Apr 22, 2024  
Catalog 2009-2010 
Catalog 2009-2010 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S.

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Program: AS-25540

The purpose of the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program is to graduate students with the knowledge, clinical competency, and integrity to positively impact their patients and the profession. With an integrated two-year curriculum, the program offers students the opportunity to earn an Associate of Science degree or an Associate of Applied Science degree with immediate entry into a rewarding career upon successful completion of the licensure exam.

The PTA program prepares students for careers serving as members of the health care team who provide direct patient care under the supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist. The PTA provides treatment to patients with various diagnoses to relieve pain and/or improve function via application of heat, cold, light, water, electrical stimulation, sound, massage, exercise, gait, and functional activity in the patient’s therapeutic regimen.

PTAs are licensed professionals who work in settings where Physical Therapists are employed. They work in hospitals, private practices, rehabilitation centers, school systems, sports teams, home health agencies, and other qualified facilities.

The PTA Program is a 74 credit hour A.S. and A.A.S. degree program, which trains and qualifies graduates to work in the physical therapy field. Students seeking admission must first be admitted to the College and complete the prerequisite courses.

The PTA Program is offered on the Winter Haven campus. Classes are scheduled Monday through Friday and include both day and evening hours. Program requirements are rigorous. Students must make the program commitment their first priority to ensure success.


Polk State College (PSC) has achieved accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association. Graduates of the PTA Program are eligible to take the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination for licensure as registered Physical Therapist Assistants.

Admission Criteria

The following are minimum requirements for consideration for admission into the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.

  1. Prospective students must gain acceptance to PSC as credit-seeking students with all required admission documents received by the Registrar’s Office.
  2. At the time of application, students must have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher.
  3. At the time of application and admission, students must have a GPA of 2.00 or higher and a grade of “C” or better in all prerequisite and required courses taken.
  4. Students must complete any required college preparatory courses.
  5. The Physical Therapist Assistant Program admits students on a “first-come, first-qualified” procedure and based on seat availability. Students seeking admission to the program must receive an application for admission from the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. The PTA Program Director or PTA Program faculty will time-and-date stamp the application upon submission. To be considered for screening of the PTA program’s admissions committee, all the necessary preparatory courses, 50  volunteer/observation hours, and the following courses must be completed with a “C” or better, or in progress, on or before May 31 of the applicant’s intended year of entry to the program:
  1.  There must be verification of at least 50 volunteer/observation/employment hours in a physical therapy setting.

The application must contain all the above listed requirements in order for it to be considered for screening. To ensure compliance with the above requirements, a student wishing to be considered for the next available class in the PTA Program must contact or meet with the PTA Program Director.

Additional Program Requirements

The following requirements are to be completed prior to the first summer clinical internship. The PTA program’s Director of Clinical Education will orient admitted students in the program on how to comply with these requirements:

  1. Physical examination and essential functions
  2. Immunization and communicable disease screenings
  3. Current CPR certification
  4. AIDS certification
  5. Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) background checks
  6. Drug screening

The PTA Program Director will provide information regarding the completion of these additional program requirements during orientation.

Program Cost

The approximate cost of the program is $8,898. This cost estimate includes course fees, books, and uniforms. However, this cost calculation does not include any college preparatory courses that a student may need to take. With the college preparatory courses, the approximate cost for the program is $10,926.

Potential Earnings

Physical Therapist Assistants’ salaries range from $33,280- $55,000, depending on the region or type of employment setting.

Licensure Examination

Following completion of academic and clinical work, graduates of the program will be able to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination for the Physical Therapist Assistant. The exam is administered by the Professional Examination Service, Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (PES/FSBPT), 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115; telephone: 212-367-4200.

Florida Licensure

Most states require licensure in order to practice. Therefore, graduates need to apply for Florida licensure upon successful completion of the PTA program graduation requirements. They are responsible for requesting information from the state licensing agency and completing the requirements for licensure.

Florida regulations provide that the denial of a license/certificate may occur if an individual is habitually intemperate, addicted to, or is found to be in illegal possession or involved in the sale of distribution of habit forming drugs, and/or is unfit or incompetent by reason of gross negligence, physical or mental condition or other like causes which could result in behavior that interferes in his/her practice as a health professional. In addition, a felony conviction may prevent an individual from earning licensure to practice as a physical therapist assistant.

To obtain further information regarding the Florida Board of Physical Therapy Practice students may write or call the Board office or visit their Internet website:

Department of Health
Board of Physical Therapy Practice
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin #C05
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3255
Telephone: 850-488-0595
FAX: 850-414-6860

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