Physical Therapist Assistant, Career Associate of Science
The mission of the Albany State University Physical Therapist Assistant Programs is to graduate knowledgeable, competent, self-assured, adaptable, and service-oriented physical therapist assistants.
The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program at Albany State University is accredited by the
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
1111 N. Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission to the program is a two-step process. Students may declare a PTA plan of study upon college enrollment while completing prerequisite coursework for the purpose of advisement. However, this does not guarantee admission to the program.
After successful completion of the four semester PTA program, this includes both didactic and clinical components; an Associate of Science degree will be awarded. Graduates will be academically eligible to apply for national licensure by examination through the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy. It is noted that permission to take the examination is granted by the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy. The board has the right to refuse to grant a license to any individual who has been convicted of legal and/or moral violations specified by Georgia law.
After satisfactory performance on the examination, licensed physical therapist assistants will be qualified for entry-level employment in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, and other health care settings.
The PTA program reserves the right to discontinue, at any time, the enrollment of a PTA student if, in the judgment of the Provost / Vice President for Academic Affairs, the PTA faculty, and the Dean of the Health Sciences Division, the student does not appear to have the necessary qualifications for a career as a PTA.
Additional PTA Program Requirements
- The PTA program requires a full-time commitment from the student. Generally, classes will be scheduled Monday thru Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with some evening and/or Friday/weekend time commitments As Needed.
- Since clinical education is a critical component of the program, all clinical practicums must be passed. Some out of town travel will be necessary. Students are responsible for their own transportation, food, and lodging during the practicums unless other arrangements are made by the clinical site or student.
- Students must provide evidence of the following prior to clinical experiences:
- Completed health form, including evidence of the hepatitis B vaccine series, influenza, PPD, varicella, MMR, and other immunizations as required by the program.
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification - American Heart Association BLS Health Care Provider course. This must be maintained throughout the program.
- Malpractice insurance (available through Albany State University).
- Signed letter of confidentiality and honor code.
- Signed consent form to release health information and immunization records as required by individual clinical affiliation sites.
- Proof of health insurance is required.
- Drug screen and/or background check.
- The student is expected to assume responsibility for their own health in the event of illness, accident, or exposure to communicable disease.
- A minimum grade of "C" is required in each PTA didactic course to advance in the program.
- Clinical practicums must be passed to graduate. In the event of unsatisfactory performance, one practicum may be repeated one time only during the Spring Semester if deemed appropriate by the clinical faculty.
- Once enrolled in the program, failure to satisfactorily complete the coursework in the scheduled sequence will result in the student being withdrawn from the program. The student would have to reapply, be re-accepted, and repeat appropriate coursework.
- Students must follow the policies and procedures of the PTA program.
- Membership in the American Physical Therapy Association is strongly recommended to enhance professional development.
- All PTA students are required to purchase uniforms as specified by clinical sites and a clinical kit, which includes a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, goniometer, and other commonly needed clinical items.
- In order to successfully complete the clinical practicums and work effectively as a PTA, students are required to possess the following functional abilities and critical skills:
- Able to stand, walk on all surfaces, stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, and sit for long periods of time.
- Able to maintain good balance to assist with gait and transfer training.
- Able to lift, push, pull, and carry objects weighting up to fifty pounds.
- Able to reach above and below the waist.
- Able to manually, auditorially, and visually operate and/or manipulate wheelchairs, mobile aids, ambulation devices, instrumentation, and equipment.
- Able to visually and cognitively recognize changes in a patient's condition.
- Able to effectively communicate with patients and relay information about a patient verbally and in writing.
- Able to wear appropriate protective equipment and to tolerate unsightly, noxious environments.
- Able to manage physical, emotional, and mental stress effectively.
- Able to tolerate others’ value systems, morals, cultures and religions, which may be different from your own.
- Able to exhibit professional behavior and ethical conduct in a clinic and classroom.
- Able to problem solve rapidly, demonstrate the ability to learn and reason, and to integrate, analyze, and synthesize date concurrently.
- Able to multi-task in multiple settings.
Re-Admission of Returning Students
Any student who fails a PTA course will not be able to progress to the next semester of PTA courses. If this is the student’s first failure, the student may re-apply to the PTA Program for the following year. The student must re-apply and will be ranked along with all program applicants based on the admission criteria. The readmitted student must retake all coursework beginning in the first semester of the professional phase. If the student fails for a second time, it will result in permanent dismissal from the program without chance of re-admission.
