Purpose: The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Germanna Community College is to prepare successful graduates of a comprehensive and contemporary program of study who have the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of entry-level physical therapist assistants, and who are able to meet the employment needs of the surrounding communities.
Admission Requirements: All students will be required to demonstrate college readiness through assessment and/or transcript review and may be required to take placement tests in math, writing, and reading to aid in placing students in the appropriate courses. Students who do not meet required placement levels must enroll in developmental studies courses.
End of Program Student Learning Outcomes:
- Students will demonstrate the ability to collect and review data and to administer evidence-based interventions within the limits of the PTA scope of work and as outlined by the physical therapist in the plan of care.
- Students will demonstrate written and verbal communication related to the practice of physical therapy that is effective, professional, and presented in a manner appropriate to the intended audience.
- Students will apply critical thinking and decision-making skills to the provision of physical therapy care to ensure patient safety and appropriate progression of the physical therapist - developed plan of care.
- Students will adhere to federal and state regulations, facility policies and procedures, and will meet standards of performance-based and values-based behaviors expected of the entry- level physical therapist assistant.
Accreditation Status of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program: The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Germanna 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.
Essential Functions of the PTA: In the course of the PTA curriculum, students are required to demonstrate certain physical, behavioral and cognitive functions related to those expected in physical therapy practice, as well as specific factors related to the classroom experience. Germanna Community College has adopted standards that students of the program are expected to possess. A list of the Essential Functions is available in the complete PTA Application Packet found online. Qualified individuals with a disability who can perform these essential functions with reasonable accommodations may be considered for admission to the program; however, they must contact a college disabilities counselor to determine what reasonable accommodations are appropriate to this setting. Provisions for accommodations will be made in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Occupational Objectives: Employment opportunities for the PTA include jobs in hospitals, nursing home/extended care facilities, assisted living facilities, outpatient clinics, home health, Veteran’s Administration clinics, sports facilities, and school systems. Experienced physical therapist assistants are also utilized as clinic directors. The physical therapist assistant works under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist to administer components of the plan of care.
Admission Requirements for All Applicants: Prospective students must complete the following as part of the program application and admissions process:
- Apply for and be granted admission to Germanna Community College.
- Have official High School and College Transcripts mailed to Germanna Community College Admissions and Records prior to program application deadline date.
- Attend a Physical Therapist Assistant Information Session (dates are posted on the PTA Program website).
- Complete the prerequisite general education courses with a grade of “C” or better: Points earned for “A’s” and “B’s” in select courses from the first five will contribute to application priority points.
- Achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better for all prerequisites and/or required general education courses.
- Complete two (2) distinct volunteer/observation experiences of 20 hours each under the supervision of a Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant. One experience must be in a hospital or long-term care facility. Supervisor evaluation forms and instructions for submission are available in the Application Packet online.
- Meet with the PTA Program Director or Clinical Director (ACCE) within the 6 months prior but no greater than May 1st to the application deadline to review the transcript and to identify remaining criteria to be met. County/city of residency will be reviewed in the Student Information System and recorded in the student’s file for awarding of residency points.
- Submit a current background check and drug screen through a Division of Nursing and Health Technologies approved vendor.
- Submit all components of the PTA Program Application by the application deadline, including the Personal Statement essay explaining the student’s reasoning for choosing the field of PTA
Basic Requirements and Competencies
Applicants will meet the following basic requirements:
- Valid High School or Home School diploma or GED
- Acceptance as a student at Germanna Community College
- Competency in MTE 1-5 as a pre-admission qualification
- Successful challenge of GCC computer competency test or completion of ITE 115 , prior to admission
Students transferring from another college or university will consult with the Admissions and Records Office for an evaluation of transfer credit. Official transfer credit evaluations will be completed when all official transcripts and a Request for Evaluation of Transfer Credit form are received by the Admissions and Records Office.
Applications will be accepted between April 15 and May 15 each year.
Admission to the PTA program is competitive; class size is limited and not all qualified applicants can be accepted. Targeted class size is twelve (12) students. A standardized system of evaluation criteria is in place, and interested students are advised of these criteria during attendance at a mandatory information session, and through material available online and through college advisors. Applications are evaluated based on the following components: points earned for A’s and B’s in selected prerequisite, volunteer/observation supervisor ratings, and the Applicant’s Personal Statement. In order to be considered for admission, the applicant must submit all required materials during the open application period, and no later than the posted deadline. Applications will be reviewed by Admissions and Records staff who calculate total points and the top 20 scores will be forwarded to PTA faculty. In the second phase of the application process these 20 applicants are invited to interview with an interview committee, consisting of two full-time PTA faculty and a representative from the College Diversity and Inclusion Council. Interview scores are based on a standardized rubric, and an average score is calculated with other application materials by Admissions and Records staff to identify the top 12 candidates to be reviewed by the PTA Admissions Committee. The Admissions Panel consists of the Dean of Nursing and Health Technologies, the PTA program faculty, counselors, Registrar and a member of the College Diversity and Inclusion Council. The Register is a non-voting member of the committee.
Math and computer competencies must be completed within five years prior to application to the program. In instances where a student has been involved in continued study or employment utilizing the prerequisite science course content, this time requirement may be waived by the Program Director.
Applications do not carry over from year to year. If a student is not accepted and wishes to re-apply, he/she must resubmit a new application the next annual cycle. Volunteer experiences and evaluation forms completed for the original application will be accepted provided they were completed within two years of the new application deadline.
Students of the PTA program follow a structured curriculum pathways designed to progress from the simple to complex, and from basic understanding to competent performance. Students will develop both cognitive and psychomotor skills through individual reading, traditional lecture, lab, group projects, role-playing, one-on- one guidance, peer mentorship, use of interactive study aids, and off-campus experiences. Students will also complete three distinct clinical education experiences, embedded into the final three semesters of the program. Competence as an entry-level PTA requires hours of hands-on and performance practice, both in the lab and in the clinical environment. Students will develop their skills by learning not only intellectually, but in the psychomotor and behavioral domains as well. In this way, the student will be prepared with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for successful practice as a physical therapist assistant.