Physical Therapist Assistant | JCTC

Physical Therapist Assistant

Provide healing help to people of all ages recovering from illness or injury. Learn how our bodies work and train to aid licensed therapists in this growing field.

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2020-2021 Admission Information 

  • Students who are interested in the PTA Program should first review the PTA Program Curriculum Guide and all of the information provided on this page. Please address any additional questions to either Deloris Cummings or Jennifer Pitchford and allow up to one week for a reply due to high demand.
  • Admission is selective, using a carefully guided point system (please refer to the curriculum guide link for details), and limited to a maximum of 22 students per academic year. Applications are due by April 1, 2021 and classes will begin in the Fall semester of 2021.  
  • All applicants must provide proof of an ACT Composite Score. Information on the ACT Test and how to get registered can be found at their website: ACT.org. Applicants do not need to take the written portion of the exam.
  • All applicants must have completed BIO 137 (or its pre-approved transfer equivalent) with a grade of "C" or better prior to the Fall 2021 semester.  
  • All applicants must attend a preadmission conference for the 2020-2021 admission cycle to receive the application materials.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all preadmission conferences will be held virtually. Students must send an email to the Academic Program Coordinator in order to register for the event. 

2020-2021 Preadmission Conference Dates 

ONLINE SESSIONS, 10:00 AM to noon. Contact Jennifer Pitchford to register to attend. 

  • Friday October 9, 2020
  • Friday November 6, 2020
  • Friday December 11, 2020
2021 dates are still to be determined. 

What is a Physical Therapist Assistant?

  • The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) describes the role of a PTA as "provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. PTAs help people of all ages who have medical problems, or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.” Additionally, the APTA states the PTA will “implement selected components of patient/client interventions (treatment), obtain data related to the interventions provided, and make modifications in selected interventions either to progress the patient/client as directed by the physical therapist or to ensure patient/client safety and comfort.”

More information can be found at the American Physical Therapy Association website.

What is the difference between a Physical Therapist and a Physical Therapist Assistant?

The Physical Therapist (PT) and the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) differ in educational preparation and levels of responsibilities as it relates to the provision of physical therapy services.
Education

  • PT = Doctorate degree
  • PTA = Associate degree

Jefferson awards an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree at completion of the PTA Program. An Associate Degree is an undergraduate academic degree awarded upon completion of a course of study usually lasting two years.

IMPORTANT NOTE!  The AAS degree does NOT provide a direct stepping stone toward completion of a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Further education, including earning a Bachelor’s Degree and often an Master’s Degree, is required prior to application to a DPT Program. Although some or all of the PTA Program course credits may transfer to other universities and colleges and earn credit toward completion of a higher degree, the student is encouraged to check with individual institutions regarding specific degree pre-requisites and program application requirements.

Responsibilities

  • PT = can work autonomously; performs patient evaluation; develops goals and designs the plan of care
  • PTA = can only work under the supervision and direction of a PT; follows the plan of care by utilizing critical thinking and problem solving skills to select appropriate interventions that addresses the patient’s goals; maintains collaboration with the supervising PT

The collaborative relationship between the PT/PTA is highly effective and valued, and the team greatly contributes to the success of the overall rehabilitation process.

What are my career choices?

PTAs work in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, rehabilitation hospitals, schools, pediatric facilities, and specialized clinics. PTAs may serve in leadership roles such as management of facilities or director of clinical education for facilities. Qualified PTA’s may also teach in CAPTE accredited colleges and universities.

How long is the program?

All students, regardless of prior degree or career experience, will require 2 years to complete the degree after admission to the Program.

PTA coursework spans over four semesters and allows for the integration of general education coursework during the first year of the program. The curriculum consists of approximately 26-29 credit hours of general education courses coupled with 40 credit hours of PTA core courses.
To see detailed information on courses check out our
Course Description page.

Pre-requisite coursework:

  • BIO 137 - 4 credit hours of human anatomy and physiology with a dedicated laboratory component; must have been completed within the last 5 academic years. Students who have taken or plan to take an anatomy and physiology course outside of KCTCS should contact the PTA Program Coordinator for transfer credit approval, as not all anatomy and physiology courses will meet Jefferson's criteria. This is the only true pre-requisite course for the PTA Program. All applicants must have either completed the course or its equivalent with a grade of "C" or better or be enrolled in the course for the spring or summer semesters of 2021 to be eligible for admission. Students are highly encouraged to complete this course in the fall prior to applying to the PTA Program, as it does count toward bonus points in the selective admission process, however this is not required.
  • BIO 139 - 4 credit hours of human anatomy and physiology with a dedicated laboratory component; must have been completed within the past 5 academic years. Students who have taken or plan to take an anatomy and physiology course outside of KCTCS should contact the PTA Program Coordinator for transfer credit approval, as not all anatomy and physiology courses will meet Jefferson's criteria. Must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher by no later than the end of the Fall 2021 semester. Any student who is selected for the PTA Program admission but does not meet this requirement by the end of the Fall 2021 semester will be removed from the PTA Program.
  • Digital Literacy Requirement - although this course is not counted in the total 66-69 credit hours for the PTA Program Associate Degree, it is a KCTCS requirement for graduation. All students of KCTCS must demonstrate digital literacy through completion of an approved course. A complete list of digital literacy courses can be found in the KCTCS Catalog (pdf, 408pgs) on page 71:   
  • General Education courses - With the exception of BIO 137, all general education courses may be taken alongside the first year of the PTA Program technical courses, General education courses and the digital literacy course must be completed prior to the start of the 3rd semester of the PTA Program (Fall 2022). Students are encouraged to complete at least 12 credit hours of general education prior to the April 1st application deadline, but this is not required. Students are encouraged to begin their coursework with BIO 137, ENG 101 and Oral Communications, since all three courses have potential bonus points associated with them in the selective admission criteria.
  • FYE 105 - this course is only required for first time college students. It is an introduction to college course that is designed to be completed within the first two semesters of your college experience. 

Why apply at Jefferson?

We love our students, and our students achieve great things!

The program has been graduating successful clinicians since its initial accreditation in 1977. Students have a long history of obtaining licensure and working as PTA’s throughout the region. Many graduates continue to serve as clinical instructors at their workplace in order to give back to the college.
PTA Program students have access to state-of-the-art physical therapy laboratory equipment, over 130 clinical affiliation sites throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana, a location embedded in the heart of downtown Louisville s medical centers, low cost tuition and access to all student support services offered by the college.

Program Outcomes

Student Outcomes May 2016 graduates May 2017 graduates May 2018 graduates May 2019 graduates
Completers/Graduation Rate based on 22 students admitted 21/22 (95%) 21/22 (95%) 21/22 (95%) 19/22 (86%)
Pass rate of graduates on the national licensing exam for Physical Therapist Assistants 100% 21/21 (100%) 20/21 (95%)

17/19

(1 abstained from taking, one yet to complete) 

Graduates who sought and obtained employment within six months of graduation. 100% 20/20 (100%) 20/20 (100%) 100%

Accreditation

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 502.213.2193 or email Jennifer Pitchford at jpitchford0004@kctcs.edu 

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Jefferson Community and Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

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Other Information

  • This information should not be considered a substitute for the KCTCS Catalog.
  • You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.
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Program Contact

Deloris Cummings, PT, DPT, MA

Physical Therapist Assistant

Associate Professor

502.213.2201

deloris.cummings@kctcs.edu

Jennifer Pitchford, PTA, M.Ed., CHES

Physical Therapist Assistant

Associate Professor, Academic Program Coordinator and Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education

502.213.2193

jpitchford0004@kctcs.edu