Depending on your enrollment status, you may be required to take ASU 1101, “First Year Experience.”
PTA Program Applications may be picked up in the Health Sciences Division Office J-210 or downloaded from the Albany State University website https://www.asurams.edu/academic-affairs/dchealthprof/docs/PTA-Application.pdf
Deadline for all PTA application material to be turned in is June 1 of each year.
To be considered for admission into the Physical Therapist Assistant program, the applicant must:
- Be admitted to Albany State University
- Have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.8 or a 2.8 GPA or higher for the last 40 credit hours attempted.
- Have all core curriculum coursework completed with a grade of “C” or higher prior to the start date of the Fall Semester to which they are applying. Prerequisites completed more than five years prior to the date of application are subject to approval by the PTA Selection Committee.
- Complete the PTA application packet including:
- Application for admission to the PTA program
- Core Curriculum Information Form
- Documentation of at least 40 hours of observational experience in one or more physical therapy settings. Hours should be verified by the signature of a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant on the “Observational Hours/Recommendation Form” found in the application packet.
- TEAS V scores
One class per year will be selected and will begin each Fall Semester. Incomplete application packets and/or applications received after June 1 may not be considered. Preliminary selection criteria, including GPA and observational hours completed, are ranked by the PTA Selection Committee. Top ranking applicants that meet the admission requirements will be invited for a personal interview. Offers of acceptance will be made based on the final ranking of those interviewed.
Due to the fact that core curriculum course requirements for Physical Therapy programs are different, graduation from a PTA program is not a “stepping-stone” and will not prepare the student for entry into a Physical Therapy professional education program. Students wishing to pursue a career as a physical therapist should enroll in an Associate of Science in Core Curriculum.
Career Associate of Science Degree Program
Students should declare an Associate of Science for Core Curriculum focused in Health Career pathways. The secondary major should be listed as PTA (0263) plan of study upon college enrollment for the purpose of advisement while completing the core curriculum coursework below. However, declaring this plan of study does not guarantee admission into the PTA Program. The following schedule is an example of required coursework.
After completion of the Core Curriculum courses (listed below under Freshman year) and acceptance into the PTA Program, the schedule will continue at the sophomore year. This is a full-time program and the following classes must be taken in the order they are listed. An overall grade of “75 or higher” is required in each class in order to remain in the program. Failure to satisfactorily complete the coursework in the scheduled sequence will result in the student being withdrawn from the program.
|ENGL 1101||English Composition I||3|
|MATH 1111||College Algebra||3|
|BIOL 2411K||Human Anatomy and Physiology I||4|
|PSYC 1101||General Psychology||3|
|POLS 1101||American Government||3|
|BIOL 2412K||Human Anatomy and Physiology II||4|
|PSYC 2103||Human Growth & Development||3|
|Humanities requirement may be met by taking any Area C: Humanities/Fine Arts courses listed on the Core Curriculum page (see footnote below). 1||3|
|PTAS 1100||Intro to Physical Therapy||1|
|PTAS 1110||Function Anatomy & Kinesiology||4|
|PTAS 1115||Clinical Pathology||3|
|PTAS 1125||Physical Agents||4|
|PTAS 1105||OrientationPatient Care Skills||3|
|PTAS 1121||Therapeutic Exercise I||3|
|PTAS 1130||Appl Neurology & Gait Analysis||4|
|PTAS 2010||Clinical Practicum I||2|
|PTAS 1122||Therapeutic Exercise/Spec Pop||4|
|PTAS 1135||Seminar/Phy Ther Assistant I||2|
|PTAS 2050||Therapeutic Exercise II||3|
|PTAS 2100||Neurological Rehabilitation||3|
|PTAS 2020||Clinical Practicum II||5|
|PTAS 2025||Clinical Practicum III||5|
|PTAS 2200||Seminar for Physical Therapy Assistants II||2|
|Total Semester Hours||74|
Depending on your enrollment status, you may be required to take ASU 1101, “First Year Experience.”
Humanities requirement may be met by taking any Area C: Humanities/Fine Arts courses listed on the Core Curriculum page.
