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Curriculum Guide

Physical Therapist Assistant

  • 2018-2019
  • Updated: JULY 2018

The information contained within this curriculum guide is the official Physical Therapist Assistant Program Policies and Procedures effective for the academic year 2018 - 2019. It is the student’s responsibility to keep updated on any program changes.

General Overview:

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is a selective admission, two-year collegiate program (66-69 total credit hours) leading to an Associate in Applied Science degree. The Program’s technical courses are offered in-person on the Downtown Campus and generally scheduled between the hours of 9AM and 4 PM Monday – Friday with no weekend or evening content. Clinical courses require students to follow the schedule of the assigned Clinical Instructor and may require early mornings/late evenings and out of town travel. The Program prepares the student to assume the responsibilities of a Physical Therapist Assistant within a variety of health care settings. Common locations for employment include: hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, and rehabilitation centers. Students of this program will learn how to design patient care under the supervision and direction of a licensed Physical Therapist, create treatment programs according to the plan of care, train patients in exercises and activities of daily living, provide treatments using special equipment, interact with multidisciplinary teams, and document patient interventions. The program is technical in nature with a heavy emphasis on human anatomy and physiology. The abilities to clearly communicate orally and in writing, problem solve, and think critically are essential.

Contact Information:

The preferred method of contact for faculty is via email.

Jefferson Community and Technical College
ATTN: Jennifer Pitchford/ PTA Program HSH #462
109 E. Broadway
Louisville, KY 40202

Admission Policies and Procedures:

The PTA Program is a selective admissions program that accepts a maximum of 22 students per year; a student cannot independently enroll in a PTA technical course. In order to be eligible to apply to the PTA Program, the student must first attend a Preadmission Conference. All details regarding the PTA Program admission process, program schedule, and post-acceptance requirements will be covered in these meetings. The conferences last approximately 2.5 hours, depending on the number in attendance and questions asked. There is no registration or sign up required for the conferences; it is recommended that students bring a copy of any previous college transcripts to assist with answering individual questions and a pen to take notes.

Next, the student must apply for admission to the college. Students who are enrolled at Jefferson Community and Technical College for the spring semester of the application year have met this requirement. Students enrolled in any of the additional 15 KCTCS institutions for the spring semester of the application year have also met this requirement, but will need to complete a change of home college application form if selected to join the PTA Program at Jefferson for the fall.

College Admission

  • Please note: Application to the college is a separate process from application to the PTA program. Admission to the college does not imply admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. Instructions for application to the college can be found online. Please direct questions regarding admission requirements for Jefferson Community and Technical College to the admissions department.

Program Admission

  • Preadmission Conferences:
    • All candidates must attend a Preadmission Conference hosted by Jefferson Community and Technical College for the current application cycle to be eligible to apply to the Jefferson Community and Technical College PTA Program.
    • The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is offered by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System at 5 separate colleges throughout the state, each with their own application procedures and paperwork. Although we are all one system, attendance at one college’s Preadmission Conference DOES NOT qualify to apply to the other colleges. Additionally, attendance at previous years’ Preadmission Conferences DOES NOT qualify for meeting the criteria to apply to the current application cycle.
    • Preadmission conferences will be held between September and March during the 2018-2019 application cycle.
    • Students may send a representative to attend, such as family or friend, if unable to personally attend any of the dates provided.
    • A reservation is not required; sign-in sheets will be provided for verification of attendance.
    • Parking on campus is freely accessible on Fridays; you may park in the main student lot at no charge. The student lot is accessible from 2nd Street between Broadway and Chestnut Street.
    • Due to the large number of applicants and the mandatory attendance at a preadmission conference, applications will NOT be distributed after the completion of the final preadmission conference.
    • Sudden changes to the conference schedule for any reason, such as unexpected school closures or scheduling conflicts, will be updated as quickly as possible. If the campus is closed due to Inclement weather or other unexpected emergency, the preadmission conference will be rescheduled; contact the PTA Program Coordinator for updates.

