May 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog and Student Handbook 
2020-2021 Catalog and Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapist Assistant, AAS

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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. The Physical Therapist Assistant program is designed to meet the requirements leading to professional licensure in the state of Virginia. The National Physical Therapist Assistant Exam (NPTAE) is required for licensure in all states. Other state’s requirements may differ from those in Virginia. Additional information regarding out of state licensure can be found on the state’s professional licensure website.

Admission Requirements: All students will be required to demonstrate college readiness through assessment and/or transcript review. 

End of Program Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Graduates 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.
  2. Graduates 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.
  3. Graduates will apply critical thinking and decision-making skills to the provision of physical therapy care to ensure patient safety and to appropriately progress the plan of care developed by the physical therapist. 
  4. Graduates 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:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 540-423-9821 or email

The proposed expansion program with Lord Fairfax Community College must be approved by CAPTE prior to accepting students.

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:

  1. Apply for and be granted admission to Germanna Community College.
  2. Have official High School and College Transcripts mailed to Germanna Community College Admissions and Records prior to program application deadline date.
  3. Attend a Physical Therapist Assistant Information Session in person or via scheduled virtual meeting. (Times are listed on the PTA Program website).
  4. Complete the prerequisite general education courses with a grade of “C” or better. BIO141 must be completed with an A or B.
  5. Achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better for all prerequisites and/or required general education courses.
  6. Complete one 20-hour clinical observation experience in the outpatient setting and submit the evaluation form according to the instructions on the form. 
  7. Take the TEAS aptitude test.
  8. Meet with the PTA Program Director or Clinical Director (DCE) within the 6 months prior but no less than two weeks prior to the application deadline to review the transcript and to identify remaining criteria to be met. 
  9. Submit a current background check and drug screen through the designated vendor.
  10. Submit all components of the PTA Program Application by the application deadline. 

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
  • Math competency: eligible for MTH 154 without corequisite support

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.

Admission to the PTA program is competitive; class size is limited and not all qualified applicants can be accepted. A standardized evaluation of admission criteria is used to rank applicants. Students are advised of these criteria during the mandatory information session and through material available online and through college advisors and program faculty. In order to be considered for admission, applicants must submit all required materials during the open application period, and no later than the deadline. Applications are reviewed by Admissions and Records staff to calculate total points and ranking. Top applicants are invited to interview with the PTA admissions panel, consisting of members of the PTA faculty and a representative of the GCC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. Interviews are scored using a rubric, and these scores are considered along with the initial scores for final admission ranking. Rankings are reviewed by the PTA Admissions Committee for accuracy. The registrar oversees all aspects of the admissions process.

Applications do not carry over from year to year. Students who are not accepted may reapply in the next cycle. Volunteer/observation evaluation records may be used for a reapplication, provided the hours were completed within three 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.

A.A.S. In Physical Therapist Assistant Curriculum Degree Requirements:

(Including prerequisites and required General Education courses):

Total Minimum Credits: 68

Suggested Scheduling:

Students progress sequentially through the PTA curriculum, designed to prepare the student with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for the physical therapist assistant. The curriculum includes classroom and lab components, and three full-time clinical education experiences. Progression to the subsequent semester is dependent on passing each PTH-prefix course with a C or better, maintaining an overall 2.5 or better GPA, and meeting course-specific requirements presented in each syllabus. Students are given opportunity for remediation if they are in danger of not passing a course.


The First Five courses below must be completed or in progress at the time of application to the program. Prerequisites completed at other institutions, including other VCCS colleges, will be evaluated for transfer upon the submission of the GCC transfer evaluation request form. Official transcripts are required for courses taken at non-VCCS institutions.

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