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Darton State College Health Sciences Department | Physical Therapist Assistant - Program Overview

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Physical Therapist Assistant

General Program Description

Pre-requisites & Coursework

A new PTA Class begins every Fall Semester and graduation for that group of students occurs at the end of the following Fall Semester. After graduation in December of the following year, students are academically eligible to sit for the National Board Exam for scores to be approved by the Board of Physical Therapy in the state for which they intend to gain employment.

The pre-requisite course work consists of general education core
requirements totaling at least 27 hours, which includes the following:
General Semester Courses
Course Name Hours
ENGL 1101 English Composition I 3
MATH 1111 College Algebra or a higher MATH 3
POLS 1101 American Government 3
PSYC 2103 Human Growth & Development 3
BIOL 2111K Human Anatomy & Physiology I 4
BIOL 2112K Human Anatomy & Physiology II 4
BIOL 2115K Essentials of Microbiology 4
Fine Arts
Choose one course from ART 1100, FIAR 2250, FREN 1002 or higher, GERM 1002 or higher, JAPN 1002 or higher, MUSC 1100, PHIL 2205, SPAN 1002 or higher or THEA 1100. A literature course also meets the humanities/fine arts requirement if ENGL 1102 has been taken. 3
  General Education Total 27
The PTA Program coursework is designed to be completed in 4 semesters.
Coursework is progressive, requiring a grade of 75 or higher in each PTA course to advance to the next semester.
The program requires a full-time commitment from the student.
Generally, class schedules vary Monday - Friday between 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
PTA Program Courses
Course Hours
Fall Semester
PTAS 1100 Introduction to Physical Therapy   1
PTAS 1110 Functional Anatomy & Kinesiology 4
PTAS 1115 Clinical Pathology 3
PTAS 1125 Physical Agents 4
Spring Semester
PTAS 1105 Patient Care Skills 3
PTAS 1121 Therapeutic Exercise I 4
PTAS 1130 Applied Neurology & Gait Analysis 3
PTAS 2010 Clinical Practicum I 2
Summer Semester
PTAS 1122 Therapeutic Exercise for Special Populations 4
PTAS 1135 PTA Seminar I 2
PTAS 2050 Therapeutic Exercise II 3
PTAS 2100 Neurological Rehabilitation 3
Fall Semester
PTAS 2020 Clinical Practicum II 5
PTAS 2025 Clinical Practicum III 5
PTAS 2200 PTA Seminar II 2
  Program Total 75

Clinical Practicums are a critical part of the PTA curriculum and are integrated throughout the program. Clinical experiences are provided in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation agencies, private offices, and nursing homes located both within and outside of the College’s service area. Faculty members consider each student’s educational needs as well as personal factors in making clinical assignments.

There are 3 scheduled clinical practicums. One will be in an acute care setting, one in an outpatient setting, and then one covers a variety of settings. The practicums consist of one that will be for six Fridays at the end of Spring Semester, and the others are two consecutive 7-week practicums in the Fall Semester prior to graduation. The number of clinical sites per practicum is variable, depending on student needs. Traveling out of town will be necessary. Students are responsible for their own transportation, food, and lodging during the practicums unless the clinical site or student makes other arrangements. This is considered an additional financial obligation and must be met by the student.

*The PTA Program is not a stepping-stone to becoming a physical therapist, a different path of education would be necessary. All Physical Therapy programs are graduate level programs that require either a Doctoral Degree. Therefore, anyone interested in pursuing that path must have a Baccalaureate Degree prior to applying to PT school. The PTA Program is an Associate Degree (2-year) program. No courses in the PTA program beginning with PTAS will transfer or apply to your goal of getting into PT school. In addition, the only courses that may transfer are the general education courses, which are core-curriculum for the Board of Regent’s in the State of Georgia.

If becoming a physical therapist is your goal, it is recommended that you finish the A.S. in Health Sciences rather than apply to the PTA Program. Seats in this program are for those wishing to make a living as a PTA. For more information on physical therapy education, refer to http://www.apta.org/ProspectiveStudents/.

The Health Sciences department is responsible for the information on this page.
To inquire about the Physical Therapist Assistant program, please contact Kerri Johnson, PT, DPT.
For questions regarding content, or for further information, please contact Dr. Kerri Johnson.

Last Update: September 14, 2015 9:19 AM

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