Program Application:

  • Applications are due by April 1, 2019. The PTA Program is a selective admissions program, which means not every student in the applicant pool is guaranteed acceptance to the program. Admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant Program is highly competitive with limited enrollment due to available faculty, financial, and/or clinical resources at the college or health care facilities. Applicants are assessed via the criteria set forth in the Point System for Admission. The students who earn the highest points will be recommended for admission. The Physical Therapist Assistant Program admits a maximum of twenty two (22) students for enrollment each fall semester. Students will be notified of their program admission status via U.S. Mail and/or email to their KCTCS account by May 31st of the application year. Selected students that meet all prerequisite criteria and accept the offer to be enrolled in the Program will begin the PTA Program courses during the Fall 2019 semester. Application to the PTA Program is free of charge. Additional costs may be incurred for sending official transcripts from college courses attended outside of KCTCS, sending high school transcripts, or sending official assessment score reports, if applicable.
  • Pre-admission conference information:  All sessions will meet on the Downtown Campus Health Science Hall, Room 166A
    • 01/25/19: 1:00-3:30pm
    • 03/08/19: 1:00-3:30pm

POINT SYSTEM FOR ADMISSION:

Implemented April 2016 Each candidate is evaluated as one of the following options:

  1. TRACK 1:
    • Student has completed at least 12 credit hours of the **approved PTA general education courses with a grade of C or better by the April 1st deadline. Academic history will be evaluated based on college transcripts.
  2. TRACK 2:
    • Student is a high school senior or graduate who has completed less than 12 credit hours of the **approved PTA general education courses with a grade of C or better by the April 1st deadline. Academic history will be evaluated based on cumulative high school GPA.
  3. TRACK 3:
    • Student earned a GED and has completed less than 12 credit hours of the **approved PTA general education courses with a grade of C or better by the April 1st deadline. Academic history will be evaluated based on the ACT score.

**General education courses transferred in from outside of KCTCS must be deemed equivalent by the college’s records department and/or approved by the PTA Academic Program Coordinator for course substitution to be counted toward points for admission. AP transfer credit must be pre-approved by the Records Department prior to application to the PTA Program.

TRACK 1:   Total Points = 50

  • ACT = 5 points (10%)
  • Grades = 40 points (80%)
  • Veteran status = 1 point (2%); requires ID
  • Verifiable work experience in healthcare = 2 points (4%); requires official letter from employer
  • Completion of prior degree = 2 points (4%)

ACT point system:

  • 18 = 0 points
  • 24-26 = 3.5 points 18 = 1 point
  • 27-29 = 4 points
  • 19-20 = 2 points
  • 30-32 = 4.5 points
  • 21-23 = 2.5 points
  • 33-36 = 5 points
  • Note: 22 is the average ACT score of previously successful PTA students

General Education GPA = tally of all **approved general education coursework of at least 12 hours. Quality Points shall be awarded as follows for each grade earned:

  • A = 4; B = 3; C = 2
  • The credit hour for the course will be multiplied by the associated quality point value, which will be recorded in the Product column. The sum of the product column will then be divided by the sum of the credit hour column to assign the general education GPA.
Course Grade Credit Hours Quality Points  Product 
Written Communications   3    
Oral Communications   3    
Quantitative Reasoning   3    
General Psychology   3    
Developmental Psychology   3    
Human Anatomy & Physiology 1   4    
Human Anatomy & Physiology 2   4    
Heritage/Humanities   3    
  • Note: 22 is the average ACT score of previously successful PTA students
  • Sum of Product column = ___________
  • Sum of Credit Hours column = ______________
  • General Education GPA = _____________

Points will be assigned to the General Education GPA as follows: (30 points)

  • 3.8 to 4.0 = 30 points
  • 3.6 to 3.79 = 28 points
  • 3.4 to 3.59 = 26 points
  • 3.2 to 3.39 = 24 points
  • 3.0 to 3.19 = 22 points
  • 2.8 to 2.99 = 20 points
  • 2.6 to 2.79 = 18 points
  • 2.5 to 2.59 = 15 points
  • 2.49 and below = 0 points