PTAS 1100. Intro to Physical Therapy. (1 Credit)
Explanation of the philosophy and history of the physical therapy profession and its relationship to other health care agencies and providers. Topics include: introduction to the structure and function of the American Physical Therapy Association, the development of the Physical Therapy Association, medical-legal aspects and professional ethics, critical thinking/problem solving and an introduction to documentation. Prerequisite: Admission to PTA program. Corequisite: PTAS 1110, PTAS 1115, PTAS 1125. Offered: Fall.
PTAS 1105. OrientationPatient Care Skills. (3 Credits)
Orientation of basic concepts and procedures of patient care in physical therapy. Topics include documentation and chart review, basic administrative skills, teaching and learning principles, patient positioning and draping, body mechanics, vital sign monitoring, transfers, assistive devices and gait training, infection control, aseptic techniques, architectural barriers and accessibility, special patient care equipment and environment and basic soft tissue techniques. Prerequisites: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1110, PTAS 1115, PTAS 1125. Corequisites: PTAS 1121, PTAS 1130, PTAS 2010. Offered: Spring.
PTAS 1110. Function Anatomy & Kinesiology. (4 Credits)
Understanding of human movement and its impact on function through the integration of biomechanics, kinesiology, and applied anatomy. Principles will be reinforced through a problem-solving approach. Goniometric measurements, manual muscle testing, and palpation skills of the upper extremity, lower extremity, trunk, and head will be included. Corequisites: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1115, PTAS 1125. Prerequisite: Admission to PTA Program. Offered: Fall.
PTAS 1115. Clinical Pathology. (3 Credits)
The pathophysiology of selected disorders commonly encountered in physical therapy. Etiology, signs and symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, and prognosis of disease and injury will be included. This is an on-line course. Corequisites: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1110, PTAS 1130. Prerequisite: Admission to PTA Program. Offered: Fall.
PTAS 1121. Therapeutic Exercise I. (3 Credits)
Emphasizes demonstration and practice of common therapeutic exercise utilized in physical therapy that include active, active assistive, and passive range of motion. Data collection and performance of manual muscle testing and special tests will be explored along with treatment interventions for common musculoskeletal disease, dysfunction, and injury for treatment of neck, shoulder, arm, hand, postural abnormalities, and body mechanics with an emphasis on ergonomics. Principles of patient care will be developed utilizing critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the selection and application of treatment interventions based on the plan of care. Prerequisites: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1110, PTAS 1115, PTAS 1125. Corequisites: PTAS 1105, PTAS 1130, PTAS 2010. Offered: Spring.
PTAS 1122. Therapeutic Exercise/Spec Pop. (4 Credits)
Advanced therapeutic exercise techniques used in specialty areas of physical therapy, including, but not limited to: arthritis, wound care, burns, cardiopulmonary, peripheral vascular disease, geriatrics, amputation, women's health, cancer and chronic pain. Corequisites: PTAS 1125, PTAS 1135, PTAS 2050. Prerequisites: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1105, PTAS 1110, PTAS 1115, PTAS 1121, PTAS 1130, PTAS 2010, PTAS 2100. Offered: Summer.
PTAS 1125. Physical Agents. (4 Credits)
Therapeutic properties and application of physical agents used in the delivery of physical therapy services. Electromyography will be included. Emphasis is on problem-solving skills necessary to provide an integrated approach to patient care. Students must demonstrate basic skill acquisition in using equipment and the ability to choose appropriate physical agents based on the physical therapist’s plan of care. This course is web-enhanced. Corequisites: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1110, PTAS 1115. Prerequisite: Admission to PTA Program. Offered: Fall.
PTAS 1130. Appl Neurology & Gait Analysis. (4 Credits)
Basic neurophysiological concepts used as a foundation for understanding normal and abnormal function. Theory and application of fundamental neuro-anatomy and physical data collection techniques will be introduced. Normal and abnormal gait concepts are covered. Part-time clinical experience will be included. Corequisites: PTAS 1105, PTAS 1121, PTAS 2010. Prerequisite: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1110, PTAS 1115, PTAS 1125. Offered: Spring.
