  • demonstrate minimum proficiency in General Education Skills which are defined as civic engagement, critical thinking, professional readiness, quantitative literacy, scientific literacy, and written communication
  • demonstrate appropriate written and verbal communication that is professional and effective for the practice of physical therapy
  • demonstrate an ability to use problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making skills to provide appropriate physical therapy care for patient safety following the physical therapist’s plan of care
  • demonstrate an ability to collect and review appropriate data to perform evidence-based interventions within the scope of practice for a PTA and within the physical therapist’s plan of care
  • demonstrate the ability to adhere to federal and state regulations, facility policies and procedures, and APTA standards of ethical conduct in clinical practice as a physical therapist assistant

Accreditation Status of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program: The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Patrick & Henry Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 276-656-0288 or email 

Data regarding performance of graduates including graduation rate, licensure examination pass rate, and employment rate of licensed graduates will be posted on the PTA website as data is collected in the interest of public disclosure.

Admission Procedures: In addition to meeting the requirements to be admitted to P&HCC, students must also submit an application to the Physical Therapist Assistant program. The P&HCC PTA program will accept program applications once a year typically during early August, at a specified time.  Once accepted as a student to P&HCC, students planning to apply to the PTA program are highly encouraged to speak with the PTA Program Director to review the program application requirements. (

Pre-application Requirements:

  1. Current P&HCC student application
  2. Evidence of high school graduation or GED
  3. Evidence of high school Biology and Chemistry with a grade of “C” or higher; or college equivalent Biology (BIO 101  /BIO 102   or NAS 150  ), Chemistry (CHM 110  or CHM 111 ), or other as approved.
  4. High School Algebra I with a grade of “C” or higher and HSGPA 3.0 or better; or SAT Math Score Range 470 or above; or ACT Math Score Range 17 or higher (HS Transcript and/or Math Modules must be less than five years old) or previous college level math equivalent otherwise MDE 10 is required prior to applying. 
  5. Placement in ENG 111  . 
  6. Calculated Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher (GPA calculation will include most recent 24 college credits; or if less than 24 college credits have been completed a combination of all high school work and all college credits completed at time of application)
  7. Evidence of a minimum of 20 documented volunteer hours (10 hours in 2 different clinical settings under supervision of a PT/PTA) *Hours must be completed within two years prior to application submission.  Please utilize the PTA Program: Observation Hours Form to document required hours.
  8. Review and sign student acknowledgement of PTA Program: Essential Functions of PTA Students Form

Prerequisite Semester

The following prerequisite courses must be in progress or previously completed with a grade of “C” or higher at the time of program application.  High School seniors must be dual enrolled or have previously completed these courses at time of application.

Completed PTA applications will be processed following the posted application deadline and qualified applicants will be invited to take the timed admission test (ATI TEAS or program designated equivalent).  For the purposes of admission to the P&HCC PTA program, the minimum passing (composite) score on the timed admission test is 58.7%. Students who score a 58.7% or higher on the admission test will have their individual raw score added into the admission point system.

The PTA program is competitive and selective and is limited to up to 16 students.  An admission point system will be utilized to determine the top qualified applicants including points for GPA, volunteer hours, and admission test score.  The top-scoring finalists will be offered an admissions interview with program faculty, including a pre-interview writing prompt.  Each finalist will then be scored (via rubric) reflecting their knowledge of the field of physical therapy and writing/communication skills.  The top scoring applicants will be offered admission to the PTA program on a space available basis.

Program Notes:

  • When admission is limited because the number of qualified applicants exceeds available space, priority will be given to applicants who are residents in the college service area including Martinsville, Henry, and Patrick counties.  If further delineation is required, individual category ATI TEAS (or equivalent) admission test scores will be utilized beginning with science and followed by math, reading, and English and language usage respectively, as needed.
  • Applicants who are not accepted will be eligible to reapply at the next application period.  A new application must be submitted as applications do not carry over from year to year.
  • Please note: any student who fails to earn a “C” or higher in the required prerequisite courses that are concurrently enrolled in at the time of submission of PTA application will void any program application and possible acceptance.
  • As a part of the program admission, all students who are offered a seat in the PTA program must undergo mandatory drug screening and criminal background checks.  The cost of the drug screen and background check are the responsibility of the student.  Clinical agencies may deny a student participation in direct patient care based on the results of drug screen and/or background.  Inability to participate in direct care at any clinical site will result in automatic program dismissal.
  • Upon acceptance, students must also complete a medical physical examination. Students must provide proof of all required immunizations as mandated by clinical agencies.
  • Students must achieve and maintain certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (Health Care Provider/Basic Life Support) throughout the course of the program.  HLT 105 , Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, is included in the first semester of technical coursework to provide students with an opportunity to achieve their certification.  Successful completion will allow students to remain certified through all clinical experiences.  If a student already has their certification they must provide evidence of renewal to last through all clinical experiences.
  • To remain in the program, students must receive a final grade of “C” or better in all PTH coursework as well as BIO 142   (whether taken prior to program admission or during the first semester of the technical program).  In lab courses, students must pass all skill check offs and lab practicals to proceed in the program. Re-entrance to the program is always subject to seat availability.  A student who withdraws from the PTA program or is removed due to failure in the PTA program, will be permitted to re-apply and, upon acceptance, enter the program only one additional time.

Curricular Requirements: Students must earn a grade of C or higher in all degree coursework to graduate. Clinical/field/preceptor experiences require access to contracted clinical agencies.

Physical Requirement: Students are expected to meet the Essential Functions of PTA Students.  Each student must sign an acknowledgement of these terms.  These may be found on the program webpage,

Financial Requirements: In addition to the usual college tuition and fees, the PTA program requires additional expenses. Approximate costs include:

  • Clinical specific attire $75
  • Drug screen $38 minimum 
  • Criminal background $48 minimum
  • Program books and resources $1200-$1500
  • Physical examinations and immunizations $150-$350
  • Student APTA and VA chapter fees $90 annually
  • Academic PEAT (practice exams) $79
  • Virginia licensing fees $100
  • FSBPT PTA national exam $485
  • Prometric test center fee for exam $82.60
  • 2-Year subscription to PhysioU $169
  • P&HCC PTA program t-shirts (2) $30

Total Credits: 17

Total Credits: 51

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 68 credits

Advising Sheet

Advising Sheet Suggested Schedules: Courses in advising sheets are displayed under the semester in which the courses are regularly offered. It is possible that a course shown on the schedule for a particular semester may not be offered due to low enrollment or other factors.

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