Completion of the following courses: Human Anatomy and Physiology 1, Oral Communications, and Written Communications will be assigned points as follows: (maximum of 10 “bonus”points)

BIO 137 Written Communications Oral Communications
A = 4 points A = 3 points A = 3 points
B = 2 points B = 2 points B = 2 points
C = 0.5 points C = 0.5 points C = 0.5 points

TRACK 2:  Total Points = 50

  • ACT = 5 points (10%)
  • Grades = 42 points (84%)
  • Veteran status = 1 point (2%); requires ID
  • Verifiable work experience in healthcare = 2 points (4%); requires official letter from employer

ACT point system:

  • 18 = 0 points
  • 18 = 1 point
  • 24-26 = 3.5 points
  • 27-29 = 4 points
  • 19-20 = 2 points
  • 30-32 = 4.5 points
  • 21-23 = 2.5 points
  • 33-36 = 5 points

Note: 22 is the average ACT score of previously successful PTA students

Points will be assigned to Grades category as follows:   

High School Cumulative GPA: (unweighted)

  • 4.00 = 42 points
  • 3.80 to 3.99 = 40 points
  • 3.60 to 3.79 = 38 points
  • 3.40 to 3.59 = 36 points
  • 3.20 to 3.39 = 34 points
  • 3.00 to 3.19 = 32 points
  • 2.80 to 2.99 = 30 points
  • 2.60 to 2.79 = 28 points
  • 2.50 to 2.59 = 26 points
  • Below 2.50 = 0 points

TRACK 3: Total Points = 50

  • ACT score = 47 points (94%)
  • Veteran status = 1 point (2%)
  • Verifiable work experience in healthcare = 2 points (4%)

ACT point system:

  • <18 = 0 points
  • 18 = 30 points
  • 19-20 = 33 points
  • 21-23 = 37 points*
  • 24-26 = 40 points
  • 27-29 = 43 points
  • 30-36 = 47 points

Note: 22 is the average ACT score of previously successful PTA students

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, marital status, sex or handicap in employment, educational programs or activities as set forth in Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Technical Standards:

The physical therapist assistant works in a hands-on situation under the supervision of a physical therapist in providing patient services for the prevention and alleviation of physical impairment and the restoration of function. Therefore, in order to work successfully with patients, all applicants should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the following minimum technical standards:

  1. visual acuity, such as observation necessary for administering patient care and reading equipment gauges and settings used in treatments;
  2. auditory perception to receive verbal communication and to execute patient care through the use of monitoring devices;
  3. strength and gross and fine motor coordination to respond promptly and to implement patient care skills, such as the manipulation of equipment, and positioning and lifting patients;
  4. communication skills (speech, reading, writing) to interact with individuals and to communicate their needs promptly and effectively, as may be necessary in the patient’s interest; and
  5. intellectual and emotional functions to implement the plan of care.

Minimum Requirements:

Every candidate who applies to a PTA Program in Kentucky must meet the minimum criteria established by the KCTCS Senate Rules for admission into the Applicant Pool:

  1. Complete the application process for admission to a KCTCS institution;
  2. Include official transcripts of all post-secondary education earned outside of KCTCS institutions with the PTA Program Application Packet;
  3. Include proof of an ACT or SAT score report with the PTA Program Application Packet; and
  4. Provide proof of attendance at a preadmission conference and/or meeting with the coordinator and/or the coordinator’s designee (Jefferson does not offer meetings with the program coordinator or and program designee; student MUST attend a conference. However, the student may send a friend or relative in his or her place if scheduling conflicts do not allow attendance ata conference.)