PTAS 1135. Seminar/Phy Ther Assistant I. (2 Credits)
Adaptation of psychosocial principles in the development of self-understanding and communication with patients, families, the public and other health care teams. Develops basic administrative skills in scheduling patients, patient charges, explanation of reimbursement, important of incidence report, risk management and continuous quality improvement. The Rules and Laws of the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy will be explored. Clinical professionalism is also emphasized along with time management and professional development. Corequisites: PTAS 1122, PTAS 2100, PTAS 2050. Prerequisites: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1105, PTAS 1110, PTAS 1115, PTAS 1121, PTAS 1125, PTAS 1130, PTAS 2010. Offered: Summer.
PTAS 2010. Clinical Practicum I. (2 Credits)
First full-time clinical experience in which students integrate component clinical skills and prerequisite knowledge into a patient management framework. Emphasis is on the development of critical thinking abilities, professional and ethical behaviors, responsibility, and effective management of time and resources. This practicum is 40 hours per week for 3 weeks. Corequisites: PTAS 1105, PTAS 1121, PTAS 1130. Prerequisite: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1110, PTAS 1115, PTAS 1125.Offered: Spring.
PTAS 2020. Clinical Practicum II. (5 Credits)
Second full-time clinical rotation in which the student gains additional experience in a health care facility observing and practicing skills under the supervision of a clinical instructor. The student will implement patient care utilizing knowledge from all didactic coursework for critical thinking and problem-solving in the selection and application of treatment interventions based on the physical therapist’s plan of care. This practicum is 40 hours per week for 6 weeks. Corequisites: PTAS 2025, PTAS 2200. Prerequisites: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1105, PTAS 1110, PTAS 1115, PTAS 1121, PTAS 1122, PTAS 1125, PTAS 1130, PTAS 1135, PTAS 2010, PTAS 2050, PTAS 2100. Offered: Fall.
PTAS 2025. Clinical Practicum III. (5 Credits)
Final clinical experience in which students achieve refinement of all competencies from Clinical Practicums I & II, as well as expansion into other areas of physical therapy care while under the supervision of a clinical instructor. Upon successful completion, the student will demonstrate entry-level competency as a physical therapist assistant. The student will demonstrate strong cognitive, motor, and organizational skills. He/she will handle the responsibilities and possess the sound judgment required of a physical therapist assistant. The practicum is 40 hours per week for 6 weeks. Corequisites: PTAS 2020, PTAS 2200. Prerequisites: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1105, PTAS 1110, PTAS 1115, PTAS 1121, PTAS 1122, PTAS 1125, PTAS 1130, PTAS 1135, PTAS 2010, PTAS 2050, PTAS 2100. Offered: Fall.
PTAS 2050. Therapeutic Exercise II. (3 Credits)
Continues education from Therapeutic Exercise I for data collection and performance of manual muscle testing and special tests along with treatment interventions for common musculoskeletal disease, dysfunction, and injury for treatment of the spine, hip, knee, ankle, foot, and gait abnormalities. Principles of patient care will continue to be utilized, along with critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the selection and application of treatment interventions based on the plan of care. Corequisites: PTAS 1122, PTAS 1135, PTAS 2100. Prerequisites: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1105, PTAS 1110, PTAS 1115, PTAS 1121, PTAS 1125, PTAS 1130, PTAS 2010. Offered: Summer.
PTAS 2100. Neurological Rehabilitation. (3 Credits)
Principles of patient management of adults and children with central nervous system disorders utilizing neurophysiological data collection methods and treatment interventions. General topics will include cerebrovascular accidents, pediatrics, spinal cord injury, head injury, and other selected disorders commonly referred for physical therapy. This class meets 7.5 hours per week for 10 weeks.Corequisites: PTAS 1122, PTAS 1135, PTAS 2050. Prerequisites: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1105, PTAS 1110, PTAS 1115, PTAS 1121, PTAS 1125, PTAS 1130, PTAS 2010. Offered: Summer.
PTAS 2200. Seminar for Physical Therapy Assistants II. (2 Credits)
An exploration of the clinical experience through the presentation of a case study (both written and orally.) Topics will include interview skills, resume skills, and preparation/review for state board examinations. Corequisites: PTAS 2020, PTAS 2025. Prerequisites: PTAS 1100, PTAS 1105, PTAS 1110, PTAS 1115, PTAS 1121, PTAS 1122, PTAS 1125, PTAS 1130, PTAS 1135, PTAS 2010, PTAS 2050, PTAS 2100. Offered: Fall.