The PTA Program Point System for Admission at Jefferson may give preference to:

  1. applicants who demonstrate above average standing in high school or on the General Education Development Examination (GED);
  2. applicants with an ACT composite score of 19 or higher or the equivalent on the SAT; and/or ACT section scores; and/or a program approved admissions test. (The ACT and SAT are the only admission tests that are approved by Jefferson.)
  3. applicants who have completed 12 or more credit hours in the approved curriculum with a cumulative GPA or 3.0 or higher from any accredited college;
  4. Kentucky residents and applicants from the college service area; and
  5. applicants who present verifiable documentation of employment as a physical therapy aide or technician, related healthcare experience, or related healthcare education.
  6. applicants who demonstrate above average performance in BIO 137 or its equivalent.
  7. applicants who are veterans, active duty personnel, their spouses and also displaced workers who qualify under the Trade Adjustment Act.

Selection Timeline:

Applications received by April 1st will be reviewed by the PTA Program Admissions Committee to verify the admission packet contains all required materials and is therefore complete. If a packet is missing any required information as outlined in the program admission packet received at the Preadmission Conference, the submitted packet is then marked as “INCOMPLETE” and the student will be denied admission. Be sure to include individual transcripts from ALL colleges you have ever received credit for completing a course; this includes dual credit obtained during high school, even if just one course, and even if transfer courses are included on the Jefferson transcript. Transcripts submitted for review MUST be issued from the ORIGINAL granting institution.

Applicants who submit all PTA admission packet materials by the established due date and who meet the minimum requirements for admission to the PTA Program as established by the Senate Rules of the Community and Technical College will be placed in the qualified applicant pool. Students in the qualified applicant pool will then earn points, as outlined in Section III of this document. The Admissions Committee will recommend for admission the (22 maximum) students who have earned the highest total number of points. The Selective Admissions Committee will make the final recommendations for ranking in the event of a tie. Late applications may be reviewed at the discretion of the PTA Admissions Committee and/or in the event that fewer than the established minimum enrollment of qualified students have applied to the program. The final student selection is made by the President of the College or the President’s designee after considering the recommendations of the Selective Admissions Committee.

Students will be designated as admitted, alternate, or denied admission. All applicants will be notified of their designated admission status via US postal mail by May 31st. Admitted and alternate candidates will receive email notification in addition to the postal letter. Students offered admission or alternate candidacy to the PTA Program must confirm their intention to enter the program by the established deadline and follow the procedures listed in the offer letter; failure to do so risks forfeiture of their slot in the program.

Post-Admission Requirements, Expectations and Deadlines:

  1. BIO 137 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (or its approved equivalent) MUST be completed by the end of the SUMMER semester prior to beginning the PTA Program with a minimum grade of “C” and within the past 5 years prior to application. Applicants will receive “contingent enrollment” if enrolled in BIO 137 for the summer session, which means if a grade of C or better is not earned the applicant will need to withdraw from the Program. Applicants who have completed BIO 137 equivalencies outside of the 5 year window will be asked to repeat the course.
  2. BIO 139 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (or it’s approved equivalent) MUST be completed by the end of the first FALL semester of the Program with a minimum grade of “C” and within the past 5 years prior to application. Applicants who fail to meet this criteria will need to withdraw from the Program. Applicants who have completed BIO 139 equivalencies outside of the 5 year window will be asked to repeat the course.
  3. Students must earn a minimum grade of “C” in each PTA Program course to continue in the Program. Applicants who fail to meet this criteria will need to withdraw from the Program.
  4. Demonstration of digital literacy with a “P” (Pass) or grade of “C” or above must be met prior to beginning the third semester within the PTA Program. *Digital literacy requirements may be subject to a timeline due to changes in computer technology.
  5. All general education courses designated to meet the requirements of an Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assistance (including the digital literacy requirement) must be completed prior to beginning the second fall semester in the PTA Program.
  6. Students admitted to the PTA Program must attend a mandatory day long orientation session in early August. The date and location will be provided in the offer letter.
  7. Students will be provided a PTA Program Student Handbook and will be obligated to comply with all PTA Program policies and procedures as outlined in the handbook.
  8. At the time of the student orientation students must provide evidence of completing one of the following CPR Certifications: American Heart Association “BLS Provider” or American Red Cross “BLS for Healthcare Provider” The certification period must include the entire school year, which will be August 2019 through May 2020.
  9. At the time of the PTA Program orientation, students must provide documentation of a negative exposure to tuberculosis (TB), typically via skin test. Positive results will require a chest xray to verify the student does not have TB. This test date must be between May 2019 and August 2019.
  10. At the time of the student orientation, students must provide documentation of two childhood immunizations for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) or a blood titer report to prove MMR antibodies are sufficient to be considered immune.
  11. At the time of the student orientation, students must provide documentation of immunity to Hepatitis B or currently undergoing the vaccination sequence for Hepatitis B or an executed Hepatitis B Declination Form. The declination option will significantly limit clinical course options and may result in the inability to complete the program and/or be hired for a job after graduation.
  12. At the time of the student orientation students must have completed the required drug screen and background check, as directed in the offer letter. (Refer to section VI for details).

Approximate costs incurred by the student:

  1. Health/immunity requirements ~ $400.
  2. Liability insurance ~ $20 each year.
  3. Criminal background report and associated drug screening = $65. Students may be required to submit to an additional drug screening panel and criminal background check at any time during the course of the Program due to clinical site requirements or suspicion of use.
  4. Required books and supplies for the PTA Program = $2500 when purchased as new.
  5. Clinical uniform attire, including a student name badge. The total cost varies based on individual clinic requirements. Name badges are typically provided by the college for less than $10.
  6. American Physical Therapy Association student membership = $80 per year.
  7. Costs related to clinical education, including transportation, housing, and meals. Students can expect to spend at least one clinical practicum experience in a setting outside the Louisville/Jefferson County area for as long as five weeks.
  8. Mock licensing examination = $35.
  9. A post-graduation national board examination is required prior to be able to work in most states as a PTA. The cost is = $500. (Refer to section VIII) A licensure fee for the individual state is also required; price varies per state. Kentucky = $200; Indiana = $100.

Criminal Background Checks and Drug Testing:

All Allied Health students with a clinical component within their program must submit to a criminal background check and drug screening prior to beginning the program. The PTA Program acceptance letter will provide the specific company to be used and sign-up details. Testing is required to ensure a safe clinical environment for both students and the public and to meet the contractual requirements of area healthcare facilities. Situations in which a candidate for the PTA program does not have a satisfactory initial background check or drug test results, the Division Chair and/or Dean of Technical Education will review for approval. Convictions involving the following crimes may serve to disqualify a person from participating in required clinical learning experiences:

  1. any felony, whether listed below or not
  2. crimes involving drugs, including but not limited to unlawful possession or distribution
  3. crimes of physical violence to include any type of abuse (child, spousal, or of the elderly), abduction such as kidnapping, manslaughter, murder, robbery, sexual crimes, possession of a restricted fire arm or any related weapons offenses, assault and battery or
  4. conviction of a misdemeanor related to abuse, neglect or exploitation.

Additionally, drug screening may be required of a student at any time throughout the course of study if there is reasonable suspicion on the part of the program faculty that the student may be using a controlled substance not prescribed by a health care provider. Positive findings on a drug screen or refusal to submit to a requested drug screen will result in immediate administrative withdrawal of the student from the program. Each student will be given the specific information on how to complete these tests in the offer letter. The cost of background checks and drug testing is the responsibility of each student.

Accreditation:

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;

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 502-213-2193 or email Jpitchford0004@kctcs.edu.

Credentialing Exam(s)/Licensure:

Upon successful completion of this program, the graduate is eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants. Practitioner licensing in Kentucky is based upon successful completion of the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants and meeting all requirements established for licensure by the Kentucky Board of Physical Therapy, or the primary state in which the candidate intends to work.

Financial Information/Expenses:

Specific questions concerning financial assistance should be directed to the Downtown Campus Financial Aid Office or by calling 502.213.2146.

Information may be found in the college catalog or on-line at https://jefferson.kctcs.edu/affording-college/

Transitional Course Work

If, upon application to the college, scores on the ACT tests and/or college approved assessment tests are below the minimum threshold for college readiness, the student will be enrolled in transitional courses. The credit hours earned from these courses do not count toward the total credit hours earned in the Program, but are used to prepare students to be successful in their college-level courses. Students needing transitional math courses cannot take collegiate math and/or science courses until they successfully complete their transitional courses. Students needing transitional English or Reading cannot take a computer class until they successfully complete their transitional courses. Please note that this progression may delay readiness to apply to the PTA Program.

Sample Curriculum & Course Sequence

The following is a sample curriculum outlining a plan to complete the required coursework for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program in exactly 2 years. *The student is advised to complete BIO 137, ENG 101 and Oral Communications courses as early as possible in the sequence to maximize potential “bonus” points in the point system for admission to Track 1. Students may take any general education course without being admitted to the program. PTA courses (in bold) are reserved for only those students who have been admitted to the PTA Program.
PTA courses are shown in the actual semester sequence and cannot be combined or taken out of this sequence.
General education courses may be taken in any sequence with the following exceptions:

  • BIO137, or its equivalent, must be completed with a grade of “C” or better prior to the end of the SUMMER semester preceding entrance to the PTA Program.
  • BIO139, or its equivalent, must be completed with a grade of “C” or better prior to the end of the first FALL semester within the PTA Program.
  • All general education courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better preceding the beginning of the FALL semester within the second year of the PTA Program.

TOTAL CREDITS = 66-69 (depends whether took digital literacy course for credit hours and/or FYE 105)

Total Credit Hours of General Education/graduation requirement = 26-29

Total Credit Hours of PTA Program Courses (bold print) = 40

This SAMPLE order of courses is representative of a high school student who applied for admission to the program as a senior and had no prior college credits.

Summer 2019 Course number and name Credit hours
  BIO 137 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I with lab 4
  ENG 101 – Written Communications 3
  FYE 105 – First Year Experience *(First time college students only) *(3)
  Oral Communications (refer to the KCTCS catalog for approved general education courses) 3
     
Fall 2019 Course number and name Credit hours
  BIO 139 – Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 with lab 4
  MAT 150 – College Algebra (or higher level math course) 3
  PTA 101 – Orientation to Physical Therapy Practice 2
  PTA 125 – Neuroanatomy for the PTA 1
     
Spring 2020 Course number and name Credit hours
  PSY 110 – General Psychology 3
  PTA 150 – Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology 6
  PTA 160 – Medical and Surgical Conditions in Physical Therapy 3
  PTA 170 – Clinical Practicum 1 1
     
Summer 2020 Course number and name Credit hours
  PSY 223 – Developmental Psychology 3
  Heritage/Humanities (refer to the KCTCS catalog for approved general education courses) 3
  *Digital Literacy – NOT a general education course for the PTA Program, however proof of digital literacy is required for graduation from a KCTCS institution. 0-3
  AT THIS TIME (after completion of two semesters in the program) ALL GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO ADVANCING TO THE SECOND YEAR OF THE PTA PROGRAM.  
     
Fall 2020 Course number and name Credit hours
  PTA 200 – Modalities and Procedures in Physical Therapy 5
  PTA 220 – Physical Therapy Principles and Procedures 5
  PTA 240 – Clinical Practicum 2 2
     
Spring 2021 Course number and name Credit hours
  PTA 250 – Neurological Rehabilitation in Physical Therapy 5
  PTA 260 – Seminar in Physical Therapy 2
  PTA 280 – Clinical Practicum 3 5

On behalf of the faculty at Jefferson Community and Technical College, I thank you for your interest in the PTA Program and wish you well in the pursuit of your career.

Sincerely, Jennifer Pitchford, PTA, Med, CHES